Woman takes in friend’s 6 children as her own after 39-year-old dies of cancer
ALTON, Virginia– A woman took in her best friend’s six children as her own after her beloved friend passed away of cancer.
According to PEOPLE, before Beth Laitkep, 39, died in May, the single mother asked her close friend, Stephanie Culley, “If a miracle doesn’t happen and I don’t make it, can you take my children as your own?” Culley immediately said yes.
Laitkep had been battling breast cancer since 2015; it eventually spread to her spine and brain. Culley was always there to support her. She told PEOPLE, “We became a family while Beth was still alive and we love them like our own, so it made sense for me to take the kids in when she died.”
Laitkep’s six children– three sons and three daughters, who range in age from 15 years old to a 1-year-old– were warmly welcomed into Culley’s family, which includes her husband and three children. They are in the process of adopting them.
Culley told PEOPLE she honors the one promise she made to her friend: make sure her daughters always have a bow in their hair.