BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More than two years after her two children were tragically killed in a car crash, Michelle Ramsey is in a race against the clock to ensure she gets everything just right for the 3rd annual Ballin' for the Boys basketball tournament.
The annual fundraiser, set for Saturday, June 30, serves a dual purpose by allowing the mother to give back to her community, while also commemorating the lives of the two children. "It's all about remembering Khaiden and Sam and having fun while we're doing it, but we also take the opportunity to raise awareness," said Ramsey.
Khaiden Ramsey, 6, and Sam Shropshire, 4, were tragically taken back in April of 2016. After the family had already been involved in a crash on Walker South Road, a drunk driver, who was cited at over twice the legal limit, came out of nowhere and slammed into them. The wreck not only claimed the lives of the boys, but it also robbed Ramsey of the countless experiences they will now never share.
"Things are really hitting home this year, so first day of schools, I don't get that, first girlfriends, I don't get that, so it's a lot of what ifs now that I'll never get to see," Ramsey added.
The two boys were her everything. Ramsey says both of them truly lived their best lives in the short time they were given. Khaiden was a chess master and excelled academically, while she describes Sam as her little musician and a free spirit who truly marched to the beat of his own drum. "They touched a lot of people and they didn't even know it," said Ramsey.
Rather than dwell on the haunting reality of the loss, Ramsey is choosing every day to put one foot in front of the other and press on in their absence. She hopes to share their stories as much as possible in hopes of making a positive impact in the community. The Ballin' for the Boys tournament not only brings area youth together for a day of fun, but also acts as an opportunity to hand out scholarships in her boys' memory. She believes it turns their passion for basketball into a blessing for others.
Ramsey encourages people to register their children for a scholarship. She says they must be present during the tournament to win. More information about the event can be found here.
"It's more to it than just a game," she said. "It's giving the community an opportunity to see something positive happen out of a tragedy."
While Ramsey has some jelly bracelets that she has not taken off since her sons' service, as well as pictures and memories of her two angels, she finds comfort in knowing in a small way they are still with her. By sharing their story, she hopes to save lives.
"It becomes your personal mission and it's like, what can I do to prevent somebody else from going through this?" Ramsey added.