CHESAPEAKE, Va - Simple things, like a child dancing, and sisters laughing, andthe love of a family, are things Tom and Joanne Kral say they'llnever take for granted.
Joanne Kral told WAVY.com, "When you're with your child and youknow any day, she's going to pass away, you want to be there everymoment to comfort her."
At seven years old, on Thanksgiving Day in 2006, Kristina Kralpassed away. Her parents were with her everyday, including the dayher diagnosis came.
"Took her to CHKD of which they told us she had 4th stagecancer," Joanne explained.
Kristina had Pancreatoblastoma, an aggressive form of pediatriccancer of the pancreas.
After treatments, including surgery to remove a tumor, Kristinawent into remission.
Her dad said she then had a seizure.
"And we found out the cancer had spread to her brain... We weretold Kristina was beyond treatment. They said we could return homeand live out the rest of her days here in her own home. And shelived for six more weeks."
Throughout Kristina's illness, she never knew what it was likenot to have at least one of her parents by her side.
"It means so much to be able to help your child through this andconcentrate fully on them," Joanne said.
In 2008, Joanne made a request that came naturally to a motherwho lost a child to cancer.
She said, "I asked my husband to go into the DMV site to seewhat they had as a specialty plate for children that have cancer.And he couldn't find one."
So Joanne and Tom decided to do something about it. Theycontacted the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, developed asample specialty plate, and started trying to get the pre-paidapplications required to make a Childhood Cancer Awareness plate areality. Money raised through DMV specialty plates goes tocharities. In this case, it would be for parents with children intreatment for cancer.
Tom recalled a sight that bothered him during Kristina's manyhospital stays.
"I had to ask the nurse one time, I said 'Why is this childalone, where are the parents?' And the nurses' answer was theparent has to work. They're from a single parent home or bothparents work. Their employer can not rearrange their work schedule.So they have to make a choice either go to work to help pay bills,and leave the child alone at the hospital - or be there with thechild all the time and not be able to work."
The Krals are grateful their employers rearranged their workschedules. And they don't think other parents should have to chosebetween a job or a child. For them a Childhood Cancer Awarenesslicense plate is a way to give other local families what they wereable to give Kristina - much needed time together.
Norfolk Police are investigating the cause of death for male found unconscious on the beach.
Suffolk police are looking for a man and a woman they say robbed a Kangaroo Express gas station on Wilroy Road Sunday afternoon.
The art of making jewelry is helping some Norfolk students learn independence and job skills.