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In Sickness & In Health: Husband & Wife Face Cancer, ALS

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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RAMSEY, Minn. (WCCO) – A Ramsey family is not about to let life get them down, despite the fact that they have plenty of reasons to do so.

Dan and Andrea Kryzer’s relationship began in a hallway at Irondale High School. Dan nervously handed Andrea a note in passing.

“Hello, how’s it going?” Dan said. “I was wondering if you were interested in me.”

Andrea had no way of knowing it at the time, but the shy teenager who gave her the note would one day become her husband.

“It was kind of shocking walking up to Andrea and giving her the note and saying ‘Take it.’ That’s all I said,” Dan said.

The high school sweethearts have been married for 13 years. After a miscarriage and several years of trying to have children, Dan and Andrea finally have 6-year-old Jax and 5-year-old Ella in their lives.

“I felt so lucky that we were able to have kids. We felt complete at that point. We just felt like we had it all. We had everything that we wanted,” Andrea said.

But 2009 would be the year that would change their lives. In March, Andrea was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nine months later there was more bad news. Dan was diagnosed with ALS.

A former college football player, Dan’s now unable to move his arms and spends most of his day in a wheelchair. Dan and Andrea are doing what they can to help Jax and Ella understand what’s happening.

“He’s been great. Really inquisitive. And then Ella is great. I mean, she’s always helping,” he said.

Andrea’s breast cancer went into remission, but came back.

“It’s in my bones at this point. The prognosis is about 15 to 20 years you can like this,” She said. “You just need to try to keep it in the bones.”

As they try and cherish every second of every day, the focus is on the future. Jax and Ella are the priority.

“I just want them to be happy, compassionate people,” Andrea said. “And I just hope they have the strength to just take what they have and make the best of it.”

If there is a silver lining for the Kryzers, it’s the realization that their friends and family are extraordinary. In May, they will hold a benefit in New Hope for the entire family.

“I think about it…and all the help we’ve received,” Dan said.

With an uncertain future, now is the time to reflect. A family that began with a simple note is hoping there are many more memories to be made.

“We do feel blessed. We have so much. We have two kids, we have every day to spend together,” she said.

The benefit for the Kryzers will take place Saturday, May 18 at New Hope Bowl from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. The New Hope Bowl is located at 7107 42nd Ave N. in New Hope.

For more information on the benefit, visit the “Karing For The Krysers” Facebook page.

Checks can be written to “Jax or Ella Kryzer” and sent to P.O. Box 185, Anoka, MN 55303.

Donations are also being accepted at Wells Fargo banks in care of “The Jax and Ella Fund Trust.”

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