Laying on a bed at a Virginia hospital, Beth Laitkep asked her friend Stephanie Culley for a life changing favor before she died on May 19th.
Bed ridden with terminal breast cancer, Laitkep was a 39 year old mother of 6 children.
When her condition got worse and cancer began to spread to her spine and brain, the father of the six children left the family alone to fend for themselves.
Diagnosed with cancer when she was pregnant with her son Ace, Laitkep had to undergo an emergency C-section in order to begin treatment as soon as possible.
As Laitkep’s condition got even more serious, she asked Culley, “If a miracle doesn’t happen and I don’t make it, can you take my children as your own?”
“I immediately said yes,” stated Culley. Within a matter of minutes, Culley’s family was six children bigger.
Laitkep did not want her children growing up in an unfamiliar place, so while she was in the hospital, the kids stayed at Culley’s house.
The fact that they were already living with the Culley family already made the eventual transition to living there much easier on the kids.
The kids continued to visitBeth in the hospital for a month after moving in with the Culley family until she had passed away. Heartbroken by the loss of their mother, the six children luckily had a loving family and support system to fall back on.
In her touching final words to Culley, Beth said, “Tell my babies I love them. And you know I love you too, Stephanie.”
Culley’s devotion to her friend Beth and her family was immediately apparent when she devoted so much time to helping them, but for her to adopt six children while already having three of her own really shows how important keeping that family together was for Culley.
Paperwork for the adoptions is currently being worked out, and Stephanie and Donnie Culley will be finalizing the case on June 19th.
For the six children of Beth Laitkep, they have a loving home they can return to everyday. Culley even says, “Our kids already consider themselves true brothers and sisters.” With the support of these brothers and sisters, the Laitkep family will continue to keep fighting through the adversity.