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May 18, 2021

Our miracle mom continues to make progress!

Kelsey's lung capacity has improved by 16% since her last appointment! She will begin to do sleep trials without oxygen this week as she is no longer requiring supplemental oxygen, and is mainly used for comfort at this time.  She will also begin respiratory therapy to continue to exercise and strengthen her lungs and improve her breathing to help maximize her quality of life! 

Way to go, Kelsey! You continue to amaze us all. Keep up the good fight!!

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May 5, 2021

It's been a bit since I last updated, but as they say, no news is good news, right!?

Kelsey still has a long road ahead of her, but continues to heal and gain strength every day. She remains very optimistic as she powers through each day being a busy mama to her four children with the help of her husband, Derek and other family members! 

Listen Here! for the interview with Kelsey and her mom, Kristi as they express what Mother's Day means to them this year 🌺



March 23, 2021

Kelsey's doing good and is looking forward to summer as that's her favorite time of year!  She's been working hard on her physical therapy and continuing her oxygen but is very optimistic and has a great outlook on life. 
Here is a beautiful write up the Milwaukee Sentinel did on Kelsey and Derek's story on how they met and their journey since:
With continued Love and Prayers 🙏🏻♥️.  Kristi & Kevin


March 15, 2021

Kelsey had an all day appointment at the UW Hospital last week to see how she's doing after being home from the hospital now for 6 weeks.  At her first appointment, her lungs were healing @ 50% and now she has is at a 55%, so there's been a little progress but still a ways to go.  Even though she's feeling stronger, they will keep her on the lung transplant list with confidence she won't need to stay on that list much longer🙏🏻

Grammy Kristi helped with the kiddos while Kassy took Lucy in for her 4 month checkup and shots. Lucy is growing and is in the 50% tile for her height and head circumference and still a light weight, but the doctor said she's doing great!

As always, "Thank you" for your continued prayers for Kelsey and think spring 🐥 🌹 



March 9, 2021

A big "THANK YOU!" to Taryn Ziegler from Taryn Marie Photography, also one of Kelsey's many first cousins, for creating this video of Kelsey's Journey to capture some of the memories she missed (some, maybe not) while being in the hospital battling a severe case of covid-19 for three months.

We're so darn happy she's a fighter and that she's here to see these memories though!

Enjoy :)

Memories for Kelsey


February 19, 2021

Kelsey had another pretty good week.  She is continuing with her oxygen and working hard on her Physical Therapy.  She said she feels herself getting stronger but still a ways to go.  All and all she continues to heal as they told her a week ago that 50% of her lungs are healed and praying it continues to go in the right direction for healing and strength.

Today Kelsey turned 33 years old and is very thankful to be here to celebrate her Birthday!!!  Kelsey told us she loves Birthdays and is looking forward to many more Happy, Healthy years ahead where she will again "celebrate" with family and friends 💞

So raise your glass tonight and make a toast to Kelsey on her Birthday and " Thank you" for you continued support and prayers 🙏🏻💖


February 13, 2021

Kelsey had a full day of check ups yesterday, including a lung x-ray, full body scan and other tests they ran to see how Kelsey is doing after being home for a couple of weeks.
They said her lungs are showing continued healing and improvement which is great!  She will be on oxygen while she continues to heal and continue to take her meds as needed. 
Kelsey is so grateful for all your continued prayers and outpouring of love she continues to receive.  She THANKS GOD every day for her continued recovery and healing 🙏


February 6, 2021

As you have all seen, Kelsey's miraculous story is being shared worldwide! I will do my best to track down as many stories and articles as I can and share the links here!

If you come across one I missed, send the link to my email janel.hellenbrand@gmail.com and I will get it added to this post so that anyone can refer back to these at any time 😚

Also, if you haven't ordered your Kelsey Strong apparel, the shop is open until February 8th! Take a look!


NBC 15 Madison

WKOW Madison

Today's Q106 FM Blog

Today's Q106 FM Podcast - Kelsey's Story

ABC World News

ABC News

NBC News

NBC News #2

UW Health Press Release

UW Health Video

CBS National News

NBC Chicago

ABC Chicago

WISN Milwaukee

CBS Milwaukee

TMJ Milwaukee

FOX Milwaukee

WBAY Green Bay

Wisconsin Public Radio

Kansas City

MPR News


AP News

LA Times

7 News Australia


RTL Germany

NY Daily News

IB Times - United Kingdom


Me Va Be - Vietnam

CBS News 02/22/21