Within minutes of Eleanor being born, Nathan and Molly Krebel found out their newborn daughter had Down’s Syndrome.
They soon found out Eleanor also was born with Transient Myeloproliferative Disorder, which increased the chances of her developing leukemia.
Doctors have been monitoring Eleanor since she was born for the cancer, and in March her blood work began to look more worrisome.
Late last month, doctors diagnosed her with Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia.
Eleanor is now facing six rounds of inpatient chemotherapy treatments that will last six months.
“That’s when it hit all of us because they have a family,” Mary Beard, Eleanor’s grandmother, said. “That’s when it was like ‘this sucks. This is not what life is supposed to be like.’”
Eleanor may be able to come home between rounds, which are not scheduled, but that is uncertain.
The good news is that children with Down’s Syndrome have a 90 percent survival rate with this type of leukemia.
Adding to the good news is the Monroe County community is once again stepping up to help care for a sick child.
There are numerous fundraising efforts underway for the Krebels, who also have a 6-year-old named Analee with Mowat-Wilson Syndrome and a typical 2-year-old named Henry.
Two of the events are being organized through Fast Fitness in the Loo.
The first is a car wash set for this Saturday from 7-10 a.m. at the gym, 1301 Jamie Lane, Waterloo.
A group of grades 3-8 girls called Team BOLD who met at a camp held by the gym this summer are the impetus for this event.
“The girls were the ones who came up with this,” Fast Fitness in the Loo owner Christene Baldwin said.
The gym is also sponsoring a golf tournament called “Swing Fore Eleanor” on Oct. 24 at Acorns Golf Links.
Adult members at the gym decided to organize that fundraiser.
“It was driven by members who love and support each other, and in turn the community,” Baldwin said.
The cost for the golf tournament is $100 per person. That includes a golf cart, food and drink tickets.
Sponsorship spots are also open, and there will be a silent auction at the event as well.
For sponsorship or team registration, call or text Shelly Eichner at 618-719-7799. To donate items for the silent auction, call or email Natalie Klopmeyer at 618-409-1728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s like what I told the girls: ‘to whom much is given, much is required,’” Baldwin added. “If you can help, you should, and that’s what makes Waterloo so great.”
In addition to Fast Fitness in the Loo’s efforts, other fundraisers have already started.
Also this Saturday, Explore Waterloo is hosting a “Shopping for a Cause” event, with a portion of sales from nine Waterloo businesses going to the Krebels.
The participating businesses are The Clothes Line, Waterloo Mercantile Co., Yo-Toppings, Hopskeller Brewing, Bountiful Blossoms, La Belle Vous Salon and Day Spa, Chantilly Corner, Merle Norman Cosmetics and Mill Street Treasurers.
AIM Designs is selling clothing and face coverings to benefit Eleanor and other children suffering from Leukemia. Proceeds from T-shirt sales will go toward the Krebels.
For more on that, find AIM Designs on Facebook.
On Sept. 19, there will be a Crazy Cookie fall pop-up for Eleanor from 9 a.m. to noon. The location of that event has not yet been announced.
For those just wanting to donate, Monroe County House of Neighborly Service is accepting donations for the Krebels.
“Their sweet family includes three beautiful little ones, and they can use our help in providing financial support, meals, gift cards and prayers,” HNS posted on Facebook.
Visit mocohouseofneighborlyservice.weebly.com to learn more about how to help through that nonprofit.
A final way to donate would be to follow the giveinkind link on Eleanor’s Village.
Organized by Cassie Lutz, that webpage includes an Amazon Wishlist, a list of places individuals can purchase for the Krebels and a GoFundMe that has already raised over $9,000.
“So many expenses become prevalent with health issues, and it is no exception for this endearing family,” Lutz wrote on the page. “The Krebel family embodies grace and goodness. Thank you in advance for any help you can give.”
Beard said the family has been blown away by all this support, and they know more is already in the works.
“You almost just shake your head,” Beard said. “People are crazy. You’re humbled. It makes you realize, ‘damn there’s a lot of people out there who care, and you’re not just by yourself.’”
To stay up-to-date on these and future fundraisers, and Eleanor’s health, follow Eleanor’s Village on Facebook or Instagram.