Community comes through for couple with quadruplets

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Michelle and Matthew Krol, of Elburn, have been blessed with five children, including quadruplets born in August. With those blessings, however, have come unusual challenges, which the community has helped the couple meet.

Early this year, the Krols learned Michelle was pregnant with quadruplets, and at about the same time, Matthew was laid off from his job.

“Difficulties and joys—they always come together,” Michelle said.

When the Krols had their first baby, Ethan, in 2005, their excitement about his birth was followed by fear a few months later, when they found out he had a rare and serious form of cancer.

Since having surgery and treatment at Children’s Memorial Hospital at 10 months of age, Ethan has been cancer-free and is now a healthy 4-year-old, Michelle said.

“He’s doing fantastic,” she said.

Ethan’s four new baby brothers are doing well, too, and all will be released soon from the neonatal intensive care unit at Rush Medical Center.

Michelle said Ethan is thrilled about the new babies. Michelle and Matthew are ecstatic, too, but also are concerned about meeting the bills and additional household expenses that four additional children will bring. One of their needs now is a car large enough to hold the entire family, Michelle said.

Thankfully, many of the Krols’ concerns have been alleviated by an outpouring of community support, she said.

Their neighbors recently held a diaper drive for the babies. Members of St. Peter Church in Geneva, which the family attends, have offered prayers and given them baby clothes, cradles and car seats. Parishioners also organized a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 8, to benefit the Krol family. Chris Propheter of Geneva, who heard about the family’s situation, is organizing the event.

“I felt so moved by their plight that I felt compelled to do something for the family,” Propheter said.

Propheter also coordinated a youth group effort at a recent St. Peter picnic to raise money for the Krols.

Michelle has been impressed by how many people, including those she and Matthew do not know, have wanted to help. Michelle said even those who do not have much to give have found a way to help them.

“It’s really been very special,” Michelle said. “Nine months ago, we were asking ourselves how it could all come together, how we would make it work.”

The Krols also are thankful for the medical care and compassion they received from other other cancer parents during Ethan’s ordeal. To show their appreciation, the Krols have taken part in the annual Kane County Relay for Life in Geneva for the past several years. In 2007, Ethan was the Kane County Relay for Life Junior Grand Marshal, at age 2.

Krol family fundraiser
All-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner
Hosted by Knights of Columbus
5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8
Riverview Banquets
1117 N. Washington Ave., Batavia
Admission is $10 for adults and children 10 and older;
$5 for children ages 3-10;
and free for younger children
Will hold tickets at the door

To reserve tickets, call
Chris Propheter at (630) 208-6750 or e-mail her at
marcp2@sbcglobal.net

Photo: Matthew and Michelle Krol of Elburn, with their sons, Ethan, 4, and the new quadruplets, Aiden, Beckham, Liam and Griffin, assembled recently for the first photograph of the entire family together, in the neonatal intensive care unit at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. Courtesy Photo