Friends, family and total strangers are pitching in to ensure Krista Clark and her three young boys have a memorable Christmas together.
After word spread in November the 37-year-old single mom has terminal cancer multiple fundraisers were organized.
“This community has essentially taken those boys in and made sure they feel loved and that Krista feels loved,” said Dr. Cassandra Taylor, one of several friends behind a pair of raffles and an online auction.
They’re also co-ordinating a Christmas wish list for the boys: twins Jagger and Jett, 8, and Jack, 6.
The boys were given a toy catalogue and asked to circle what they liked, said Taylor. After the list was posted on the Kindness for Krista Facebook group, dozens and dozens of gifts were dropped off at Dr. Taylor’s office. The list includes presents for two little girls, cousins that the boys will live with when their mom is gone.
Krista’s brother Brad Clark and wife Nancy will raise the boys in Sarnia, Taylor confirmed. “They’ll all be together for Christmas.”
Taylor estimates an additional $75,000 will be raised for a trust fund for the boys.
Sarnians have already donated $50,000 to a bank account that remains open to accept e-transfers using firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Dec. 12, Krista and her boys will draw the winners of seven donated “booze” baskets after 3,000 tickets quickly sold out, generating another $20,000.
And an online raffle will be held the same day for more than 100 donated items. Another 12 large prizes including an iPad, a security camera system and a quilt will be auctioned.
Clark’s story has touched the community, Dr. Taylor said.
A year ago, Clark’s 10-year-old daughter Jaylyn Eastman died of a rare cancer. Months later, Clark developed severe lower back pain that turned out to be an aggressive colon cancer that metastasized to her liver, lung, uterus and lymph nodes.
Clark is undergoing chemo and radiation but the prognosis is grim.
“She is doing OK right now,” said Taylor. “She’s fighting it every day and doing everything she can to spend more time with her family.”
In addition to the Facebook group, another group of friends has raised more than $44,000 with a GoFundMe campaign. More than 500 donors have contributed to the campaign that hoped to raise $10,000.
And on Saturday Dec. 12, Sarnia’s King Brix (Rodney Medwid) is performing at The Refined Fool in a sold-out charitable event for Krista.
Local businesses have stepped up over and over, Taylor said. For instance, when Clark needed a new freezer and fridge recently, both were donated and a food supplier offered to fill the freezer.
“All these efforts have exploded in a great way. I want to give a huge thank you to everybody. I get emotional thinking about it,” she said.
“When you know your friend is dying and you don’t know what to do to help them, this helps her and it somehow helps us,” she said.
“I know Krista is overwhelmed in a good way by all of this. She is grateful for all the help.”