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Kristmas for the Kruks

Family, friends, acquaintances and even complete strangers have been pouring out support for Karissa Kruk.
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Katrina and Larissa Waytowich dance with Karissa Kruk and her family at St. Mary's Ukrainian School of Dance — Nasha Rodyna. The Waytowich family helped out the seven-year-old battling leukemia APL by collecting donations at their Christmas light display. So far, they have raised $1,220. Photo by Jenny Jelen.

Family, friends, acquaintances and even complete strangers have been pouring out support for Karissa Kruk. The seven-year-old “miracle girl” is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital to combat the leukemia APL she was diagnosed with this summer.  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. 

Students from the Kruk family's school St. Francis collected donations through Christmas carolling, selling lemonade and going door to door. Students from St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School also collected donations and gifts for the family.

Steven Waytowich, who teaches the Kruk kids Ukrainian Dancing at St. Mary's Ukrainian School of Dance — Nasha Rodyna, lit up his neighbourhood to help out the family.

The day the Halloween pumpkin came down, Waytowich began decorating for Christmas. His Kingston Court home in New Sudbury has thousands of lights on it. Each string of lights is set to music, making the house dance in time to the Christmas tunes playing. 

On Dec. 22, the community was invited to check out the light show in exchange for a donation to the Kruk family. A total of $1,220 was raised during the evening alone, with donations still on their way in.

“It was very heartwarming,” Waytowich said. “I got to be Santa Claus for a day.”

Anyone interested in checking out the light display is welcome to stop by 43 Kingston Crt. to enjoy the show.

Support from generous folks like the Waytowich family has been “totally overwhelming” for the Kruks.

Brenda Seawright, Karissa's grandmother, 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. “There are so many caring people in the world.”



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