WIU student remembers grandfather during Blood Cancer Awareness Month


MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, and a Western Illinois University student is remembering her grandfather who passed away from cancer.

On May 13, 2013, WIU Junior and social work major, Krystal Thomas, along with her family, received heartbreaking news that the “rock” of the family was diagnosed with Stage 3 Leukemia.  

However, though Thomas’ grandfather, Augustus Suah Siki, was changing physically, his genuine heart remained the same. Thomas’ grandfather died on April 26, 2014.

“Regardless of what he was going through, he never let us feel that he was down,” Thomas said in her home, while wiping tears from her eyes. “His biggest concern was us.”   

Today, to feel her grandfather’s spirit, Thomas wears a certain color and cooks a certain dish. 

“Orange is not only leukemia, orange is him because he was such a bright person, when you see it, it catches your eye and he did that,” Thomas said while she wore an orange hoodie and a necklace of her grandfather. 

“When I make red gravy, I feel like I’m making him proud,” Thomas said. “I know that would have been a bonding moment showing me how to make a dish from his hometown, whenever he made it, it was always good ten out of ten.”

Still, Thomas believes that her grandfather put up a strong fight against Leukemia. 

“Heaven couldn’t wait to meet him, but he beat cancer in my opinion,” Thomas said. “He fought a long hard fight.”

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