08/27/10 — Benefit sing set for local minister

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Benefit sing set for local minister

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 27, 2010 1:46 PM

The Rev. Todd Krueger

The Rev. Todd Krueger won't be at the Sunday night gospel sing benefit program being held for him and his family. He will still be recovering from his latest round of chemotherapy.

But while he will be confined to his room at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, Krueger wants the community to know how humbled he is at the outpouring of support for him and his family.

"I basically have no immunity at all," he said. "My kids, Hannah, 15, and Isaac, 13, will be there. My mom and dad will be there."

The sing will start at 4 p.m. at Kornegay Arena on the campus of Mount Olive College. The cost is $10 per ticket for the gospel program featuring the Malpass Brothers, Harmony Boys, the Caseys and the Bethel Quartet.

The event is being sponsored by New Hope United Methodist Church where Krueger, 45, has served as pastor since July 2009.

All proceeds will go to the family.

Tickets may be purchased at the church and locations throughout the city and other area Methodist churches. People may call New Hope United Methodist Church at 778-1124 for more information.

Insurance is paying for some costs, but not others such as the $240 per month it costs for the family to park a vehicle at the hospital, said the Rev. Dennis Draper of Mount Olive, who is serving as interim pastor at the church.

Krueger was diagnosed in early July with an aggressive form of leukemia and has been at UNC Hospitals since July 4.

His wife, Martha, a radiation therapist, has taken a leave of absence to be with him.

"She deals with just about every kind of cancer, but this kind," Krueger said.

A Virginia native, Krueger has been a pastor since 1989 and has been in Goldsboro since July 2009.

One night in late June, he noticed that he had a fever and went to the doctor the next day thinking he had the flu or sinus infection.

The doctor gave him some antibiotics. On his way out, Krueger asked the doctor about some April blood tests that had not been "quite right." The doctor agreed it was an appropriate time to do more blood tests.

Krueger remembers the doctor's call at 11:58 a.m. on July 1 after the test results had come back in.

"The doctor said, 'You have an appointment in 30 minutes at Southeastern Oncology,' and within a half hour I was sitting in Southeastern Oncology and being told there was no question I had leukemia.

"For a couple of months before that, I had just not been myself. I did not have much energy, much motivation and was just dragging."

Krueger will be hospitalized for a minimum of three more weeks. He will then return for a bone marrow transplant. That procedure will mean another almost month-long hospital stay.

That will be followed by another 100 days during which he will be required to live within a 40-minute drive of UNC Hospitals.

"I will be in Chapel Hill for a good long time," he said.

Krueger said there are "some possibilities" for potential compatible bone marrow donors.

"They are following up on leads at this point," he said.

Krueger said the heavy treatments of chemotherapy "take it out of me. It is pretty hard on the body. It s heavy enough that they want you in the hospital."

Krueger said he has been "thrilled" by the support the community has shown him and his family.

"I think that the gospel sing to me ... that the community came together has been so humbling, as have the offerings that have been taken up not just at my church, but churches in the district, and gifts from my former churches have just been overwhelming and humbling.

"It has meant so much, the support that we have had and having only been in the community for a year."

Krueger said that he had traveled through Goldsboro several times over the years, but had never thought about living here.

"Having lived here we have found it to be the most wonderful place," he said. "I'd go as far as to say it is the best place we have lived since we were married."