Vacation of a lifetime: Single mom with inoperable cancer searches for a vacation rental here at the beach

Carolina Beach vacation for family battling cancer

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -It’s the middle of tourist season in southeastern North Carolina.

The beaches are open for business with the Fourth of July holiday on the horizon. Sun, sand and memories that last a life time.

For thousands of families living the dream, it’s a great couple of days, leaving the every day grind behind for a few days of rest and relaxation.

“I’m not just looking for a vacation, I’m looking to make memories with my two boys” says Debbie Kelly, of Ithaca, New York. “It’s frustrating because everything I find is either booked or way out of my price range.”

Debbie is scouring the internet, hoping to make what seems like the impossible happen. She’s used to uphill battles. Debbie has inoperable Stage 4 colon cancer, that’s spread.

“There are things I can change and things I can’t” Debbie says. “I can’t waste my time looking back, I don’t have that luxury. I need to look forward and that’s all about making memories with my sons.

Debbie has been battling cancer for the last three years. “I feel like I was let down by the medical community” she says. “I don’t fit the demographic for this disease and waited months for a colonoscopy, only to find I had aggressive cancer.”

Now she’s battling time knowing there are no guarantees. If you search Wilmington’s Craigslist Page, you’ll see Debbie’s story posted in “housing wanted.” She’s been trying to hunt down a vacation rental for the week of July 26th. So far, no luck.

“If anyone know of anything, I’d be so grateful” Debbie said from her desk, 680 miles away. “My sister is going to be in Wilmington that week, who I haven’t seen in 3 years. It would just be great to spend time with family.”

Debbie is relying on her faith to get her through the final stages of cancer, but she’s relying on the kindness of strangers, who may know of something, who could help her land a vacation to remember at the beach.

Thanks to generous members of our community, Debbie and her family now have a place to stay when they come visit this summer.

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