Three Children Honor Their Father In An Astounding Way

Firefighters are a different breed of person. Few professions require the courage it takes to run into blazing buildings looking for strangers to rescue. Although many of them would be too humble to admit it, they truly are heroes.

Keith Young was a New York City firefighter with a beautiful family — and a hobby that earned him national attention. However, after a tragedy sent shockwaves through his beloved family, only a brilliant scheme by his kids could earn Keith the recognition he truly deserved…

Keith Young was a proud New York City firefighter who knew from a young age he wanted to go into a profession where he could help save lives. After joining the FDNY, he quickly became one of the most beloved members of his firehouse.

As a New York City firefighter, Keith had been thrust into the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. He and his squad worked tirelessly to clean up all the destruction. It was enough to break a man, but this hero had a support system at home.

He was happily married to his high school sweetheart, Beth King. The two had fallen for each other almost immediately after meeting, and they even had the handwritten love letters to prove it. But Keith’s and Beth’s pride and joy were their children.

They had three healthy and happy kids: Kiera, Kaley, and Christian. The kids adored the passion their father brought to his job, but even more so the energy and enthusiasm he brought to his second passion: cooking.

Yep, while Keith loved his job as a firefighter, he brought the same excitement to cooking for his friends, family, and fellow firefighters at his station. He was very talented in the kitchen.

In fact, when word got out about his culinary skills, and he was featured on several talk shows alongside a few fellow firefighters who shared his love of food prep. 

His popularity only rose after he starred on an episode of Rachel Ray’s daytime talk show, where he competed in a cook-off against other firefighters from each NYC borough. This spurred Keith to actually invent a unique item for the kitchen.

A specially designed bamboo cutting board, Keith’s invention, the Cup Board Pro, featured both a rubber base to prevent it from sliding and a slight incline with a detachable tray to collect food scraps.

As the firefighter’s cooing contraption started to pick up some momentum, he occasionally spoke at local schools about what spurred his creativity. However, Keith’s kitchen brainchild soon came to a screeching halt.

Just as Keith received the very first prototype of the cutting board, his wife Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer. The devoted husband didn’t think twice about putting everything having to with his invention on hold to be by her side.

Tragically, Beth ultimately lost the fight against cancer, and she passed away a little over year after she was diagnosed. Her death hit the family like a firetruck, but every member pulled together to help each other out emotionally.

Kaley, the oldest daughter, opted not to return for her sophomore year at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and instead took over her mother’s Pilates and dance studio. But, there was another important role she now needed to play.

Only nine at the time of her mom’s passing, Kiera needed a mother figure, and Kaley knew she was the woman for the job. Meanwhile, all three children showed immense support for their father, who was heartbroken at the loss of his best friend.

Soon, the family finally found a spark of hope amidst the grief: the Food Network asked Keith if he’d be a contestant on the show Chopped! Not only did Keith agree, but he actually went on to win first place two different times! However, another tragedy was about to strike the family.

Because Keith was tasked with helping to clean up Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks in 2001, he developed synovial sarcoma in 2015; it was a rare type of cancer from inhaling massive quantities of dust.

Two years later, Keith’s promising climb up the culinary later came to a screeching halt as he lost the brutal fight. So it was that Kaley, Kiera, and Christian lost their second parent to cancer.

All three children were absolutely destroyed. How could something like this happen to both their parents? However, instead of giving in to the loss, they realized this was their chance to honor their parents in a perfect way.

So the kids relaunched Cup Board Pro. In fact, their father’s invention even landed them on the ABC show Shark Tank! It was a dream of Keith’s to pitch his idea to the investors on the show, and now all three kids had the opportunity to do it.

The children were asking for $100,000 for 10 percent of the company. However, after listening to the kids’ touching story about their mother and father, the panel of sharks did something completely unprecedented.

For 20 percent of the company, all five of the sharks offered $20,000 — a grand total of $100,000! The sharks saw the strength Kaley, Kiera, and Christian had in their hearts, and they wanted to give them the chance to honor their father appropriately.

You never know what life has in store for you, but good people and generosity can do wonders for those grieving. Just ask army medic Luis Ocampo…

Army medic Luis Ocampo lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his girlfriend Kailey Finch and their son Lucian. Luis served in the North Carolina National Guard, and in September 2018, duty called him into action.

Kailey Finch / Facebook

Hurricane Florence, a Category 1 storm, smacked the coast with heavy winds and torrential rain, flooding cities and destroying homes. The Guard deployed Luis to the riverfront city of New Bern, which the storm hit particularly hard.

Anella Jane / MNN

While Luis and his local soldiers navigated the storm’s aftermath, helping anyone who needed water, food, or what have you, 20-year-old Kailey and Lucian headed for a place they would feel safer without Luis around.

The National Guard

Specifically, she took her soon to Luis’s parents’ house so she wouldn’t be alone for days. She left the family dog at home, where she checked in on him periodically. For a few days, the family lived like this — away from home and apart.

Kailey Finch / Facebook

On September 21, Luis returned home from his brief stint in New Bern. After helping people piece their lives back together, he expected at least a few hours for himself. But once at home, he did not receive a hero’s welcome.

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

With Kailey still at his parents’ house, Luis arrived at home only to be greeted by a curious sight: the dog — who’d been home all by himself — was running around in the front yard.


Even more curious was that the backdoor had been left wide open. Either the dog taught himself a new trick and opened the door himself, or some one who should not have opened that back door. Gulp.

Most telling of all, however, was that the window in his son’s bedroom was propped open: someone busted the lock with a nearby shovel and crawled into the home! They weren’t still inside were they?

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

Luis entered his house through the wide-open back door and looked around. There was, thankfully, no one still inside the home. But that was just about the only positive the soldier could take away from what he saw.

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

The intruder flung clothes everywhere. They stole a laptop Luis kept all of his school work on; they stole a video game system, a firearm, and even swiped food from the refrigerator! And they didn’t stop there.

Kailey Finch / Facebook

The thieves took a box of coins Luis’s grandmother collected from around the world — something immensely sentimental to the 24 year old. After surveying the damage, all he could do was stick his face in his hands.

Kailey Finch / Facebook

This was how Kailey found her soldier when she returned home. Wanting to do something to help, she turned to Facebook and wrote a status that she didn’t know would eventually change their lives.

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

“This soldier, my soldier,” Kailey wrote, “lost everything of importance…We are trying to get the word out and see if anyone has any information about who may have taken it. Please share and see what we can find out!”

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

A friend of Kailey’s, Mary Elise Capron, saw the post and felt an overwhelming sense of grief for the couple she loved dearly. She’d worked closely with Luis over the years and knew him as “an amazing soldier and person.”

Mary Elise Capron / Facebook

Mary wanted to help, so she set up a GoFundMe. “I am honored to know [Luis],” she wrote, “and cannot believe something so terrible could happen to someone so dedicated to the service, his family, and school.”

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

Mary set a fundraising goal of $5,000. That, she figured, would be plenty to replace the laptop and firearm, and to repair the broke bedroom window. Eventually, donations flooded in…and they wouldn’t stop!

In 11 days, the GoFundMe raised thousands for the couple, who eventually asked Mary to shut down the fundraiser! They were making too much money, they argued, and didn’t “want to abuse people’s generosity.”

But the public actually asked Mary to re-open the fundraiser after she shut it down at the couple’s behest: they wanted to help out this woebegone soldier! This made Luis uncomfortable, so he and Mary worked out another plan.

Mary Elise Capron; Kailey Finch

Delighted with the public’s enthusiasm to help a soldier in need, Luis, Kailey, and Mary redirected new donations to Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, which helps local Guardsmen facing hardships.

North Carolina National Guard / Flickr

The couple even gave some of the donation money — which totaled nearly $15,000! — to a soldier who’d been living in a hotel after a Hurricane Florence brought a tree down on his home. Luis and Kailey turned a disaster into a positive moment.

“A big part of wanting to give the donations comes from seeing how generous people have been,” Luis said. “And I wanted to pay that back to someone else who needed help.”

Kailey Finch / Facebook

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