Granite Bay dad recovering from bone marrow transplant
Until recently, Tim and Jana Krumal hadn’t spent more than two nights away from their four young children.
Now they expect to spend the next three months living apart.
The Granite Bay couple is staying in Palo Alto as Tim Krumal, 53, recovers from a bone marrow transplant at the Stanford Cancer Center to treat his cancer.
“It’s a scary time hoping his body will accept the cells,” Jana Krumal said from the hospital, while her husband napped.
He is in isolation and she must cover herself in a gown, gloves and mask to spend the days with him reading and listening to music together. At night, she goes back to sleep in the house of a family she met through her church.
Tim Krumal has put his job on hold, as pastor of Family Ministries at Auburn Grace Community Church, and his wife recently quit her job as the preschool director there to care for her family.
They have medical insurance but learned firsthand about all the expenses not covered — costs that have left a heavy financial burden of the family.
Tim Krumal was diagnosed with two types of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in October 2010. He has since undergone nine rounds of chemotherapy. After seven rounds, doctors thought he was nearing remission. Then a bone marrow autopsy showed that 60 percent of the disease was in his bone marrow.
He needed an allogeneic transplant, when healthy stem cells are removed from another person and placed in the patient. The donor usually must have the same genetic makeup as the patient.
In the case of Tim Krumal, three of his siblings were a match. His brother, Tom, ended up as the donor.
Jana Krumal said her husband is doing well but suffering side effects and loaded up on medications.
Back in Granite Bay, they are finding support through friends and family. Their kids, ages 6 to 13, are being homeschooled by two other moms, and their grandparents are caring for them.
“It’s hard to be away,” Jana Krumal said. “God put a protective shield around them. We’ve been open with them throughout the whole process.”
She said her kids are “keeping a positive attitude to help daddy.”
Tim Krumal was actively involved in the local soccer community, having coached two of his sons’ soccer teams for six years.
Gretchen Thomas, owner of Anytime Fitness in Granite Bay, met the Krumals through her son’s soccer team, Eureka Energy. Kelten Krumal, 6, recently joined the team.
“All of the parents on our team were trying to figure out how we could best help them,” Thomas said. “My husband and I already had this Octoberfest planned and thought it would be an appropriate venue to do some fundraising for the family. All of the parents have been wonderful in brainstorming and using their contacts to come up with great fundraising ideas.”
Jennifer and Chris Androkitis organized a fundraiser at two local Round Table Pizzas to earn money for the family when people brought in a special flier. Jennifer Androkitis and Jana Krumal are childhood friends. Both grew up in Granite Bay.
“They are family to us,” Jennifer Androkitis said. “In fact our kids call them Uncle Tim and Aunt Jana and vice versa.”
She said she doesn’t know the total amount of money raised yet, but heard from Round Table that it was one of the largest fundraisers.
“It’s amazing,” Jana Krumal said. “Tim and I are so blessed. People who don’t even know us are stepping up to help us.”
Sena Christian can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.
When: 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8
Where: 9711 Village Center Dr. in Roseville
Cost: Free. All donations go to Krumal family
Info: Business vendors, live music, food and wine tasting, bounce house, chair massages, temporary body art