Inspirational champion for childhood cancer dies at age 17: ‘she loved everyone she came into contact with’

Local News

(WIVB)– A heartbreaking update we hoped never to have to share. Stella Usiak, a local girl who battled pediatric cancer for years, died yesterday according to her obituary.

Stella bravely fought leukemia since 2011 when she was just a little girl.

The optimistic teenager was often on our air throughout the years discussing her diagnosis and gratitude for the community who has always rallied behind her.

The teenager, who was a huge Taylor Swift fan got to meet the pop artist a few years ago after thousands of Western New Yorkers helped get the star’s attention.

She was also a beneficiary of a 26 Shirts design.

Stella was just 17 years old.

News 4 spoke with Maggie Dreyer, the president of Kaely’s Kindness Foundation and a close family friend.

“Stella radiated everything that a young woman with resilience and courage and bravery, she was so authentic and so genuine and so vulnerable and so true to herself and everyone she met. She loved life, she loved everyone she came into contact with, she appreciated life, she knew how fragile and how lucky we all were to be where we were all at, given a cancer diagnosis and what a cancer diagnosis means. We all experienced that the minute you meet her and engaged with her.”

Maggie Dreyer, President, Kaely’s Kindness Foundation and Family friend

Dreyer says they’ll continue to keep Stella’s memory alive in the organization.

An outpouring of condolences sharing Stella’s memory has been posted to an online “tribute wall.”

To view the tribute wall and Stella’s obituary, click here.

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