East Grand Forks Leukemia Patient Faces Mayo Stem Cell Transplant; Benefit For Family Saturday

A few months ago, an optimistic Cristy (Dilling) Truedson of East Grand Forks, Minn., felt she had put cancer in her life’s rear-view mirror.

An NDAD flier for Saturday’s Cristy Truedson benefit.

Two years earlier, the Grand Forks native and mother of two young girls had faced acute myeloid leukemia (AML) head on at Altru Health — and turned it back.

Then on Oct. 17, an Altru biopsy revealed that AML had returned.

Cristy and her husband, Ryan Truedson, already knew what that meant: they were headed – pronto — to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to begin a new round of aggressive treatment and prepare for the certainty of a stem cell transplant to provide her with new, health bone marrow. Her medical care team had told the couple two years ago that such a transplant would be needed if AML resurfaced.

With daughters Kendra, 8, and Kiera 3, set to stay with Cristy’s parents in Grand Forks, the couple reached Mayo the following day. Cristy remained an inpatient through Nov. 9, then continued outpatient treatment while remaining in Rochester before finally returning home Nov. 20. They returned briefly to Mayo the last week of November.

Meanwhile, Ryan, a native of Kennedy, Minn., took family medical leave from his job as a truck driver at CHS Transportation to be with his wife – just as he had done for a time two years earlier.

He plans to return to work and the much-needed income it provides for his family, but another family leave for Ryan already is on the Truedsons’ horizon.

The Truedson family: (clockwise, from left) Ryan, Kendra, Cristy and Kiera. (Submitted photo)

A transplant match has been found, and Cristy is expecting the stem cell transplant to be scheduled in February 2013, followed by at least 100 days of post-transplant monitoring in Rochester.

In the meantime, a benefit has been set for Sat., Dec. 8, at the East Grand Forks (Minn.) American Legion to help Cristy and her family. The event, from 5 to 8 p.m. that day, will feature a free-will-offering sloppy joe feed, a silent auction and bake sale.

All of the proceeds from the NDAD-sponsored benefit will go to help the Truedsons with medical and essential day-to-day expenses. NDAD also will serve as custodian of funds raised on the Truedsons’ behalf. It’s one of the features of NDAD’s Community Fundraisers program.

More information is available by calling NDAD at (701) 775-5577; and by watching for updates on NDAD’s Facebook site.

You also can help Cristy Truedson and her family by going to NDAD.org’s Community Fundraisers page, clicking the “Give Online” button that accompanies the article and, using your credit card, making a donation to the Truedsons.

Cristy, Kendra and Kiera Truedson. The photo was taken several years ago, during Cristy’s first treatments for acute myeloid leukemia. (Submitted photo


Or, you can mail your donation to this address: NDAD c/o Cristy Truedson Fundraiser 2660 S. Columbia Road Grand Forks, ND 58201 Please make out checks to: NDAD / Cristy Truedson.

Again, 100 percent of the proceeds donated by mail or online will help the Truedsons with medical and essential day-to-day expenses.

About NDAD Community Fundraisers

NDAD-sponsored community fundraisers are conducted by friends and families of a person with a disability or a serious health challenge.

NDAD acts as custodian of the funds raised, which can be used to help the individual with medical and other urgent needs and expenses, including helping with doctor, clinic or hospital bills and paying pre-existing bills. NDAD allows the client to use the bank of his or her choice to hold all funds that are raised.

The community fundraiser service is offered free of charge by NDAD. All funds raised are spent on the client’s needs – in Cristy Truedson’s case, medical-related bills and essential day-to-day expenses.

It’s a service NDAD has provided across North Dakota for the majority of its 37 years. References are available.

The service offers benefits in several ways. NDAD is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, meaning any funds donated to NDAD qualify for a charitable donation and are deductible for donors who itemize. Funds donated to bank accounts that are not under 501(c)(3) status are not deductible funds.

Donations directly to a needy individual also may cause that person to lose eligibility for various public assistance programs that are based on income. With NDAD as fund custodian, the funds should protect eligibility for public programs. NDAD tracks all funds raised and expenses paid. The client, family member or representative can bring in the donation, and NDAD will provide the necessary accounting functions.

Approved bills must be submitted to NDAD, where they will be paid with donated funds — a service that can be of great relief to individuals or families dealing with overwhelming situations. If clients are at medical facilities out of town for long periods of time, it also can be a great convenience.

NDAD’s long reputable service in North Dakota also is a factor sometimes when potential donors consider a fundraiser sponsored by the organization.

Also, NDAD provides marketing and consulting expertise to help with fundraisers, including creation and copying of posters, letters or any other advertising items necessary for fundraisers.

Learn more about NDAD’s Community Fundraisers program by calling (701) 775-5577 or toll free 1 (800) 532-NDAD. Learn about other NDAD-sponsored fundraisers at www.NDAD.org/fundraisers.asp.