Campaign to help Smithville mother of three fight cancer

The Olinski Family: (L-R) Alex, Mark, Kristina, Cameron, and Emery. Kristina is seeking treatment for cancer. Photo courtesy of Stacey Sarris.

By Tristan Marks
NewsNow

Friends and family of a Smithville woman are hoping to rally the community and help connect her with
cancer treatment.

Kristina Olinski suffers from an extremely rare, aggressive form of cancer called Acral Lentiginous Melanoma, which is already in its fourth stage. According to Kaylan, doctors have given Kristina only 1-2 years to live.

Kristina, 44, is a mother of three. Every week she brings her two sons, Emery, 13, and Alex, 11, to hockey practice, and her daughter Cameron, 8, to dance lessons. She’s there to  support them every step of the way. Her husband, Mark, coaches youth hockey. Together they form a tight unit.

“They’re really salt of the earth people,” said Kristina’s best friend and fellow hockey mom, Kaylan Edgcumbe.

The Olinski family has pursued every avenue available to them to find treatment for Kristina. She has already endured four surgeries, radiation therapy and immunotherapy at the Juravinski Cancer Centre and consulted doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital about the possibility of trial treatments. Sadly, nothing has worked

Kristina has turned to naturopathic medicine to stave off the cancer and prolong her life for the sake of her kids.

This line of treatment has brought the Olinski’s attention to the Hope4Cancer clinic in Mexico, which offers extensive treatment- and hope- for Kristina.

However, this option is expensive.

Kaylan noted that it would cost her friend tens of thousands of dollars to pay for the treatment. Kristina’s sister, Stacey Sarris, said this cost would be a huge burden for the family.

“Sadly, Kristina’s private health coverage through her husband’s workplace covers only $500 of naturopathic care and OHIP covers zero,” said Stacey.

“Though Kristina and her husband had some savings to cover some of the treatments, they were faced with having to remortgage their house to try and save her life.”

Stacey and Kaylan have partnered to help the Olinski family by setting up a GoFundMe campaign for Kristina, with a goal of $100,000.

“The response to date has been so great,” said Stacey. “Within the first six days we raised just over $55,000. It’s a great start but we aren’t done yet.”

To learn more about Kristina’s struggle and to donate to her treatment, visit gofundme.com/f/kristinas-fight-to-survive.

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