Liberty Bank Surprise Squad visits a woman diagnosed with rare c - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Liberty Bank Surprise Squad visits a woman diagnosed with rare cancer

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Mary Ellen Kelly and her two daughters. (Family photo) Mary Ellen Kelly and her two daughters. (Family photo)
Mary Ellen Kelly. (Family photo) Mary Ellen Kelly. (Family photo)

The Liberty Bank and Channel 3 Surprise Squad paid a visit to a mother in Seymour who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Several months ago, Mary Ellen Kelly said she started to notice a change in her body.

"I chalked it all up to menopause, but it wasn't menopause," she said.

The kindergarten teacher even thought it could be a virus.

"I was losing energy and then once I started losing weight that was the big sign," Mary Ellen Kelly said.

It was a sign the 53-year-old couldn't brush off any longer.

"Once I went to the doctor, and the ball got rolling like within a month, they had everything diagnosed," Mary Ellen Kelly said.

Multiple tests and doctor appointments concluded that Mary Ellen Kelly had stage 4 mantle cell lymphoma, a rare form of cancer that doctors said affects the immune system.

"My family, my extended family, the community, everyone has been so supportive and helpful and encouraging," Mary Ellen Kelly said. "It's been amazing and overwhelming."

That support spilled over into the form of a surprise from the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad.

Mary Ellen Kelly was nominated by her friend, Lee.

Lee told the squad that Mary Ellen Kelly was very active in the community and was known for her work in helping a local teenage girl who was battling brain cancer.

See photos of her community involvement here.

Now, the Kelly family found themselves on the receiving end of things as Mary Ellen Kelly bravely fights her own battle.

"It's hard to believe that it's happening for us really," said Lauren Kelly, Mary Ellen Kelly's daughter. "We've seen it from the other side, but the fact that people are doing this for us, is amazing."

"They told me I had a surprise, but I didn't expect this," Mary Ellen Kelly said.

The squad strategically coordinated with Mary Ellen Kelly's daughters, Lauren and Erica.

"I said we had a surprise coming this morning, so make sure you're awake and dressed, but I didn't tell her much more." Erica Kelly said.

The Liberty Bank Surprise Squad supposed Mary Ellen Kelly with money for groceries. According to the nomination, money for the family was tight.

Her friend Lee also recommended another little gift.

It was an hour of cleaning with two maids.

"That's fabulous!" Mary Ellen Kelly said. "Oh that's great."

As Mary Ellen Kelly continues with her chemotherapy treatments, she said there's on thing that will remain unchanged.

"I'm going to keep a positive attitude, and I'm going to crush it. I am," Mary Ellen Kelly said. "I'm going to crush it. Thank you. I really appreciate this so much."

For more Liberty Bank and Channel 3 Surprise Squad stories, or to make a nomination, click here.

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