Please help the Kelsey family

$18,554raised of $20,000 goal
92%

Organizer: Cassandra Taylor Beneficiary: The Kelsey-Murphy Family of Topeka

This fundraiser is closed

Brenda (Murphy) and Sean Kelsey, along with little Oliver, were planning for this fall to be an extremely joyous time. They were expecting the delivery of their newest family member, a baby girl.

After a normal exciting pregnancy, in early September Brenda gave birth to Rebecca Faye Kelsey. Rebecca was not able to breathe on her own and was rushed to the NICU.  Shortly after childbirth Brenda suffered a massive stroke and was rushed to the Emergency room and spent almost two weeks in ICU. 

Even though they were both in critical care, the doctors were able to let Brenda and Rebecca visit and hold each other twice in that short time frame. Tragically, Rebecca was only able to stay with us six short days.

Their story is beyond heartbreaking. Sean and Brenda are coping, together, by taking it one moment at a time. Brenda is currently at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, NE. Sean is up there supporting her.  Their goal discharge date is November 12, 2013.

The current family home cannot be easily modified for Brenda to live in since she will be coming home in a wheelchair.  So, in the next few weeks we need to prep their old house to sell and we need to get their new home ready for Brenda to move in.

We started out by asking for volunteers to help pack, paint and move.  The response has been fantastic.  There have also been so many people asking how they can help from far away or because they don’t have the time to donate. That is why this page has been set up. 

Please donate whatever you can afford.  The money will go towards repairs on the old home, paint and supplies, and retrofitting the new home for Brenda's return. 

Please know should there be any money left over the family has opted to set up a memorial fund in the name of Rebecca Faye Kelsey and will be used to pay ongoing expenses for the family. 

Updates

Updates

01/28/2014
by Cassandra Taylor
a letter to the army from Brenda

Dear family and friends, 
I know many of you have heard us say thank you more than enough times.
But honestly we can't say it enough.
One of my concerns when I was in Nebraska awaiting news of the move
and my return home was that it wasn't going to feel like home because
it wasn't the home we left, and that Oliver would struggle with never
going back to what he always knew as home.
With your help, neither of those happened. It felt like home almost
instantly. Oliver's room was set up and ready for him to play in when
he walked in the door. He was so happy he played in there for an hour.
We were also able to enjoy our thanksgiving and christmas in our new
home.
Even if you only helped a little, wether it was a donation, which
allows me to work part time so I can go to therapies in the mornings,
paid for Rebecca's service and both our hospital bills and
medications. Bringing or sending us meals so Sean didn't have to cook.
Taking Oliver out to play or to Disney on ice. Prepping the old house
to sell. Moving our truckloads of stuff, which we will be selling some
of in the spring garage sale. Words of encouragement support and love,
helping more than you think it would.telling me a joke, to make me laugh and take my mind off things. Providing therapy to strengthen
me physically and mentally. We honestly can't thank you enough, no
matter how big or small a part you had in helping in my recovery.
Because we had so much help I was able to focus on recovering so much
easier.

Thank you all so very much. You all have a place in our hearts.
And if I haven't had a chance to personally say it to you. Thank you.

Love always,
Brenda

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12/06/2013
by Cassandra Taylor

The memorial service for Rebecca Faye Kelsey will be held Tuesday, December 10th at Penwell-Gabel’s Midtown Chapel at 10th and Lane.  The service will begin at 3 pm.

The graveside service will occur in the spring.


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10/28/2013
by Cassandra Taylor

It’s been a while since our last update.  It’s my (Cassandra) fault.  I’ve been fighting a cold, and the cold was winning for a while.  The good news is for all your Kelsey Family Army peeps… you get three videos in one day! 

The videos show Brenda’s progress last week.  She’s doing great.  So great in fact, I just read on Facebook that they are taking her wheelchair away (except for long distances) and are making her walk with a cane around the hospital.  I’m sure Brenda is a bit relieved to get rid of that chair. 

Also, below is a note from Sean.  It’s also from last week, 10/23/2013 to be exact. 

Here is the latest from Lincoln.

Since being here Brenda has gotten to go on two outings. One a dog show, the other a handicap accessible playground with Oliver. We are currently waiting on approval for me to take her and Oliver out this weekend. Our destination: Boo at the Zoo.  
(editor’s note: they made it to the zoo!)

She about gave me a heart attack the other day. She didn't wait for me when she went to stand to transfer to the bed. She went down
(editor’s note: don’t worry, Sean caught her before she hit the ground). That didn't help my already sky high blood pressure. So now she checks with everybody to make sure they are ready

The new video is of her walking around some balls on the floor. Prior to the video, she stood on the foam pad for 30 seconds while not holding onto anything.

We moved into the transitional living apartment Tuesday afternoon and will be in it until Thursday morning. This is to help with simulating I being home and on our own
(editor’s note: the apartment living went well.  I think they really enjoyed being together again for a couple nights).

Oliver loves going to school. He is going three times a week to the employee daycare on campus.

Target discharge date is still 11/12/13. We hope to see you all after we get back.

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts to everybody that has helped us out in some way. We will never be able to say that enough.


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10/21/2013
by Cassandra Taylor
While we try to keep our updates upbeat and light we also wanted to acknowledge October 15th is annual Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day and thank those that came out in support that day. 

We wanted to take a moment to share what a beautiful and perfect little baby Rebecca was.There is a poem we found that states it best:

How very softly she
tiptoed into  our world.
Almost silently;
Only a moment she stayed.
But what an imprint
her footprints have left
upon our hearts.

You can read the full text of Rebecca's obituary below:
Rebecca Faye Kelsey Rebecca Faye Kelsey, aged six days, died peacefully in the arms of her father at the NICU of Stormont-Vail Hospital. After struggling to breathe on her own she took her last breath at 4:21 p.m. on September 09, 2013. Rebecca was born on September 03, 2013 at 4:12 a.m. Rebecca is the treasured daughter of Sean and Brenda Kelsey, of Topeka, Kansas. Rebecca is a cherished sister, niece, cousin, and granddaughter. During her short time here on Earth she touched many lives and was loved deeply by family and friends. Her life was a brief gift to us that will live on as people continue to support her mother through her recovery from a massive stroke directly after childbirth. Rebecca is survived by one sibling, Oliver Kelsey; her paternal grandparents Gaylord and Connie Kelsey of Silver Lake, Kansas; and maternal grandparents Mike and Colleen Murphy of Topeka, Kansas. A memorial service will be held at a later date upon Brenda s return from Madonna Rehabilitation Facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers the family would be honored to have your support in their time of need by visiting https://www.youcaring.com/thekelseyfamilyarmy. Rebecca Faye Kelsey - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/cjonline/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=167232392#sthash.FXmAoUKW.dpuf
Rebecca Faye Kelsey Rebecca Faye Kelsey, aged six days, died peacefully in the arms of her father at the NICU of Stormont-Vail Hospital. After struggling to breathe on her own she took her last breath at 4:21 p.m. on September 09, 2013. Rebecca was born on September 03, 2013 at 4:12 a.m. Rebecca is the treasured daughter of Sean and Brenda Kelsey, of Topeka, Kansas. Rebecca is a cherished sister, niece, cousin, and granddaughter. During her short time here on Earth she touched many lives and was loved deeply by family and friends. Her life was a brief gift to us that will live on as people continue to support her mother through her recovery from a massive stroke directly after childbirth. Rebecca is survived by one sibling, Oliver Kelsey; her paternal grandparents Gaylord and Connie Kelsey of Silver Lake, Kansas; and maternal grandparents Mike and Colleen Murphy of Topeka, Kansas. A memorial service will be held at a later date upon Brenda s return from Madonna Rehabilitation Facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers the family would be honored to have your support in their time of need by visiting https://www.youcaring.com/thekelseyfamilyarmy. Rebecca Faye Kelsey - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/cjonline/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=167232392#sthash.FXmAoUKW.dpuf
Rebecca Faye Kelsey Rebecca Faye Kelsey, aged six days, died peacefully in the arms of her father at the NICU of Stormont-Vail Hospital. After struggling to breathe on her own she took her last breath at 4:21 p.m. on September 09, 2013. Rebecca was born on September 03, 2013 at 4:12 a.m. Rebecca is the treasured daughter of Sean and Brenda Kelsey, of Topeka, Kansas. Rebecca is a cherished sister, niece, cousin, and granddaughter. During her short time here on Earth she touched many lives and was loved deeply by family and friends. Her life was a brief gift to us that will live on as people continue to support her mother through her recovery from a massive stroke directly after childbirth. Rebecca is survived by one sibling, Oliver Kelsey; her paternal grandparents Gaylord and Connie Kelsey of Silver Lake, Kansas; and maternal grandparents Mike and Colleen Murphy of Topeka, Kansas. A memorial service will be held at a later date upon Brenda s return from Madonna Rehabilitation Facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers the family would be honored to have your support in their time of need by visiting https://www.youcaring.com/thekelseyfamilyarmy. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/cjonline/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=167232392#sthash.FXmAoUKW.dpuf

Rebecca Faye Kelsey, aged six days, died peacefully in the arms of her father at the NICU of Stormont-Vail Hospital. After struggling to breathe on her own she took her last breath at 4:21 p.m. on September 09, 2013. Rebecca was born on September 03, 2013 at 4:12 a.m. Rebecca is the treasured daughter of Sean and Brenda Kelsey, of Topeka, Kansas. Rebecca is a cherished sister, niece, cousin, and granddaughter. During her short time here on Earth she touched many lives and was loved deeply by family and friends. Her life was a brief gift to us that will live on as people continue to support her mother through her recovery from a massive stroke directly after childbirth. Rebecca is survived by one sibling, Oliver Kelsey; her paternal grandparents Gaylord and Connie Kelsey of Silver Lake, Kansas; and maternal grandparents Mike and Colleen Murphy of Topeka, Kansas. A memorial service will be held at a later date upon Brenda s return from Madonna Rehabilitation Facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers the family would be honored to have your support in their time of need by visiting https://www.youcaring.com/thekelseyfamilyarmy.


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10/10/2013
by Cassandra Taylor
As promised, a little something from Sean, Brenda & Oliver.... see the new cover photo.
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10/10/2013
by Cassandra Taylor
A progress video of Brenda has been posted.  In this one Brenda is tackling some stairs and taking them down... or at least not tripping like I do almost every time. 

When we hit our second goal I will be posting a special something from the family.  Keep an eye out for it.  A little birdy may have given me a heads up that it should be happening today.

For those that signed up don't forget this is our first of three work weekends at the Kelsey family home.  You should have received an email reminding you. If not, contact Cassandra and let her know. We're starting at 8 am.  Bring your tools, ladders, wheelbarrows, gloves, etc.  See you there!
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10/08/2013
by Cassandra Taylor

Hi Team.  We finally have time for an update and new progress video.  Allison (Brenda's sister) and Cassandra (Brenda’s best friend) went up to Lincoln this weekend to visit Brenda, Sean and Oliver.  Brenda is in good spirits and couldn't express her gratitude enough for everything everyone is doing for the family. As always, she's got a great attitude about where she is and where she is going.  She knows it's a tough road, but she is ready for it.  Her goal is to be able to walk out of the hospital on November 12th.  As you can see by the progress video, that may actually be achievable. 

When you watch the video you'll see Brenda up and walking with a cane.  It looks like she's breezing through, but if you look closely you'll see she's having to think REALLY hard to get everything moving and in the right direction.  She has to concentrate on moving her leg forward (which is still difficult), keeping her foot aligned (because it keeps wanting to fall out to the side), keeping her knee steady enough to hold weight, and keep her balance.  You don't realize how much coordination it takes to move forward one step. 

Brenda also received another round of electrical stimulation this weekend.  At the beginning of the weekend Brenda was able to move her fingers a bit.  When Allison and Cassandra left to take Oliver to the park she had another session and by the time they got back Brenda was able to wave her hand.  It’s great what they can accomplish with that stimulation.  What’s even better is once the movement is back its back for good. 

On a side note please keep spreading their story, sharing it on Facebook, telling your friends, pinning it on pintrest.  We’ve been crunching some numbers over here.  By the time we pay the hospital bills the insurance isn’t covering, buy Rebecca’s headstone/memorial, build the ramp, fix up and sell the house the amazing amount of money we have raised is gone.  In fact, at this point we will not be able to cover everything.  So, if you see the goal increase again in the next couple of days you know why. 






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10/04/2013
by Cassandra Taylor

Hi Everyone,

It's been a week of progress for The Kelsey Family Army. Although Sean and Brenda can’t be here to thank you please know they express their appreciation to me every day, multiple times a day. Taking the video updates is their way of keeping all of you involved. 

On this end we are coming closer than I ever thought possible to hitting our SECOND goal. It's amazing. What's even more amazing is the number of supporters. We've had a few larger donations, but it's also those small donations that have added up and made a difference. As of 11:06 a.m. on 10/04/2013 we've had 156 supporters through youcaring. That doesn't count the contractors that are donating time, the businesses that are donating supplies, the people that are donating man hours. You can see everything we have going on related to volunteers and supply donations by going to the link below:

https://docs.google.com/a/architectonepa.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlzxCI4hOq8CdExMbVNLaTJCbmE1dS1XZi16aE02V0E&usp=docslist_api#gid=0

Thank you for making this heartbreak easier not only on Sean, Brenda, and Oliver but also on the rest of their family.  Rebecca has grandparents that love her dearly, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. So many people have felt her loss. Thank you for giving all of them a little bit of relief during a time that is overwhelming and often crushing. The family has easily seen some type of support from over 250 people. So, thank you. I can’t say it enough. Thank you! Thank you for showing them they aren’t alone during this time of tragedy. Thank you for helping me show all of them how fantastic I’ve always thought they were. 

Much Love,

Cassandra

P.S.  I just posted a video of Brenda using a cane and walking.  Great stuff!


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10/03/2013
by Cassandra Taylor

Good morning Army!  We had a busy busy day yesterday “behind the scenes.”  We’ve been picking paint colors, measuring rooms, and measuring furniture.  We’ve also been drawing up plans for the new ramp and house.  Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital needs to see what the house layout is so they can provide us with any additional changes we need to make for a successful homecoming for Brenda.

Then, we had Uncle Bo's fundraiser last night we and were able to raise over $475.  Thank you to everyone who made that event possible; Ramada Downtown, Uncle Bo's, and Fast Forward. 

We also posted a couple videos of Brenda’s therapy sessions from yesterday.  In one of them you can see Brenda learning how to stand up straight again (and reach for things).  Standing up straight is an ability that gets lost when you’re paralyzed on one side of your body.  You can’t see it in the videos, but they have a mirror in front of her so she can correct her position and teach her brain what it feels like to stand up straight.  In the other video Brenda is practicing taking steps with her right leg, while keeping her left leg stable. 

Thanks again to all of you out there getting their story out, sending healing energy and prayers, donating time and money.  Sean and Brenda express their gratitude to me every day.  Thank you.


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10/01/2013
by Cassandra Taylor
Hi everyone.  Brenda asked us to tell you hi for her, hope you are having a wonderful day. 

There's been a lot happening today.  This morning we did an on air interview at AM 580 on Kansas Live! with Roger and Jamie.  We were there to get the word out about the fundraiser happening tomorrow night at Uncle Bo's in the Ramada Downtown.  Doors open at 5:30, the band starts at 6:30.  The fundraiser is sponsored through the Ramada Downtown and Fast Forward, a young professionals group associated with the Topeka Chamber.  Brenda has been a member of Fast Forward for several years.  They've been awesome in showing her love and support throughout this ordeal.

Then, this afternoon Cassandra did an interview with Melissa Brunner from WIBW Channel 13 News.  Again to promote the Uncle Bo's fundraiser.  Look for it on this evening's news. 

Finally, we just posted a short video of Brenda showing us her new ability of the day.  She's able to kick her left leg!  She is making some major strides up there.  Keep the prayers and healing energy heading her way. 

Much Love,
The Kelsey Family Army
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09/30/2013
by Cassandra Taylor
We uploaded a video today, it's from a therapy session on 09/27/13.  You can see the great progress Brenda is making and you can hear her biggest cheerleader in the background.  He is just so cute.  Love that li'l guy.

"Go Mom Go!!"

Also - Thank you to everyone that's been spreading Sean & Brenda's story.  Your caring, concern and response has been heart warming. 

Finally, Tune in tomorrow to 580 AM at 10:30 a.m. We'll be on the air promoting the Uncle Bo's fundraiser happening on Wednesday 10/02/2013 at 5:30 p.m at the Ramada Inn downtown.
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09/28/2013
by Cassandra Taylor
Topeka Area Residents please keep an eye out.  If all goes as scheduled The Topeka Capital Journal will be running Sean and Brenda's story in Sunday's (09/29/2013) issue of the paper. 

Much love to those who have donated so much time, effort and money to show The Kelsey's support thus far.  It's going to be a long road.  Thankfully, there is some very good company. 
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