Family hosts light show in their front yard to raise money for a handicap accessible van

Local News

Being a child is the best part of Christmas, but Gracie’s 16 years of life hasn’t been easy. At birth, Gracie was diagnosed with down syndrome, full body paralysis, congestive heart failure, and many other conditions that make day to day life, a little tough.

“She wasn’t expected to live past the moment she was born,” said Aleja-Laura Larson, Gracie’s mother.

She has spent a lot of time at the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis with a team of 14 doctors who care for her. This past month, the battle has been much more difficult for Gracie. She contracted COVID-19 right after Thanksgiving and had to be airlifted from CHI St. Alexius to the Children’s hospital in Minneapolis.

“This Christmas is extra special for us because we have Gracie still with us, it’s just the best gift ever to know we went through what we went through and now we’re home,” said Larson.

Gracie’s favorite holiday activity is driving around looking at Christmas lights, but that has become a chore without a handicap accessible van.

“She’s very limited in her abilities to get out of the home, but one thing we’ve always done is take her out to look at Christmas lights, she calls them, her ‘pretties,'” said Larson.

The idea started last year when mom and dad decided to bring the “pretties” to their home. Gracie’s Lights is a light show right in their front yard, and it is synced to 93.5 radio.

“I think what’s really important is that through all of her adversities and complications, she continues to shine and it reminds me much of her lights,” said Larson.

With the lights, the family’s goal is to collect donations for the proper van.

“We feel Gracie being so beautiful, having such a light to shine, she’s not able to do that if she’s here at home and so we really want to give her the opportunity to get back out in the community again,” said Larson.

You can visit Gracie’s lights at 12120 Country Meadows Drive, just east of Bismarck off of Highway 10. The light show will stay on until midnight.

If you are interested in donating, stop by Gate City Bank and ask to donate to Gracie’s Light Benefit.

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