Megan’s courage touched many lives

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 18, 2015


The Covington County community is remembering Megan Leigh Kelley this week for her infectious smile and positive attitude.

Through Megan’s nearly two-year battle with cancer, she’s been an inspiration to the community and surrounding areas.

Megan’s valiant battle with cancer ended early Tuesday morning. She was 19.

As her pastor at Bethany Baptist Church, the Rev. Josh Wilson knew Megan well.

“Megan’s faith and perseverance through this journey has made ripple effects far and wide,” he said. “She has inspired many people inside the county and throughout our country to consider their own faith and what their ultimate hope is really in.”

Megan’s words: Stay Strong; never give up

In 2013, Megan was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and spent a good portion of her senior year near the hospital in Birmingham.

She was declared cancer free and in remission, but was diagnosed with leukemia – a side effect of her previous treatment – this past fall. Despite all she went through, Megan remained positive.

The outpouring of community support has been second to none for Megan and her family.

“Megan’s journey has served to rally the community together around a central cause,” Wilson said. “The response to the community to do whatever was necessary to reach out to the Kelley family through this journey has been overwhelmingly amazing. Many have stepped up, stepped out and generously given to their resources to bless the Kelley family.”

Wilson said that Megan’s peace and hope in the midst of a dark circumstance of life has challenged many others to realize where ultimate hope is truly found not in money, a job, education, or politics, but only from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Megan was one of nine Cancer Freeze recipients in 2014.

Co-organizer Jennifer Davidson posted Tuesday to the Cancer Freeze Facebook page, “I’ve tried several times to make a post regarding Megan. I’m at a loss for words. We rejoice knowing she has won her battle, but our hearts are breaking for her family. Kelly family, please know your Cancer Freeze family is lifting you up to our Father asking for strength, peace and comfort for all of you during this most difficult time. We love y’all, and Megan will forever be in our hearts.”

Friend Ander Helms said she remembered Megan singing the Toby Keith song, “Who’s Your Daddy?” all the time before she could even spell her own name.

Megan is also remembered for being a huge Alabama fan and country music fan.

Friend Mere Katherine Riley said, “she loved Alabama football, and she always had a positive attitude no matter what. In high school, she never talked bad about anybody. Honestly, she’s one of the best people I know.”

Her friends said she also loved cats.

“I found a cat and got to give it to her about four months ago,” Riley said. “His name was Smoke. She absolutely loved Smoke.”

Close friend Justin Walker remembered Megan as someone he could always talk to about anything.

“She was the true meaning of a best friend,” he said. “Always positive, even while battling cancer. We loved hanging out watching the Tide play and riding around town listening to Jason Aldean, or just hunting and fishing. Watching Alabama football will never be the same. She will be missed.”

Megan’s family posted to the Prayers for Megan group, which they established to keep friends up-to-date on her journey.

“Our beautiful little girl has been fighting this battle for almost two years now and we, her family, have stood by her side every moment. We’ve seen her at her best and at her worst in these times, and yet she has never lacked beauty, kindness, courage and faith,” the post said. “Even as her last moments approached, she remained fearless and confident; the infectious smile of hers never faded in the midst of her struggles. That raw strength was no doubt evidence of her personal faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. She clung with all her might to His grace and love, never once doubting the truth that he has prepared a better place.

“Again, we cannot thank you enough for your prayers of support and the encouragement you’ve offered us by tagging along with us on this difficult journey,” the post said.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Fri., Feb. 20, at the First Baptist Church in Andalusia.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., on Thurs., Feb. 19, at FBC.

For her complete obituary, see Page 6.