Vanessa Byrne is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Thea Mitchell.
Please help my family bury my wonderful baby brother!! Keaton Oliver Storm Shepherd passed away knowing he was loved and will always be missed. ￼ On the morning of August 1st 2019, our family was struck by an unspeakable tragedy. My mother went into Keaton's room as he had not been responding to his alarm. She found him cold and unresponsive. Terrified, she called emergency services and he was rushed to the hospital. She called me and Chel and I rushed there to be told that Keaton had passed away in his sleep. He was perfectly healthy and showed no signs of pain the previous day - in fact, he had a wonderful day. We are a small family and this sudden loss has brought us confusion and unspeakable pain. The cause of death was a brain aneurysm in his sleep. He was 14 years old at the time, and close to starting the 10th grade. ￼ Keaton was an extremely bright, funny, caring and all around wonderful little brother. He was born when I was 12 and I remember his entire life. He was a skilled gamer, dedicated to his school's esports club. As far as I know, he was mostly competitive in Super Smash Bros and Brawlhalla. He would come over to my apartment to play on my Nintendo Switch, and it always brought my partner and I great joy to have him. He would play late into the night, laughing on the phone with his friends, and in the morning we would make breakfast and smoothies together. A friend from his club contacted Brawlhalla Toronto division, and they are preparing a video tribute, as he had been very active in their competitive community. Keaton was bright and particularly skilled in Math, Science and Music in school. He performed in the beginner ensemble on the tenor sax. He made many wonderful friends in school, and it has been heartbreaking to tell these children the news. Keaton wanted to pursue esports further as he grew (even asking if I could manage his team someday) and study business or engineering. He was very supportive of both of his older siblings, who are both members of the LGBT community. He was practicing balloon twisting so that he could work for me as a summer job. ￼ His final day, Keaton went and got a fresh haircut, went to see one of his best friends from our old neighborhood, ate at a restaurant he loved, came home smiling, spent time with mom, laughed on the phone, and spent his last evening enjoying YouTube in his room. The loss of my little brother is by far the greatest pain I have ever suffered in my life. It was so sudden, none of us had time to even notice anything could be wrong, much less have funeral plans prepared. We have a vacant burial lot above my late grandfather, but we still need a lot of help with the funeral costs. ￼ Money raised in this campaign will go directly into funding Keaton's funeral. We are planning to have the funeral within the next 2 weeks in the Warden/Sheppard area. Details will be available soon. Any extra funds will go to allowing my mother, Thea Mitchell, to cover her expenses so she can recover from this awful loss. Please consider helping us reach our goal and share this page. My birthday is in 4 days and all I want at this point is a proper goodbye to this amazing kid. ￼