Steph Ward Memorial Children Fund

I lost my wife Stephanie Herrit-Ward on October 24th, 2017.  I'm writing this the day before our 7 year wedding anniversary 10-31-10.  She was 36 years old, beautiful inside and out, and the best mom her two beautiful little girls could have asked for.  She will be missed deeply.  Words can not even explain the devastation this has caused me, but my heart breaks even more for my two beautiful girls.  I hope I'm strong enough to help us all get through this without her here.



With Steph's disabilities, it was pretty hard for us financially, we relied mainly on Steph's social security for our income.  I was a stay at home dad and Steph's caretaker.   We made it work for the most part, until the last couple of months.  She tried to go back to work for a bit.  For the first couple of months, everything was going great.  She was so happy.  So proud of herself.    Things got a little weird there for her, and she had to take a leave from work.  After she had to leave her job, when she had to return to the "social security dance," as she called it, it was so hard for her.  She wasn't the same after that.  That spark she had faded out to almost nothing.  She was so depressed.  She was trying so hard to get help, increased therapy sessions, multiple hospital stays, changing her medications around, anything that would help her get back to normal, or as she would say, "chaotic neutral."  Sadly it seems, none of that helped.   I'm trying hard to get the kids to remember all the good times we had, and not just what they have gone through over the last couple of months.  We've had so many good times there is no shortage to talk about.  I don't know how we are going to get through this, but we are taking it slowly one day at a time.  

I'm setting this up as a memorial for Stephanie, but also a fund for my children and myself.   Our oldest daughter Jenna is 10 and autistic.  It has been hard for her to grasp what is going on.  I don't think she has fully grasped that Mommy isn't coming back from the hospital this time.  I can only imagine what is going on in that beautiful mind of hers.  Our youngest, Kali is 9 and was the one who found Steph.  My heart breaks the most for her.  We had come home from a doctor's appointment because Kali's arm was really bothering her after doing a handstand.  She ended up getting a cast on her arm.  She went running in the apartment to have Mommy be the first one to sign her cast.  I can still hear Kali screaming, and I think that will haunt me forever more than anything.  Our poor baby. 

The four of us were out here alone, our extended family is mostly in New Jersey.  They are being as supportive as they possibly can, but it's hard being so far away.  My hope is that I can raise enough to at least not have to worry about where my kids and I are going to live next month while we are going through the trauma of this loss.  Maybe with enough luck, light, love, and prayers, we could even make it back to New Jersey so we could be closer to a family support system.  At this point, I just want what's best for my babies.  I don't want to cause them any more stress than they already have to deal with internally.  They don't need to worry about where we're going to live with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up on top of everything else.   

Thank you all so much for all the support you have given my family during this time.  I can not adequately express how grateful I am. 

Any donation, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated.  The cost to cremate my wife will be $756.44, and with moving expenses on top of that? I don't know what we are going to do honestly.

Although they are broken, we thank you with all of our hearts.

Ray, Jenna, and Kali


  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Jim Grasso 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • Rachael Grayson  
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • PATRICIA McCandless 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • Jennifer Duffy 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
See all


Ray Ward 
Akron, OH
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