LeRoy Kurtyka

NOTE: LeRoy Kurtyka, 61, of Grand Forks died Dec. 17, 2018. His obituary is HERE.

The benefit for LeRoy Kurtyka was held in April 2018, but the NDAD fund created to help him remains open.

NDAD expresses its heartfelt condolences to LeRoy's family, friends and colleagues.

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A benefit is set for 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the TownHouse in downtown Grand Forks to help LeRoy Kurtyka of Grand Forks, 60, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early June 2017.

Charitable nonprofit NDAD is sponsoring the benefit, which will include a freewill-offering baked potato and chili bar, a silent auction and a 50-50 raffle.
Poster for the LeRoy Kurtyka benefit on Thursday, April 19, in Grand Forks
LeRoy's supporters also are invited to join "LeRoy's Pit Crew" -- the slogan: "Drafting for a win against cancer!" -- and purchase special pit crew T-shirts to support LeRoy's battle.

All benefit proceeds will be used to help LeRoy and his wife of 39 years, Jan, with medical and general expenses.

Donations to help LeRoy also may be made by clicking the gold "Donate Now" button on this page and make a donation online, using your credit card or PayPal account.

Or, send a check to: NDAD, c/o LeRoy Kurtyka Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Make your check payable to NDAD and please write "LeRoy Kurtyka" on your check's memo line.

NDAD is sponsoring this benefit through its free Community Fundraisers Program. Learn more by visiting or by calling (800) 532-NDAD.

Get a copy of the benefit poster HERE.

LeRoy's cancer

Upon diagnosis, LeRoy was referred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for a June 8 appointment. While tests determined that surgery would be a possibility, LeRoy and his wife, Jan, were sent back to Grand Forks for chemotherapy treatments in hopes of shrinking the tumor.

The chemo treatments were grueling, but the tumor was shrinking.  In August, LeRoy's Mayo medical team decided that because the chemotherapy was working so well, he would send us back to Grand Forks for a few more weeks of chemotherapy. Surgery was scheduled for October 27, 2017. 
Surgery was started, but a lesion on LeRoy's liver.  Because the cancer apparently had metastasized, surgery was removed as an option, and LeRoy's chemotherapy treatments were to continue as long as it was working.

fter doing some research, the Kurtykas approached a different surgeon at Mayo Clinic, who ran some additional tests.  The surgeon agreed to consider surgery provided LeRoy's cancer could reach dormancy.

LeRoy is scheduled to have surgery Tues., May 15, at the Mayo Clinic complex  
"There is a lot of uncertainty going forward, but we remain hopeful," Jan writes. "We are hopeful that surgery will happen in the near future.  It will be a very extensive surgery.  We don’t know how long we may have to be in Rochester.  We are uncertain if there will be additional treatments after surgery.  Cancer is a rollercoaster, and we are thankful for all of those support us on this journey."

LeRoy and Jan have two married children, Chad (wife Jeni) and Lindsey (husband Andy) Marshall; and five grandchildren: Eli, 11; Pippi, 5; Luna, 3; Warren, 3 and Harper, 7 months as of early March.

LeRoy has worked at Northern Plumbing Supply for 40 years. He enjoys University of North Dakota sports and hanging out with family and friends. 

"He is a fighter!" Jan said.
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Follow fundraiser updates by going to and liking NDAD's Facebook page and sharing this and other information on social media with friends and family members who may wish to help.

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