Jake and Krystil's Bundle of JOY!!!

Hey All! Most of you who are coming to this page probably know either Krystil or Jake. If you know them even a little you know what wonderful people they are and know that they fear and worship the Lord and show that by how kind they are to everyone they come into contact with. God has put it on my heart to facilitate this page and do what neither Jake nor Krystil would ever do and ask for financial help on their journey to become parents. About 4 years ago Krystil first told me about her and Jake's story and the financial implications of becoming parents. I told her she should start a GoFundMe page and she would be surprised as to how many people love them and would love to help them on their journey. She flat out said no. This was her and Jake's journey and they would find a way. Her and Jake tirelessly worked hard and went forward on their own. Recent circumstances have put a hold on their journey. Many may not know that since April 9, 2018 Krystil has been out of work. She was in a car accident that resulted in 6 total herniated discs, 4 in her neck and 2 in her lower back and has been unable to receive short term disability and cannot work either due to the injury. As she knows this is a temporary set back and she will eventually return to work once healed; her and Jake would like to continue to move forward in the process of bringing home a baby. However, being the good stewards they are they do not want to spend what they do not have. I felt that call from God again saying it's time to help. I have asked Krystil if she would type up a little of her and Jake's story to fill in the details and here it is...

In 2004 I drove to Lufkin, TX to visit my brother and watch him play baseball. Little did I know, I would meet my future husband there who also played baseball. In 2005, my senior year of high school I signed a letter of intent to play softball at Stephen F. Austin State University. While Jake finished up his two years at Angelina junior college, he also received a scholarship to SFA for baseball. Life seemed so perfect. We would head off to SFA both on athletic scholarships and enjoy college together. However, after almost 1.5 years together on July 1, 2005 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and like the amazing man Jake is he stood by me and my family throughout it all. He also shaved his hair off when I lost mine. Six months of chemo followed by 3 weeks of radiation it appeared as if I was in remission. In January 2006 I returned to SFA on scholarship weak from treatments but reunited with Jake and my team. After about 3 months it was time for scans, which unfortunately showed my cancer had returned with a vengeance. Nine tumors had invaded my body within those three months! It was critical to get me into treatment as soon as possible but it was brought to my attention that a ground breaking experimental surgery for ovarian tissue preservation was available and I would be only the 2nd patient in the United States to be offered this procedure. Jake sat in on this discussion along with myself, my parents, and my sister. This procedure gave me my only chance at having a baby with my DNA because the treatment I was fixing to receive including aggressive IV chemotherapy and full body radiation would throw me into ovarian failure. Without hesitation I chose to move forward with this procedure in hopes for a family later or to at least help other patients in the future while they worked on perfecting this study.
In May 2006 I began my second battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma immediately following a confirmed biopsy for cancer, half of my left ovary was removed, and a central line was put in place. After beginning treatment it was obvious that the chemo was not working as my cancer continued to grow bigger. Immediately doctors began looking for a perfect match and I ended up received a gift, a bone marrow transplant. On October 20, 2006 I was given a second chance at life, but faced many battles along the way. I wore a hepa filter mask to and from the hospital to prevent exposure to infection. I could not have restaurant food or even go into a restaurant, store or facility for about 300 days. My Daddy grilled A LOT because I could only have fresh food, no left overs or fruits and things without a thick outer layer. I’d say I got a little spoiled. As the time went on I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which is a weakening of my heart muscle caused by a cardiac toxic chemo I received during my first bout with cancer. In July 2007, I went into heart failure because the nine tumors I once had turned into scar tissue and closed off the airway to my right lung, allowing air in but not out of my lung. This is also known as cor pulmonale. I ended up having 2/3 of my right lung removed in an 8 hour surgery on July 9, 2007.
As soon as I could, I returned to school to pursue a degree in nursing. A career I felt called to after everything I had gone through. I wanted to help people the way I was helped throughout my time as a patient. I graduated from nursing school on December 16, 2011 and Jake and I got married on December 17, 2011. The doctors were right and I ended up going into ovarian failure for 8 years since treatment for my BMT and once Jake and I reached a place in our marriage where we were ready for kids we decided to reach out to our fertility specialist, the same one who sat in on that meeting 8 years prior and the same surgeon who took out half of my left ovary. In August 2014, the ovarian tissue was thawed and strategically placed within the remanence of my other ovary during a 6 hour surgery. The hopes for this surgery was that the ovarian tissue would regenerate and stimulate ovulation, which it did. I began having an irregular cycle 6 months after surgery. Jake and I then attempted 6 rounds of IVF treatment, which took us on an emotional and financial roller coaster ride full of up’s and downs. Ultimately, I was unable to produce an egg mature enough for the doctors to fertilize. At this point I had reached a point of defeat and sadness. With the failures came emotions, in which Jake and I turned to God for comfort, peace, and answers. Months and even years we have pleaded with God to provide us with the family our hearts so strongly desire and that he would fill that longing we have of being parents with a child we can whole heartedly love and enjoy.
Earlier this year, 2018, one of my best friends and colleagues came to me at work while we were closing up the unit. She said to me “I need to talk to you about something. It’s something I have been praying about for a while now”. She goes on to say this: “I feel like God has been speaking to me and has given me a desire to carry another child but not for myself, for you”. Tears, tears, and more tears!! This girl just offered to give me the greatest gift anyone could ever give. Because I cannot produce eggs myself, Jake and I will be looking into an egg bank in order to move forward with this process and we cannot wait!! We are super excited about the blessings we have been given and for this friend who has offered to carry our child. Because of the health issues I have acquired due to treatments with my heart and lungs this will prevent me from risking an already risky pregnancy.

When you look at Krystil and Jake's story it is clear to see God interwoven throughout. I believe that their story is just beginning and we can be a part of that start. The $50,000 goal is a low ball estimate of the cost of the next part of their journey which begins with a donor egg, retrieval, fertilization, implantation, 9 months of pregnancy and ends with a gift from God. The funds will go directly to Krystil and Jake and their dream of bringing a baby home, none will go to me. Again my role is just to facilitate this amazing blessing. So please donate what God stirs in your heart to give to Jake and Krystil. Anything is a blessing to them. Let's show them the love of God and bless them!
  • Cheyenne Johnson  
    • $40 
    • 23 mos
  • Karen and Bobby McDonald 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Brooke Hatfield 
    • $10 
    • 25 mos
  • Sherri Ellis 
    • $15 
    • 25 mos
  • Tammy Blaine 
    • $25 
    • 25 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Sarah Young 
Houston, TX
Krystil Burney Leonhardt 
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