Hope Rises was honored to take part in the first ever Hope for Teen Warriors event to support the girls of Kaely’s Kindness Foundation – an organization providing healing friendship and resources, along with peer-to-peer support for teenage girls battling cancer. The organization was founded by Kaely Kwitek and her mom, Maggie. Kaely was diagnosed with cancer as a teen and understands the hardships of facing such a diagnosis as a teenager.
The event, which took place in early June, was the first time the girls were able to get back together after more than a year apart due to the pandemic. The girls celebrated, laughed, hugged (some with masks) and had meaningful conversations about their cancer journeys. They said that this moment was one they looked forward to for so long.
There was also a special ceremony for Stella Usiak, a cancer warrior who so fiercely battled cancer for more than a decade, in honor of her 18th birthday in Heaven. She lost her battle to complications from the cancer earlier this year. Her mom, Jen, tells Hope Rises:
“It was wonderful to see all the girls that were able to come. They all deserve in-person events but Kaely’s Kindness has done an amazing job keeping the girls connected through the pandemic, including Stella’s passing.”Jen Usiak, Stella’s Mom
Each girl who came to the event took away a swag bag of goodies including a custom WARRIOR tee, beauty products, gift cards, an specially-crafted ice cream fudge bomb and a medal honoring their bravery and determination. More than 50 bags were made up in total, so girls who were not able to attend could also receive one.
Special thanks to the sponsors secured by the organization, including Deep South Taco, Moore for Kids, Buffalo Bitty Bombs, The Lounge Shop Buffalo, The Perfect Gift in Clarence Center, Andersons Frozen Custard, We Finish Together and Jenna Gallivan. Our thanks also include Stephen Aitchison and Balloons Over Buffalo for helping the event come together in a spectacular way!
Photos provided by Bill Parker and Danielle Richter.