Board of Directors
Kelsey Testman, Founder & president
Kelsey has always had a loving for all kids and has volunteered with foster children, special needs children, at a children’s hospital, and as a tutor at an elementary school. Kelsey graduated from college in 2017 and has now applied to medical school to pursue her goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist. After Kelsey’s brother died in 2015, and she learned of the extensive costs for a funeral, she knew she needed to do something for these families who have lost a child. “It is terrible enough to have your child go through a disease such as cancer, then parents not being able to afford a funeral for their child is unthinkable.” Kelsey knew this was a need from her volunteering in the oncology department at Miller Children’s Hospital and following many childhood cancer stories through social media, and sought out to make it happen. Kelsey's goal is for no parent to have to stress about the cost of a funeral, especially after experiencing the harsh realities of childhood cancer. "My brother's funeral was very important for me, it was the last chance I had to say bye, and I want all families to have the special celebration of life as Kyle did".
Gabrielle Bailey, Mortuary contact
Gabby graduated from the University of San Diego in 2017 with a major in behavioral neuroscience and has applied to attend medical school where she hopes to pursue pediatrics. Gabby has a passion for helping children, and when she heard about the devastation childhood cancer can cause she knew she wanted to be there to help the families in any way she could. Gabby has worked as a nanny for 2 children, and as a mentor for children diagnosed with autism, helping them learn vital life skills that are important both physically and psychologically. Gabby also is a physical therapy volunteer at the hospital to help those that have been faced with a traumatic accident. "I love everything that Forever With Us works towards. Working in hospitals has opened my eyes to the grief and devastation families go through with their loved ones. Many families cannot afford funerals and I want to do all I can to help them".
Eric Hernandez, Social Media
Eric knew he wanted to be a part of Forever With Us after his own battle with childhood cancer caused him to see the true devastation of the disease. Eric was diagnosed with AML leukemia when he was 3 years old and fought his battle for 2 years and 9 months. During this time Eric received all chemotherapy treatments at CHOC, and still remembers the many spinal tap procedures, losing his hair, and spending his birthday in the hospital. Cancer caused Eric to fall behind academically and be forced to repeat the 2nd grade. Through experiencing the many battles of cancer, Eric now spends his time giving back. He is a volunteer in the oncology department at CHOC, where he says, "this has been the most rewarding experience for me, as all the stars align and I can see the positive light from what was a dark childhood memory". Eric also has spent 5 summers as a lifeguard, played collegiate water polo and graduated from LMU in 2017 with a Business, Marketing Degree. Eric is able to use his experience with childhood cancer to help our foundation grow in knowing what the families we assist have gone through, as well as working with our Marketing and PR. "I am a member of Forever With Us because I support and believe every child who battles cancer deserves an honorable celebration of life".
Madi Matsushima, Events
Madi knew she wanted to be a part of Forever With Us after experiencing the loss of family members and friends. Madi works with children as a nanny and also coaches high school and club waterpolo. “Experiencing the loss of family member or a close friend is one of the hardest things a person has to go through. I’ve experienced that loss first hand. Funerals can give a sense of closure. No kid deserves to have cancer let alone lose their battle with it. The last thing their family should be worrying about is affording to have a sense of closure. To be able to help in any way we can and take away some of the financial burden a funeral can have on a family, means that they can grieve and mourn the loss of their child without worrying about affording to do so.”