Family and friends head to Haiti in honor of Heaven
CUMBERLAND COUNTY —
A giving soul and a big smile, that’s how Heaven Kelly’s friends describe her.
"She was just always happy and very willing to give to others,” Kia Hollen said.
The Cumberland County teen passed away almost two years ago from brain and spinal cancer.
She was just sixteen.
But it’s what she accomplished in her short life that still lives on today.
It all started when she was receiving cancer treatments.
"She learned that there were children in Haiti that did not have medical facilities and the treatment that she needed and there were some sick children there so she made her goal to for her for her 14th birthday to raise $22,000 to start Heaven’s Angels Pediatric Clinic,” Associate Pastor at Bethany Evangelical Church Amy Moreno said.
And raised it, she did. Her 14th birthday party was so large that it was held at the Expo Center in Carlisle.
But Heaven never got a chance to see the clinic in person.
"Whenever it was being built, we were going to go and it was just impossible because she would have a lot of medicine that would be hard to fly over. The medical attention that she would need wasn't there so it was hard,” Alexis said.
Tomorrow, fourteen of her friends and family will head to Haiti on a week-long mission trip to see the clinic and spend time with children at three orphanages there.
"I'm very, very excited to talk with the kids and meet all the kids that haven't worked with and got to meet and hang out there,” Kia said.
"We’ll be making tie-dye pillowcases and T-shirts and having a spa day for the girls, a sports camp for the boys and then we're also going to be building a memorial to put in the heavens angels pediatric clinic wall that will be in memory of Heaven Kelly,” Amy said.
The group has been fundraising for over a year to make this trip a reality and say though Heaven can’t come with them, she’ll be there.
“She's going to be there with us in spirit I know that she'll be walking with us and seeing it. I think letting them know that she's not there but she is and she loves them all even though she never met them and that definitely this was her dream and what she wanted,” Alexis said.
"I think the children, as they hear the story and they have their own obstacles that they have to face, they have help in knowing that they too can be a blessing to others,” Amy said.
Heaven would have graduated from high school this year. At the Boiling Springs High School graduation ceremony each graduate laid a carnation on a bench dedicated to Heaven.