It has been almost one year to the day that Alex Hermstad began experiencing muscle weakness. Today at 12 years old, she continues her battle against an unknown neuromuscular condition that has left her so weak she must rely on family or support staff to meet her daily needs. Alex has spent the last 16 days in the hospital (nine days in intensive care) because of breathing difficulties. Alex and her family refuse to lose hope. She courageously endures testing, therapies, and uncomfortable procedures. Although she is very weak, her precious smile still surfaces.
Five months ago the Storm Lake community pulled together to support Alex at a large silent auction/spaghetti dinner benefit at Buena Vista University. Support was overwhelming. Thousands attended, and 175 items were auctioned off.
Money that was raised from the benefit has gone towards helping with excessive medical expenses incurred this past year.
On Wednesday evening, the community once again joined together to support Alex by lifting her up in prayer. Monday morning, word quickly spread throughout town that the family was requesting prayer for Alex. A specific time was set (Wednesday at 8 p.m.) to encourage people to unite in prayer. E-mails and phone lines buzzed and by the appointed time, thousands of people across the United States and world joined in prayer. Lori, Alex's mom, was overcome with emotion when she learned of the far-reaching efforts on behalf of her daughter. Friends called to tell her within hours of the first e-mail that people would be praying in Arizona, California, Texas, and Montana to name a few states, and even Sweden.
In Storm Lake, many church prayer chains were set in motion and business and private e-mails soared with the word. On Wednesday evening, an adult co-ed volleyball game started a few minutes late so team members could pray together for Alex. Families joined hands in their homes and friends stopped their activities to intercede.
Jeff, Lori, Alex and her twin sister, Jaci, gratefully acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of love and encouragement they have received in this difficult time.
Donations to assist the family can be sent to : "Angels for Alex" c/o Metabank, PO Box 1307, Storm Lake, IA 50588