Friends Rally Around Oswego Family After Death of Mother
Sep 29, 2016 10:08PM ● Published by Shannon Antinori
EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED AND CORRECTED FROM ITS ORIGINAL VERSION.
From providing meals to launching an online fundraiser, friends are coming together to help an Oswego dad left to raise three children after the death of his fiancée.
Kelly Smith, 35, died Sunday after an eight-year battle with multiple sclerosis. She leaves behind her fiancée Kevin Bellew and three children, ages 14, 8 and 5.
Family friend Stacey Jursa Hospes has launched the Kelly’s Kids Fund to help Kevin cover funeral costs and offset the work he’s missed to stay at Kelly’s side.
“He’s such a wonderful dad – he’s so dedicated to (the kids),” Jursa Hospes said. “(Kevin and Kelly) were just crazy in love with each other. It’s so hard for him to lose her.”
Together 13 years, the couple had recently welcomed their son, now 8, when Kelly was diagnosed with MS. As the years passed, Kelly sought every treatment she could to fight the disease.
“It just progressed,” said sister Candice Hackiewicz, describing Kelly as outgoing and a loving wife and mother.
“She had the biggest blue eyes and smile,” Hackiewicz said. “There’s no way you wouldn’t want to be her friend if you knew her.”
Two years ago, Kelly lost the ability to use her arms and legs, Hackiewicz said. “Prior to that, she did a lot on her own," she said.
This summer, Kelly took a turn for the worse, suffering from seizures and a series of infections, her sister said. She went into hospice care earlier this month before passing away on Sept. 25.
Friends, neighbors and relatives have worked to help the family, said Hackiewicz, who moved to Oswego to be near her sister. Now, friends are asking the Oswego community to help Bellew and his children as they cope with their loss.
“After many years of battling this terrible disease this family can use all of our help,” Jursa Hospes wrote on the family’s online fundraiser page.
Donations can be made via the Kelly’s Kids Fund GoFundMe page.