Local Resident’s Last Wish to Enjoy the Beach

Jessica KaysJessica Kays and Amy PhielJessica Kays and Ashley GillJessica's Wish Front of T-shirtJessica's Wish Back of T-shirt

A life long local resident, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is only 34 years old, has only a single wish, to see the ocean with her family.  Jessica Kays is the daughter of Melanie and Ron West and grew up here in Lawrenceburg.

Jessica was diagnosed with liver cancer not long ago, and she was devastated.  Together with Jessica’s loving and supportive family, including her brother Josh and sister Leslie along with her close friends, Amy Phiel, Ashley Gill and Tabitha Lipps, Jessica battled the cancer.  Her mother, Melanie, putting her job of 20+ years on hold to continually help her through her treatments, and her father Ron supported her and the family.

She was declared cancer free in September of 2015.  But, tragedy would strike not long after.  The cancer returned, much more aggressive than before, attacking Jessica’s bones.  The doctors couldn’t do much more to help.

“There aren’t any words to say, when your best friend, whom you have known since you were 6 years old, calls you to tell you that their cancer has came back more aggressive and that the doctors said there is nothing more they can do,” Amy Phiel said.  “There are no words to say when your friend you’ve shared your whole life with looks at you and asks, ‘Why can’t I stay? I don’t want to go.’”

With hospice being called in, the family realized there wasn’t much else that could be done, except to make Jessica’s time left here as good as possible.  The hospice group is setting up a time for Jessica to meet the Kentucky Wildcats, but Amy wanted to fulfill her last dream, to spend a week at the beach in Florida with her family.

Creating a GoFundMe page and selling special “Jessica’s Wish” t-shirts, which were put together by Jessica’s friend Tabitha, Amy is determined to send her best friend to Florida.  Other friends and family joined the cause.  “We’ve always been there for each other and always will. She is the strongest person I know,” Ashley Gill, a friend of Jessica’s, said.

“I have tried to raise enough money to help her live out her wish to go to Florida,” Amy said. “It’s such a small thing for her to ask. Just to spend a week on beautiful sands, looking at God’s creations and enjoying herself with her family.”

To donate to Jessica’s Wish, check out the GoFundMe page.  You can also purchase a t-shirt by contacting Amy through Facebook.  All donations that aren’t used for the trip will go towards medical expenses and burial.

 

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