HOWARD LAKE, MN Jennie Kruzel of Howard Lake was first diagnosed with cancer in February 2014.
Kruzel and her family of four have lived in the community for 20 years.
Most recently, she worked at the Howard Lake drug store, and prior to that, she spent five years working at Dura Supreme before being laid off during the recession.
Her symptoms began as a constant sore throat in the summer of 2013. “Test after test always showed nothing wrong,” Kruzel said.
This went on for some time before she sought a second opinion. That’s when a CT scan detected the cancer, which has been attributed to smoking.
After radiation and chemotherapy treatments, scans still showed the cancer was there.
In November, Kruzel underwent surgery, which was said to remove the cancer in addition to her voice box.
“She went from being on top of the world to seeing it shatter with the news that the cancer was back,” said daughter Leah.
Leah is used to her mom being a “happy go-lucky” person. Even after being diagnosed the first time, Kruzel was optimistic she would be able to beat the cancer with the love of God and the support of her family.
“Now she is devastated,” Leah said.
For Kruzel, the most difficult part in all of this has been not knowing the outcome and the affects it would have on her family.
Still, she continues to fight, especially for her family. “I need to be there for them,” Kruzel said.
She finds hope knowing God is on her side, and she wakes up each morning giving thanks. She also is strengthened by the joy of her first grandson Luke, and the anticipation of another grandbaby on the way.
Want to help?
• What? A spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Jennie Kruzel to help the family with medical bills. The event will include a silent auction, door prizes, and live music.
• When? From 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 23.
• Where? Howard Lake American Legion, 616 7th Avenue.
• Tickets can be purchased at the door; adults $10; children $5.