Portrait of Andrea and Robert Krieble
Andrea and Robert Krieble have been involved with fundraising for the Children’s for over 15 years. Ever since they learned they would have to rely on the expertise of the hospital for their own daughter, however, their involvement has taken on a whole new meaning.
At the tender age of three months, Emily had been grappling with a persistent cold when her family brought her to the Children’s. Doctors conducted a battery of tests to rule out different scenarios. One test came back positive: Emily had cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs most critically, but also the pancreas, liver, and intestines.
“It was so unexpected, and her diagnosis was around the same time they were constantly airing the cystic fibrosis awareness commercials, likening the disease to drowning alive,” remembers her mom, Andrea Whitworth Krieble. The family took the bull by the horns after Emily was discharged from the hospital. “We had all of our extended family over to our house and had two people from the hospital come over to answer questions and educate the family on the disease and how we all could best manage it.”
Having family members, friends, and school staff aware of the few simple precautions, limitations, and diet issues required to help keep Emily healthy is one of the best things that could be done for her. Another way was to support the research of the Director of the Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, Dr. Larry Lands.
“We hope that cystic fibrosis is going to be a disease that, with improved treatment and drugs, will become manageable similar to diabetes or high blood pressure,” says Andrea, pointing out that since Emily’s diagnosis four years ago, the average life expectancy in Canada has increased by four years. The family regularly follows research and updates. “Most of the big advances, especially in new medications, are becoming available for older children and adults. By the time Emily is six we hope some of the new drugs will be available for her.”
Fundraising has always been a family affair for the Kriebles, who were involved with Andy Collins for Kids for many years before they had kids of their own. Now that their children are growing up, both of them - especially Henry, being the eldest - have been involved in the event planning and auction for the annual “Pop pop” tournament organized by Robert, Andrea, her mother, brother and sister-in-law at the Knowlton Golf Club. “They love being involved and know the money raised is used to help children get better when they are sick.”
Donor support is vital to improving the lives of sick children. Andrea can attest to it: “We have every hope of continuing to support and be involved in the Montreal Children’s Hospital as much as possible. The impact it has on not just our family but all the other families it has helped is profound.”
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