In the community

Fund set up to help Ontario family as medical challenges mount

The Dyas family of Ontario – including ‘miracle baby’ Ace – gather for a happy moment with Santa Claus in December 2021. (Submitted photo)

ONTARIO – A fund has been set up to help a local family that struggled with a high-risk pregnancy last year and now faces cancer treatment for the baby’s mother.

Crystal Dyas, 33, recently was diagnosed recently with Stage 3 breast cancer and is due to begin chemotherapy at the end of this week.

The diagnosis follows a tumultuous year.

Crystal and her husband, Carl, 35, live in Ontario. Crystal formerly taught at Aiken Elementary School and Carl works for Americold.

The couple were thrilled in late 2020 to be expecting another child, said Fay Ackerman of Vale, Crystal’s mother-in-law. The couple have two older sons, ages 10 and 15.

This pregnancy quickly became high-risk and doctors ordered bed rest for Crystal.

Last May, Ace was born premature at 26 weeks, weighing just 2 pounds and 9 ounces.

Considered a “micro-preemie,” he spent 81 days in the newborn intensive care unit and finally was able to come home at 38 weeks, Ackerman said.

“He’s a true miracle baby, and a fighter,” she said.

Ace has already had surgery for medical issues related to the early birth, and his future holds more medical interventions, specialists and careful monitoring.

Amid those continuing complications, Crystal’s cancer diagnosis comes as a new blow to the young family. It also adds to significant costs that aren’t covered by insurance.

Relatives are asking the community to help with “support and prayer,” said Ackerman. She said people can contribute money to the Crystal Dyas donation fund, set up in an account under Carl’s name, at Rogue Credit Union in Ontario.

“Everything will help,” she said.

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