Sunday, April 08, 2018

Paying it Forward

I stumbled onto this tonight via the Interweb, and the gravity of the situation pinned my ears back.

Every parent worries about their child's or children's health - generally on a daily basis. And as an adult, I have learned that moms and dads continue worrying about their kids' health even after kids "leave the nest"!

For Joey and Marceia Andreasen of Ashby, both public school educators in central Minnesota, those random worries and fears became a full-blown nightmare as their daughter Kelly was stricken by Lyme disease in 2016. Making matters worse, detection and then diagnosis of the disease did not happen right away due to the nature of Lyme disease. Kelly Falk has Chronic or Late Stage Lyme, a debilitating disease that has taken away her ability to work and live independently. She is a 2010 graduate of Ashby high school and a former three-sport star for the Arrows athletic program.
Kelly Falk (11) and Alyssa Mickelson (8) attempting to block a West Central Area attack in Ashby's 2008 volleyball playoff opener. Falk was a junior that season. PHOTO BY ERIC MORKEN, ECHO PRESS

You can read more about Kelly Falk's story here:

Kelly Falk and her mom, Marceia Andreasen, are co-owners of Kindred People, a boutique style store located in Alexandria and Fargo that features women's clothing, accessories, shoes, beauty products and gifts. Their goal is to bring unique fashion at popular prices to the area. You can read more here:

Joey Andreasen is a second grade teacher at Osakis schools, while Marceia Andreasen is a high school social studies teacher in Alexandria.

I will admit that I never saw Kelly in action in any of her sports, but I remember hearing and reading about her athletic accomplishments in those years - especially in fastpitch, in which she was one of Ashby's best pitchers in the late 2000s. I don't have the full run-down of statistics, but when she was a senior in 2010, Ashby was fastpitch co-champions of the Pheasant Conference with Brandon/Evansville; they were runners-up in her junior season. Kelly Falk played varsity fastpitch for five years in Ashby. She is featured in online fastpitch articles going back to at least 2006, when she was just an eighth grader. In her freshmen season, Kelly's Ashby Arrows won the Pheasant Conference title, and they repeated the same feat in her sophomore year, 2008.

I have known her father for a long, long time, and have great respect for him and what he has done with his Osakis Silverstreaks wrestling program. Head coach Joey Andreasen is a Hoffman-Kensington high school graduate and has coached in Osakis for many years. He was head fastpitch coach in Ashby for a period of time and coached when his daughter Kelly played. Besides teaching in the elementary school and coaching wrestling, Coach Andreasen is also Osakis's JV baseball coach.

Joey, Marceia, Kelly and Kelly's sister, Taylor, are all Minnesota State University-Moorhead graduates, with Taylor being a former MSUM Dragons fastpitch player. Kelly graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Public Relations. Here's a neat web article at the MSUM website that describes some family history at the college:

Please consider donating! I cannot imagine this burden on any family! It is a miracle that her current treatments is helping restore a glimmer of hope for Kelly - but not without great financial cost. I am sure that any size of donation will be greatly appreciated!