Community Helps Fargo Family Bounce Back from Multiple Tragedies

A North Fargo family, already facing a fight with cancer, is dealing with another tragedy.

Kim Baarstad and her family have had a lot of help as she’s battled breast cancer.

Now, friends, teammates, and the community are strengthening that support structure after the unexpected loss of their husband and father.
Kallie Baarstad is a senior on the North High basketball team.

Teammates, acting more like sisters.
“Everyone’s close, and we all have each other’s backs”, Kallie says, “and we all are there to help each other no matter what.”
That support is needed. It’s been a trying 13 months for the Baarstad family, ever since Kim Baarstad, Kallie’s mom, started her fight against stage 4 breast cancer.
The fight included fundraisers at Washington Elementary, where Kim teaches.

All the effort was paying off. Her cancer levels have decreased.
“It’s not gone”, she says, “but it’s gone way down, so we’re pleased with that.”
Cancer is tough enough to deal with, but the Baarstads were dealt another tragic blow.

Bruce, Kim’s husband for 24 years, died unexpectedly earlier this month.
“My son and I came home two weeks ago today and found him peacefully sleeping,” Kim says.
Members of the Baarstad family say that if they were on their own, they wouldn’t be able to cope with this latest tragedy.

But thanks to a strong North Fargo community, they’re far from alone.
“That’s been what’s been getting us through,” adds Brandt Baarstad, Bruce and Kim’s son.
His sister Kallie adds, “It’s unreal how supportive and caring they all are.”
The North High basketball team made t-shirts supporting the Baarstads, with all proceeds going to the family.
“All the parents and the players stepped up right away immediately,” says North High girls basketball coach Aryelle Jones. “Everyone wanted to pitch in.”
It’s a fitting way to honor the family. His kids say Bruce was always passionate their teams.
“He’d be that one voice you heard in the stands yelling things,” Kallie says. “Looking back, at the time you’re like “Dad, no”, but I’m really grateful for everything he did for us.
Kristi Jo Johnson, a family friend, started a GoFundMe page, which has raised nearly ten thousand dollars to cover medical costs and the loss of Bruce.
She says, “I thought this was a great way to support the family.”
All that support is helping the Baarstads survive tragedy, and do what they can to continue the fight,
“We’re gonna take it one day at a time, but we know that we’ll always
be there for each other,” says Brandy
And honor their husband and dad.
“He made us such better people,” Kallie says, “and I would never want to call anyone else my dad.”
If you want to help the Baarstad family, you can find the family’s GoFundMe page by clicking here.

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