Sartell community rallies around girl with rare disease

On Sunday, former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer was at Waters Church in Sartell, as hundreds of people came together to support the family of a girl with special needs.

Alicia Messer’s daughter Addison was born with Vitamin K Embryopathy and now lives with neurological and spinal cord damage. However, no matter what life throws at her, her loved ones say Addison keeps going.

"Addison is 6 years old, she spent about three of those [years] in the hospital," Addison’s mother, Alicia, told FOX 9. "She’s had 30 surgeries, 12 spine and brain surgeries."

"[A] life-saving surgery this past spring, because the spine was going to puncture the brain," fundraiser organizer Deboran Nelson added. "She lost the ability to walk."

(FOX 9)

Nelson organized a dinner and silent auction to raise money to buy the Messer family a wheelchair-compatible minivan.

"I want everything taken care of for that family," Nelson said. "Because they’ve given so much to this church, to the community."

That meant a goal of somewhere between $60,000 to $80,000. On Sunday, they collected more than $20,000. If you'd like to donate, an online fundraiser has been set up for the family.

"It would change our lives," Alicia said. "Right now, I [won’t] bring Addison places if it’s a short term."

"Our goal is to get her to do everything that a normal child would do," Alicia finished.