‘Destroying Desi’ a huge success

Communities rally to raise more than $21K for Pisgah coach
By Rhonda Byrd | Dec 17, 2013
Photo by: Kelly Boone From left, are Casey Kruk, Kampbell Kruk (top),  Cooper Kruk (below) and Jennifer Kruk.

CANTON — For Casey Kruk, the past few months haven’t been easy. The Pisgah head boys basketball coach has experienced more than his fair share of adversity over the years.
He beat testicular cancer when he was 23-years old.
But this past August, Kruk was diagnosed with a Desmoid tumor, a rare form of cancer.
Since then, he has refused to allow the tumor or his chemotherapy treatments to slow him down with fulfilling his other responsibilities.
Kruk has managed to find time and energy for his family, for teaching, for his duties as an assistant athletic director and coaching one of WNC’s  best high school basketball teams.
Although the Desmoid tumor isn’t malignant and will not spread to lungs, bones, or other vital organs, it does have some life threatening concerns.
The tumor could become aggressive and compress vital organs such as intestines, kidneys, lungs, blood vessels and nerves.
Kruk has made trips to Winston-Salem and Houston, Texas to secure the best possible treatment options.
The expenses began to pile up for Kruk.
That’s when the people of Haywood County, the Enka/Candler communities and local businesses rallied together for Coach Kruk.
This past Saturday, the Pisgah Athletic Booster Club, Pisgah High School, Enka High School, Crossfit Haywood, Fatz Cafe, Ingles, Food Lion, Sam's Club, Sequoyah Country Club, Waynesville Country Club, Springdale Country Club, Laurel Ridge Country Club, Pepsi Cola, Biltmore, Black Bear Cafe and U.S. Foods Snyder Company put on a fundraiser that raised more than $21,000 to help Kruk and his family continue the fight of “Destroying Desi.”
Saturday was highlighted with a barbeque luncheon, a silent auction and a fitness day that incorporated some terrific ideas from folks all across the area.
“It has been amazing to see the people come out for my good friend, said Pisgah head girls basketball coach Brandon Holloway after Saturday’s fundraiser. “I was just shocked to see how many people were here considering the very cold and rainy weather. But they still came.
“Casey is a good friend of mine and I know that the one thing that I don’t want to see is for him to have to deal with the stress of his financial obligation to cover all the treatments, medical expenses and the travel expenses.
“He needs to conserve is energy and focus on getting better. It is crazy the people that have jumped in to help. The community part of this has been outrageous.”
Now, with the strength of the community behind him, there should be little doubt that once again Kruk will find a way to win the biggest fight of his life.
“You know that I am so humble by the support that I have gotten from this community and outside communities people,” said Kruk. “I never in all my wildest dreams imagined that this many people would come out and that this many people care about me. I am just amazed what this community has done. Pisgah is an amazing place and all this support just hits home with me.”