Local businesses and the community have come together to support an area family during their time of need.
Tree’s Wings & Ribs, located at 603 Royal Palm Beach Blvd., will host a fundraiser on Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to benefit local resident Kelley Shinkevich, who is battling breast cancer while also dealing with losing her husband Mike Shinkevich to laryngeal cancer earlier this month.
The fundraiser is intended to offset the cost and bills accumulated as the Shinkevichs endured many challenges over the past year.
Last February, the Shinkevich home was infested with black mold that required significant work to repair. The following month, Kelley was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer requiring surgery in April. Then in May, Mike was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer.
The couple went through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments side by side. They continued to run their business, J. Campbell Decorative Concrete Resurfacing, until Mike’s condition worsened to the point the pair could no longer work.
“Kelley put off her own surgery while taking care of Mike,” said her sister, Jackie Pertusiello. “She was still struggling with the side effects of neuropathy from the chemo.”
The Shinkevichs have been very involved with the organization My Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper Charitable Trust. So, friends and family banded together and began organizing ways to help two people who constantly helped others.
In November, close friend Erica Del Valle launched a GoFundMe page on behalf of the couple, with Kelley Shinkevich as the beneficiary. The $50,000 goal of the campaign has not yet been reached, and supporters can continue to donate through a fund titled “Michael and Kelley Shinkevich” at www.gofundme.com.
Sadly, on Feb. 6, Mike lost his cancer battle. A memorial service took place on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Palms West Funeral Home.
“They’re fighters and still fighting through it,” family friend Don Gross said. “Kelley is fighting on her own now. She fought for her dad [Ron Tomchin] before he passed away, her husband, and now she fights for herself. They are very strong people.”
Now Kelley’s fight starts anew as she prepares to continue fighting her own war against cancer. She has not yet finished with treatments, as much of her own care was delayed so she could spend time caring for her husband.
“She was a rock — strong, and absolutely amazing,” said Kelley’s mother, Elaine Tomchin. “Totally devoted to Mike and his treatment 24/7, Kelley took care of him.”
Kelley delayed the tradition of “ringing the bell” when her last chemo treatment ended, in the hope that she and Mike would ring the bell together.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the community is invited to join friends and family at Tree’s Wings & Ribs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. where they can enjoy food, drinks and live entertainment.
Admission to the event is $10 per ticket, with the proceeds directly benefiting the Shinkevich family.
“Mike was one of the most generous, loving and caring men I’ve ever known. He loved to fish, play golf and would do anything for the people he loved,” Pertusiello said.
The family and team at Tree’s Wings & Ribs welcome everyone to come by for good food, live music from Rick Nelson and to honor Mike and Kelley Shinkevich.
For more information on the event, visit Tree’s Wings & Ribs on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TreesWingsRPB.