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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 11, 2010

MOMS rally to help mom Jennifer Crux as she battles leukemia

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Jenn Crux is taking life one week at a time.

The 32-year-old mother of two was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and has spent most of the past month and a half in the hospital. She hasn’t been able to spend much time with her 3-year-old son, AJ, or her 19-month old daughter, Alexis.

The local branch of an international club called MOMS, Moms Offering Moms Support, is helping to make life a bit easier for the Crux family, and, on Nov. 20, the club will partner with the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce to hold another fund-raiser.

The MOMS Club is a group for stay-at-home mothers or mothers who work part-time outside the home. Jill McDonnell, the MOMS member in charge of organizing the fund-raiser, said the club provides its members with a monthly newsletter and daily activity opportunities, such as play dates, lunches, and dinners. The group often rallies to help members who have just had a baby or who have been ill.

Crux, before she got sick, headed the hospitality committee, which makes sure all club members receive any help they might need. Now, she is the beneficiary of that help.

“She is always the first to help others — friends, family, even people she doesn’t know,” McDonnell said. When Crux was first hospitalized at the end of the summer, the MOMS Club set a cooler on the family’s porch, and delivered meals daily. They also set out a box for non-perishables, including diapers and other necessary household items.

When Crux was released from the hospital just before Halloween, she requested that the group stop preparing meals for her family, although she still has to go to the hospital every week, Monday through Thursday, for treatments.

“She told us that she knew there would be another time when she would need our help, but that she is home now, and she can take care of it. She knows we’ll be here if she needs to call on us again,” said McDonnell, who added that the Cruxes do not have extended family living in the area to help them out.

It isn’t just food and groceries that the Crux family needs. Although Crux’s husband, Ray, works full-time, with benefits, insurance will only cover a portion of the medical bills that are already piling up.

“I was just talking to Jenn, and she told me that she’s paying nearly $400 a week in co-pays alone,” McDonnell said this week. If Crux’s cancer does not go into remission, she will have do endure more chemotherapy, and possibly a bone marrow transplant.

On Nov. 20, the MOMS Club will hold a ziti dinner, and the proceeds will go to the Crux family, to help alleviate some of its financial burdens. The group has already held bake sales at the Guilderland YMCA, and the Fort Hunter firehouse on Election Day, and had a donation booth at Guilderland’s annual Trick or Treat Street event.

“Jenn is one of the strongest people I have ever met,” McDonnell concluded. “She has never had a negative attitude about this, because she simply says she has too much to live for.”


The ziti dinner fund-raiser will be held at the Fort Hunter firehouse on Carman Road, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 20. The cost is $7 for adults, with a $2 discount for seniors and children under 10. Take-outs are also available. There will be a 50/50 drawing, as well as other drawings for prizes.

For those who can’t attend the dinner, but wish to donate, cash and checks may be sent to: Jill McDonnell, 1608 Angelina Terrace, Schenectady, NY 12303. Checks may be made out to MOMS Club of Guilderland/Capital District, with “Jennifer Crux” written on the memo line.

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