Ortonville, Minn., presses are #22Strong for Kolstad recovery - New York News

Ortonville, Minn., presses are #22Strong for Kolstad recovery

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It may be a tiny town with 170 miles between it and Mankato, but near the border of South Dakota, there is a print shop on Main Street that has become the heart and soul of #22strong for Isaac Kolstad.

"I guess this is our way to do something, to do our part," Dan Kafka explained.

There is no slowing the printers, presses and stitching machines inside Pro Image Partners -- not even on the Sunday of Memorial Weekend.

"It's very therapeutic for everybody to be able to know you are making a difference," Brenda Kafka said.

The mission is a simple one -- be #22Strong for Isaac Kolstad, who remains hospitalized after he was assaulted on the streets of Mankato weeks ago. Just this weekend, his family announced that he is no longer on life support and they are feeling hopeful.

"We are a family of strong faith and we truly believe in miracles," Brenda Kafka, Kolstad's aunt, said.

#22strong is the hashtag, and a social media phenomenon has blossomed while Kolstad continued his fight for life after suffering severe brain damage.

"I know the healing of the brain is very, very slow," Dan Kafka said.

The wildly popular former Minnesota State University-Mankato linebacker wore that number, and his aunt and uncle -- who own the custom order print shop -- are making sure no one forgets.

"I think people feel for such a nice person, and a nice family going through such a horrific thing," Brenda Kafka said.

The Kafkas are promising to donate all the profits from the T-shirts, hoodies, hats, aprons, car decals and mouse pads that they make to their nephew and his young family. He and his wife are expecting their second daughter any day now, and so far, the Kafkas can hardly keep up with the demand.

The Kolstad family has described the days ahead as a marathon, but the Kafkas and many others are making it clear that the 24-year-old won't have to endure the distance alone.

"You live on every little blink of an eye, every extra movement," Dan Kafka told Fox 9 News. "We had one aunt who visited the other day; she thought he blinked an eye. When we were in, he moved his jaw. Little things like that give you hope that there is progress."

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