The people of Vanderhoof and region are coming together to donate money to a 12-year-old girl fighting a rare form of cancer.
Halle Krawczyk, 12, is fighting Chordoma, which according to the Chordoma Foundation is a rare form of cancer that occurs in the bones of the skull base and spine.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Halle, daughter of Matt and Carolyn Krawczyk, and the goal is to raise $500,000 for surgeries at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as after care medical related expenses for the family.
Initially, money was being raised for her surgery at Pittsburgh, however, in a post on Dec. 7, Carolyn Krawczyk said Halle’s Vancouver oncologist informed the family that MSP had reversed their decision and were going to cover the cost of the 12-year-old’s surgery in the United States.
“We do not want anyone to be misled in their giving! We are trying to figure out what to do now. Only cost of surgery is covered. There are still the added expenses of being outside the country, and off work for six months,” Krawczyk said.
“There are still many medical related expenses that we are expected to cover and we are now working on drafting that budget. Halle’s diagnosis is a lifelong disease. There is no cure. It is expected that further treatment may be required throughout her lifetime, though we hope it will not. We are involving a Public Trustee to oversee a contingency fund for future required treatment. We are looking into how to handle this appropriately. The great news is we know Halle gets her best shot at beating this!”
As of Dec. 9, a total of $77,046 has been raised.
The 12-year-old girl is expected to be at the hospital for a minimum of 21 days followed by several weeks of healing, before flying to Boston for Proton Beam Radiation, stated Kimberly Dyck, Vanderhoof resident and organizer of the GoFundMe fundraiser.
“I think that anybody can empathize with the situation that Halle’s family have found themselves in and we all realize this is bigger than one family can sometimes handle. So we all need to pitch in and support one another when times are hard,” Dyck said.
The Krawczyk’s who lived in Vanderhoof previously, moved to the Salmon Arm area, closer to Vancouver for Halle’s treatments, she added. “They have been fighting this battle for over three years now.”
Additonally to the GoFundMe page, there is a Facebook auction group called Hunting Auction for Haile, where people from across the region and beyond have been donating and bidding on a variety of items.
One auction item put on the page Dec. 5 got over $50,000 in bids. Halle donated her own signed baseball bat and baseball given to her by the Toronto Blue Jays. These signatures included names like – Aaron Sanchez, Dalton Pompey, Marco Estrada and Justin Smoak.
Stephen Bros. Contracting’s Lorna Stephen bid $23,000 for the signed baseball items, and Maryann Giebrecht matched the bid with another donation of $23,000.
Krawczyk commented on the bid saying, “Unbelievable. I am not sure how we will ever be able to show our gratitude towards everybody in this action. Thank you! This truly means so much.”
Other auction items on the page include baked good baskets, pieces of art, gift certificates, Mennonite sausage, Christmas boxes, aluminum cribbage board and so much more.
“Vanderhoof continues to be very supportive and I really challenge everybody to step up. With Christmas around the corner, this is a great time to ask yourself how you could truly make a difference in touching the lives of others, and give a gift that is so meaningful and helpful,” Dyck said.