Williston family receives support for medical expenses thanks to Facebook

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WILLISTON, N.D. - The term "North Dakota Nice" perfectly describes the incredible amount of support a family from Williston is receiving as they cope with a medical emergency.

Encouragement is streaming in from all over the world, thanks to the internet.

The Keck family is sticking together through thick and thin, thanks to faith, friends, family and Facebook.

"We've made it work. You just have to push through the tough times, just get in survival mode," says Priscilla Keck.

Priscilla's husband Robert is surviving his battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He was diagnosed with AML December 1, 2015. Robert went to Billings for treatment and the family of five made the journey to Montana to provide moral support. Sixteen days after he was hospitalized, Priscilla gave birth to Scarlet.

Robert's cancer then went into remission, but it's back. Now he's in Seattle preparing for a bone marrow transplant.

"Hopefully this transplant will be a cure. They feel like they have a really good donor match; hopefully it will be a lifetime cure," says Keck.

It will take four months for Robert's new immune system to adjust to his body, and, when it does, he'll have a different blood type, going from A-positive to O-positive.

Priscilla and Grace, Adam, Olivia and Scarlet will temporally move to Seattle while their dad recovers. That will give the kids a chance to be close to their dad again and do the little things they've been missing out on.

Along with family support, the Keck's are receiving assistance from a Facebook page that's been set up by friends. It's called "Strength for Robert." It's different from GoFundMe pages, because this site allows people to send Robert messages of encouragement.

"Sometimes they'll comment or we've had some pictures posted, and sometimes they'll send a personal message through text," says Keck.

To help with the family's mounting medical bills, the Facebook page allows people to provide financial support for Robert and his family.

"It's been amazing. We have this whole community rallying around us. Some people we hardly know, some people are close friends. Our parish and school have been a huge support, other parishes, just Williston as a whole. And it even goes outside of Williston to people from different states, different countries," says Keck.

Priscilla and her children leave for Seattle this week. They hope Robert's road to recovery allows them to return home in the spring.

If you would like to offer support to the Keck family, search Facebook for the "Strength for Robert" page.