POSTED: Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 11:25am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 2:36pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — A local woman's dream came true Saturday. A dream where she wanted to give back to women in her same shoes, who have cancer just like she did. Even though she's not here to celebrate it, her family and friends were.
"I don't have the words to tell you how my heart is pounding right now," said Ron Richmond with tears in his eyes.
Ron Richmond said his daughter Kelli was a fun-loving and inspirational young woman, who's life was taken far too soon.
"She'd been having pains in her stomach for nine months and different things, and my wife insisted she go get an ultrasound," Richmond said.
Doctors saw there was something wrong. So Kelli had to have surgery.
"She was real anxious to find out how the surgery went," Richmond explained. "She kept saying 'Daddy, how did it go? How did it go?' and of course, I don't have a poker face and my face was bad, and she said 'Daddy, I don't have cancer, do I?' and I said 'yeah, baby you do.'"
It was ovarian cancer. Richmond said Kelli fought this tough battle for more than two years, but in that time, Kelli didn't stand still. She advocated for cancer patients in our community.
"She said 'when I get better, I'm going to start a place where all female cancer patients can come and get free clothes while they're losing weight,' and she said 'It's going to be free and I'm going to call it, Kelli's Kloset.'" Richmond explained.
Even though Kelli didn't make it to see her dream come true, her family made sure it did.
"To rent a place and to do all we've done, we didn't have to funds to do that," Richmond said.
That's until HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two came in and gave them a speace for a place where women battling cancer, HIV or AIDS can come get clothes, jewelry, and shoes, while they're fighting their fight.
"And six weeks later, here we are," Richmond said.
Now Ron said his goal is to make sure little girl's dream stays alive.
"My mission for the rest of my life is to help other cancer patients and help other cancer families because I know firsthand and Patsy knows firsthand through Kelli's illness, if anytime somebody did something for Kelli, oh how happy she was," Richmond said.
Mayor Kip Holden declared Saturday June 7th, as Kelli's Kloset Day.
Kelli's Kloset is located at 4560 North Blvd in Baton Rouge.
If you want to learn more about how you can help donate, go to www.kelliskloset.org .