Ben is a 35-year-old father, husband, son, brother and nephew. Needless to say, he means a lot of things to a lot of people. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys everything from hunting and fishing to camping with his friends and family. He’s also got a love for cooking – whether it’s by the campfire or in the kitchen. But more than any of this, Ben says his favorite thing of all is being a dad to his three kids – 12-year-old Zackery, 11-year-old Alex and two-year-old Gracie – and an adoring husband to his wife, Krystal.
Last September, Ben was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and their lives turned upside down. Unable to work, Ben, the family’s sole income provider, began treatment with Krystal by his side. Ever since, his children have faced new challenges, from the emotional distress and daily uncertainty of their father’s disease to the financial implications that cancer carries.
“ ‘No’ is a common word. They have learned to go without “things” and have adjusted to never having extras. They know that food is a blessing not to be wasted and they have had to accept they can’t have that $1 toy at the Dollar General because we have to pay the electric bill,” says Krystal.
To date, Ben and Krystal’s friends and family have provided tremendous support. They help around the house, take care of the kids and, fearing last Christmas could be Ben’s last with his kids, they organized an amazing day filled with gifts and love. The community even organized a bone marrow drive.
However, Ben now needs a stem cell transplant, causing the family to move two hours from their home and away from those who have been so graciously offering assistance. To help support this family at such a critical time, Family Reach stepped in and helped cover several of their bills, including their credit card payment and phone bill, ensuring Ben could remain in communication with his medical team.
While the journey has been difficult, Krystal and her family remain extremely positive and brave.
“Together we are stronger than cancer. We have learned that when life puts things like this in front of you, you realize what is truly important and where your time needs to be spent,” says Krystal.
As Ben undergoes his stem cell transplant this month, we send our best to this courageous family.