Turning Loss of My Best Friend Into A Purpose

On October 13, 2017 my son, Keagan Alexander, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

My wife, Melissa, and I knew this was a possibility for quite some time but getting that official diagnosis was still a bit of a shock.  At that time we really knew very little about Autism and we both struggled with this new reality.  In my struggles the only person besides Melissa I could talk to about Keagan’s diagnosis was my brother.  He told me something that I will always remember. He told me that Keagan is still my son, he is still the same person he was before the diagnosis, and nothing had really changed. Three days later, Eric Alexander Berding – my brother – was killed in a motor vehicle accident. 

In 2018, Melissa and I held a fundraiser as a way to remember Eric on what would have been his 40th birthday.  The funds raised were used to purchase goods needed for Balance Autism, an Iowa based non-profit that provides services for those on the spectrum of all ages.  Giving back to a community that has been so helpful for Keagan while also honoring Eric was very instrumental in the healing process. We knew right away that we wanted to continue to help those in our local Autism community.

With my family and friend’s support, we started The Alexander Foundation 

This is our 3rd year running this fundraiser and we are very excited to share this journey with everyone.  We appreciate every share and ever dollar donated. 

Thank you for being a part of this journey with us!


Ryan Berding
Bettendorf, IA

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