The term “hero” is used quite often in today’s culture. But in the case of Patrice Kelly, it’s hard to imagine a more appropriate description.
In 2009, Patrice and her husband Greg learned that their daughter Charlotte had stage 4 neuroblastoma, a cancer that generally impacts infants and young children. For the two and a half year old girl, this began a regimen of extensive treatments which included chemotherapy, radiation and stem-cell transplants. Despite the efforts of many, Charlotte lost her battle in 2011.
Patrice, along with her family and friends, established Prayers for Charlotte to raise funds for neuroblastoma research and assist other families fighting cancer. Among other fundraisers, the charity organizes the annual Run for Charlotte, a race/walk dedicated to Charlotte’s memory. Over the past six years, Prayers for Charlotte has donated more than $175,000 to research and family support organizations, and has made over 100 donations to families facing financial hardships. As Patrice and Greg dealt with the constant grief of their loss, they faced even more staggering news in 2015 when Patrice was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
Summoning the same courage of her daughter, Patrice participated in the Run for Charlotte for the first time in 2016. And her fight continues. “It is surreal now,” Patrice says. “To be going through the same treatments and going on the same elevator. I have Charlotte with me every day.”