May 21, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

‘There was a spunk and tenacity to her that would never quit, concede or fail’

Tiffany Kelley was many things.


A loving mother.

A great friend.

An inspiration and a fighter.

The St. Joseph resident had a long battle with cancer and died on Sept. 5, 2022. She is survived by her four daughters and her mother.

Kelley documented her journey on social media.

Kelley was diagnosed on Nov. 4, 2015 with breast cancer, a day that changed her life.

“That day changed the course of my life and changed ME forever,” Kelley said in a post from 2020.

But Kelley decided to focus on the positive.

“I have learned maybe the most important lesson of all. How to celebrate living NOW, no matter what the future holds! In fact, in all of the WAITING to live that I was doing, I was actually missing out on SOOOO much LIFE. Cancer has taught me how to celebrate every single day that I open my eyes, even the tough ones,” Kelley said in the post. “It has taught me how to truly value the people that don’t give up on you. They unconditionally love and support you and refuse to stop believing in you even when you can’t believe in yourself. This is what life is all about. Being with those that we care for and making lasting memories. Tomorrow is never promised. All we really have is today. So please do yourself a favor and take a moment today to look around and acknowledge your blessing.”

Erin Smith said Kelley was one of a kind and the strongest person she knew.

“She was my best friend and the most positive person I ever met. I miss her dearly,” Smith said.

Smith said Kelley lived life with gusto and didn’t care who judged her for it. She was honest, never let a moment go to waste and would drop everything for her daughters and friends.

“There was a spunk and tenacity to her that would never quit, concede or fail,” Smith said.

Kelley’s friend, Sophia Gallo, described her as a force to be reckoned with.

“I love the way that she lived life independently and unapologetically,” Gallo said. “She rocked the single-mom lifestyle and inspired me to feel confident in myself. She put her kids’ needs and dreams first, and raised four incredibly kind and creative girls.”

Gallo said she was inspired by how Kelley fought for her life, battling cancer five different times.

“And did so with such tenacity and grace,” Gallo said. “She was a strong advocate for herself, and also others who were battling cancer. She founded an organization to support other women with cancer, and was an inspiration to so many cancer warriors.”

Now that tenacity and grace are being honored with a fundraiser for her daughters. On Saturday, Chic N’ Threads is sponsoring Glo Bingo at Hudson Farms. The event will start at 7 p.m. and all proceeds will go to Kelley’s daughters.

“We hosted a glow bingo last year to support Brooks Heape, giving a large donation to the PCD FOUNDATION,” said Laura Ehmen. “We aim to help a family in this community each year. Donations can be given still to help this family.”


Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a pop-up shop with Chic N’ Threads.


Purchase tickets here.

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