LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A local mother is turning pain into purpose. In this 13 Days and Knights of Giving, we introduce you to a Vegas mom who lost her oldest son in a car accident ten years ago but is helping others through that loss.
Kelly Boyers knows there is no road map for grief.
"I think about a giving person, and I stop and think about things that he did that were way beyond his age, his insights. Those are clear messages that I value, and I hold onto and act in his memory," she said.
In this space - Adam's Place - the legacy of her oldest son, killed in a car crash at just 21, lives on. But the idea for it was born of what her son Alec experienced after the loss of his brother.
"People come up to me, 'isn't it the worst loss of all to lose a child?' I say, 'well, I have no way to measure that, but I'm pretty sure a child losing a parent or someone special, they don't have the coping skills that I did as an adult," Boyers said.
Just after Adam's death, Boyers learned of a grieving support center for children and teens in Reno. But when she looked for a similar place in Las Vegas, she couldn't find one.
So, she started one herself.
"After a year of looking to see what resources we had and didn't have, a group of us got together and formed a 501C3 to provide peer support group coping skills education, and we named it after my son Adam," Boyers said.
Over the past decade, Adam's Place has been a welcome respite for children and teens, coping with loss.
"We're topic-driven, we use evidence-based activities - all geared toward helping kids name their feelings, express their feelings, manage their feelings, learning the story, learning how to tell their story," Boyers said.
And in providing support for others who are just beginning to navigate their grief, Kelly has found a way through her own.
"When someone who's 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 comes walking in, and I know that they've lost their guiding light, their north star whether it be their mother or father or grandparent. The courage that they have is inspirational to me," Boyers said. "What's also been inspirational are the volunteers that have given their time and talent to become trained facilitators. That has just been an amazing experience and one I'll treasure the rest of my life."
13 Action News received a message from Boyer's friend Annie. She nominated her for the 13 Days and Knights of giving.
Annie said Boyers had done a fantastic job turning unimaginable pain into purpose with Adam's Place and, in doing so, helping so many children in the valley.
So, the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation wanted to help her continue providing that support for children in the valley by sending 50 kids to Adam's Place camp.
13 Days and Knights of Giving is sponsored by Golden Knights Foundation, Subaru of Las Vegas and America First Credit Union.