Posted at: 02/21/2013 5:53 PM
Alex Balluff has come a long way from laying in an ICU unit in Duluth. That was Halloween, 2009. He had been walking along Rice Lake Road with some friends, when he was hit by a drunk driver.
Now, a funny and charming 21-year-old, he is sharing his marathon to recovery with students across the Iron Range.
We caught up with the Balluff family in Nashwauk.
"I absolutely love talking to kids about drinking and driving," he said. "I want them to make the right choices, so they won't hurt anyone else or get hurt like me."
Alex suffers from extreme short term memory loss, and needs 24/7 care. His family has gone through quite the journey with him, and are using their tragedy to do something good.
"We want to help others. It's a true story," said Debbie Balluff.
During the presentation, she talked about the life saver candies they handed out. "You can be a life-saver. You can save someone's life," she told the crowd. "You can stop a drunk driver."
Alex stole the show, adding funny comments and jokes. He even did a rap about his situation, which got the kids really laughing.
They asked many questions, and he and his mom answered them honestly.
"This gives Alex purpose," said his dad Mike. "Absolutely," chimed in Debbie.
He got a few hugs afterwards from students who said they really appreciated meeting him.
Alex will be speaking in Cherry on Friday. The family was also in Hibbing on Thursday.
Also, he plans on running the 5K during Grandma's Marathon this summer, and the family is encouraging folks to run with him.