Dan & Angie Christ were married in 2002 making their home in Lakota, Iowa, on the small family dairy farm. At the time of their marriage the only health issue they knew of was Angie was born without hip structure on the left side. That caused many physical childhood struggles for her, but at the age of thirteen she had a total hip replacement, which was a wonderful blessing that restored her mobility. As the years have gone by, her left leg is weaker than the right and stairs can be challenging, but much to be thankful for. They both desired children and through the years their family grew! Maddie was born in 2005, Sylvia in 2007 and Tommy in 2011, each appearing to be beautiful, healthy babies. Then in 2013 the first trial hit. Dan seemed to constantly have one illness after another and it was suggested by a relative that he be tested for Bruton’s syndrome (no B cells/no immune system), which had recently been identified on his Mother’s side of the family. While thankful to even be alive, as this should have taken his life as an infant, the treatment consists of receiving an infusion once a month to provide immunity, costing about $8,000 per month, which makes insurance coverage a necessity. God obviously has a plan for his life as most people with Bruton’s die as infants due to meningitis, or other infections. He is one of a handful of known survivors with this disorder.
January 2015 trial #2 - Family and teachers notice that Maddie was having trouble seeing and even though she had glasses for several years it was evident something was not right. That trip to the eye clinic brought life-changing news. Through tears the doctor informed them that Maddie’s central vision was completely gone due to a genetic disorder called Stargardt’s Disease. Maddie had somehow compensated for quite some time with only having peripheral vision. Now that they know what she is dealing with, attempts to help with visual aids such as iPad-pro, Smart Lux, special TV for low vision and possibility of other technology can be purchased, but there is no prevention or slowing of the disease. She is legally blind but everyone is thankful for the peripheral vision she still has.
March 2015 trial #3 - Tommy was slow in learning to walk and when he did, he seemed to fall a lot. At first it was chalked up to the fact that he was a big boy and growing too fast for his feet to catch-up, but growing concerns again sent them to the Doctor. This time the news was really hard as he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The typical progression for DMD is a wheel chair which will be required by age 8-12 with life expectancy in the mid-twenties. However, Tommy’s disease process is progressing faster than normal (unsure why), and at age six years old he already needs to be in a wheel chair most of the time. His life expectancy is estimated for mid-teens. Because his disease is progressing so quickly the need for their old farm home to be made wheel chair accessible is urgent. Tommy loves the dairy cows and everything about the farm, the whole family loves the farm life. Other living options have been considered but God is leading them to stay put and they are thankful for that answer.
November 2016 trial #4 - Sylvia is also diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease. Although it doesn’t seem to be progressing as quickly as it did for Maddie, there is no preventing or stopping it. She too will need more visual aids as it progresses and robs her of central vision.
June, 2017 Trial #5 - Angie lost her job at the local bank through which they had their health insurance. They are now overwhelmed with the cost of expensive cobra insurance payments, along with expenses not covered by insurance such as a wheelchair accessible van, low-vision needs for the girls, and urgent necessity to make the house accessible for Tommy’s wheelchair.
We know that trials draw us closer to our Savior (James 1:2-4) and that God causes all things to work out for our best (Rom 8:28). We are also told that what one believer experiences, we all are a part of (I Cor. 12:26) and that God is pleased when we reach out to others in need (1 John 3:17).
Please keep the Christ family in your prayers and if God stirs your heart to give towards their needs, know that it is deeply appreciated. Our goals are to start a home remodel as soon as funds are available, at which point a schedule will be made out so costs can be kept down by enlisting volunteer who have carpentry, plumbing, electrical & drywall skills. If funds exceed our expectations, we will put it toward the van loan (they purchased a handicap van this summer).
We are excited to see how God will move as we put forward this need. Gifts of prayer can be sent 24/7 to our Heavenly Father and monetary gifts can be sent to: Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 1549 E. Ave. Zumbrota, MN 55992; Memo checks: Christ family Any questions or interest in being a volunteer, please contact Fred at [phone redacted].
Our prayer is that you will read this letter & pass it on. Post it at your work place, face book it or hand it directly to whoever God leads you to. In this way, we hope to reach many more than what we could with a traditional fundraiser.
Thank you so much for the time you have taken to read about this young family in need.
All in His Grace, Mercy & Care!
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