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Aaron’s Story

This is for the Insley boys- Aaron and Richard- who were in an auto accident in the early hours of Nov. 25th, 2007, near their home in Lake Elmo. Richard, 23, did not survive. Aaron, now 29, was hospitalized in St. Paul and continued his recovery in Red Wing. He came home on Nov. 11th, 2008. Aaron is stable, healthy, and receives excellent care. He remains in a minimally conscious state with the effects of a severe traumatic brain injury.

Aaron and Richard were very close and shared many of the same interests and friends. They were both avid mountaineers, having climbed Granite Peak, the highest summit in Montana, with their dad on separate trips.

Richard was a recent graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, and was currently working as a bank teller. He was engaged to be married in April and was thinking of going to law school. We share in our grief with his fiancee, Jenn, and hold her in our prayers.

Aaron was a senior at Gustavus Adolphus as a geography major, and planned to go to MSU-Mankato fall 2007 for a graduate degree.

Aaron has made an amazing recovery in the first year and continues to heal from a head injury. Our hopes are very high for his continued progress at home. Thanks for your continued letters of encouragement and support, and for all the prayers for Aaron and our family.

Latest Journal Update


Aaron has had a good month, enjoying the warm afternoons on the porch. We took him to the University of Minnesota Dental Clinic for his second sedation dentistry appointment. They provide such a great service for people with special needs, and although we had to get a very early start, the day went well. We were pleased to know that there were no issues with his dental health, and that we are doing a good job with his oral care. We will do this again in 2 years. A major milestone for Aaron comes on Nov 11, marking seven years ago that we brought him home, just short of one year past the boys' accident on Nov 25, 2007. 

Aaron had visitors from the MN Dept. of Human Services last month. On the left in the photo above, next to Carol, is our MN State Representative Kathy Lohmer, a Board member. Next is Alex Bartolic, Director of the Disability Services Division, and on the far right, Assistant Commissioner Jennifer DeCubellis, Community Supports Administration at the DHS. Our guests were very interested in meeting Aaron and seeing how he is cared for in his home. They saw how Granite House will use the best features of Aaron’s home to create a unique setting for the long-term care of younger adults with severe brain injury. We are fortunate to have the support of these and other state and county officials!  

Granite House reached a big milestone on October 8th, when we received our Federal Tax Exempt status as a nonprofit! This document, called the 501(c)(3), opens up many new opportunities for us. Be sure to take a new look at our website and see our DONATE button ready for online donations! You can now make a secure tax-deductible gift through our PayPal account with a credit card. We have also joined with GiveMN.org, a Minnesota nonprofit, to celebrate an annual tradition of generosity called the Give to the Max Day on Nov. 12. Many employers support this effort and encourage employees to give to their favorite charity. Go to www.GiveMN.org and search Granite House.  

 An added incentive for fall giving is our generous matching grant from our local Thrivent Landmark group in Lake Elmo. They will match up to $7500 in donations, and if we exceed that, the Founders of Granite House will match up to an additional $5000. Be sure to look at our DONATE page on our website, www.granitehousemn.org for more information on all these ways to help us out. Thanks again to all of our friends and family who have already made a donation. We are very grateful for your support.