My husband Travis passed peacefully in his sleep after enduring one year of cancer treatment, including the amputation of his left leg. He viewed this abrupt change to his physical body as a challenge to regain his abilities in the activities he loved. Climbing, kiteboarding, sailing and outdoor adventuring. Unfortunately, he would not have time to recover fully. His spirit and positive attitude inspired everyone who was lucky enough to meet him. His smile was incredible.
In July, shortly after learning that his cancer was terminal, we began talking about the things he wanted to do that would never happen.
One goal left unachieved, that I am able to see through, was to protect a small forest and allow the trees on it to mature. He wanted to insure there will be at least one old growth forest in 300 years, stop the deforestation in one little piece of Michigan. Michigan has a ton of national and state forest, but these properties are sometimes logged and sold. I am establishing a non-profit foundation to purchase a piece of property to protect, honoring Travis's wishes. I began shopping for properties while Travis was still able to participate. We found a beautiful property that we would love to protect, but the price tag on this property is out of our ballpark, in fact its out of our universe. This is when the non-profit idea was born. When you are negotiating death, wonderful people offer help, food, love, money. This non-profit will give those generous people an opportunity to support a great project and they will be able to deduct their donation. In addition, I will have a positive outlet for all of my energy! The forest will also be available for everyone to enjoy while focusing on conservation through arboricultural outreach. It will be made available for people going through similar life challenges, such as amputees, cancer survivors & grieving children.
I have started this campaign to offer the opportunity for mourners to help us raise the money needed for the creation of the non-profit. It can take a year to be approved for non-profit status, so until we are approved we are not officially fundraising. Once the fund is established and approved, we will fund-raise until our outlandish goal is met or until its one year anniversary. Then we will begin shopping for property. This campaign will just get me started. I am including many of our friends and family in this process, and we don't know exactly how much money we will need to raise. I had only just begun to learn the process before Travis's health went downhill. I still have much to learn, but like Travis, if I decide something will be done...it will be done. The money you donate to me will be used for application fees, lawyers, accountants and general expenses. Anything raised in excess to these expenses will be the seed money donated to the non-profit once it is approved. Please help the Travis Kelly Memorial Forest Preserve come to life, to celebrate the life of one of the most beautiful people ever to light up this world. Peace.