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Classmates rally for Karissa Kruk

By: Jenny Jelen - Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Dec 19, 2012 - 4:23 PM |
Friends and schoolmates of Karissa Kruk rallied together to raise money for the seven-year-old currently battling leukemia APL. Students (from left) Bayly Burns, Grade 5, Allison Carew, Grade 5, Avery Houle, Grade 4, Emma Hickey, Grade 4, Morgan Taylor, Grade 6, and Melanie Bell, Grade 5, all collected money on their own to help Karissa. They presented their earnings to her grandparents, Brenda and Gary Seawright, Dec. 19. Photo by Jenny Jelen.

Friends and schoolmates of Karissa Kruk rallied together to raise money for the seven-year-old currently battling leukemia APL. Students (from left) Bayly Burns, Grade 5, Allison Carew, Grade 5, Avery Houle, Grade 4, Emma Hickey, Grade 4, Morgan Taylor, Grade 6, and Melanie Bell, Grade 5, all collected money on their own to help Karissa. They presented their earnings to her grandparents, Brenda and Gary Seawright, Dec. 19. Photo by Jenny Jelen.

Family hopeful for Christmas outside the hospital

Brenda Seawright would love to thank everyone who has helped make her family's life a little easier during the trying time they are facing, but there aren't enough “thank yous” in the world to sum up how she feels.

“There are no words,” Seawright said. “The love and support of the city is totally overwhelming.”

Seawright's granddaughter, Karissa Kruk, is currently at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital, where she was diagnosed with leukemia APL, a rare form of the condition. Karissa has been at the hospital since the beginning of July while her family has been at her side, staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Toronto.

Seawright said the seven-year-old has to undergo one more around of chemotherapy and another set of antibiotics before she can start staying with her family at the Ronald McDonald house. With any luck, she will be able to enjoy Christmas outside the hospital.

“Her spirit really wants to go, but she's still a little weak,” Seawright said.


Doctors are hoping Karissa will be able to return to Sudbury following her next round of chemotherapy, around the end of February.

In the meantime, Karissa's friends, classmates and even strangers who have heard her story have been dishing out the love to her and her family.

Classmates went Christmas carolling, collecting upwards of $100 for their efforts.

Others sold lemonade in the summer and collected door-to-door pledges nearing the $550 mark. Fundraisers held at the school brought in $500, too. Coupled with donations from the school itself, as well as from St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School, more than $2,650 was presented to Seawright Dec. 19.

“You can never say thank you enough,” Seawright said.

On top of cash donations, Seawright also collected gifts donated by St. Ben's students for Karissa and her siblings, who have also been feeling the strain of her illness.

“There are so many caring people in the world,” Seawright said.

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