BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - What started out as a humble space with a noble mission is transforming again. It all started with an idea sparked by Kelli Richmond, a young Baton Rouge woman diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer.
While undergoing treatment, Kelli experienced a lot of changes in her weight, which is common for cancer patients. During one chemotherapy treatment, Kelli told her parents she noticed a woman who had to use pins to make her clothes fit. That inspired Kelli to dream up a store where cancer patients could shop for clothes for free.
Although Kelli lost her fight with cancer in 2012, her parents carried on that dream. In 2014, they opened Kelli's Kloset. Since it opened its doors four years ago, Kelli's Kloset has grown into a brand new storefront on Lobdell Avenue and has served thousands of patients. Now, the Kloset is going mobile.
To learn more about Kelli's Kloset, click here.
Kelli's dad, Ron Richmond, is in the process of turning an RV into a Kelli's Kloset on wheels to better serve cancer patients. "A lot of the patients can't get to the shop because of their health and not feeling well and things like that, so we're going to go to the cancer clinics," said Richmond.
With help from donors and volunteers, Richmond hopes to have the bus stocked with clothes and visiting patients within a few months. While the Kloset has been a labor of love, it hasn't always been easy. Richmond says finding clothes is the easy part; finding funding for their non-profit is another. Richmond says at the moment, they are in need of financial support more than anything.
"It's been a struggle. I almost give up a couple of times, but we've grown so much," said Richmond. "We're helping so many people."
Richmond also founded the Kelli Leigh Richmond Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Each month, they grant $1,000 to an ovarian cancer patient on her birthday. As Richmond explains, ovarian cancer is a particularly deadly disease, so any birthday is a special event.