HELENA — About one month has passed since a car crash on York Road killed a 15-year-old Helena girl.
Shelby Descharme’s mother and sister tell MTN it’s been a long month, but they’re working to keep her memory alive, and encourage other parents and teens with an important message about seat belt safety.
Shannon Chandler says they’re grateful for the countless photos and videos they have of her daughter Shelby, who loved photoshoots with her sister Kaylee.
“I’m glad,” Chandler said. “I used to give her crap all the time. ‘How many photos did you take today? But now I’m glad.”
She and Kaylee describe Shelby as sassy, always with a comeback. She loved dying her hair different colors and hanging out with her friends.
Above all, she adored her family and two sisters.
Kaylee said she couldn’t even go to the store without taking Shelby along.
“I never did anything without her,” she told MTN.
It’s this bond that prompted the two to get tattoos on their arms in Shelby’s memory, of a design she first wanted.
“I try to remember all the good she did, the caring… how she loved everybody,” said Chandler.
Shelby’s memory also lives on through generous gifts of life.
“Two different people got her kidneys,” said Chandler. Those are just two of the successful transplants she’s learned about. She’s even received letters from the recipients sharing their gratitude.
“She was always helpful to others,” said Kaylee. “She would have done it herself if she could.”
Those donations are a bittersweet reminder of the joy Shelby brought to others with her life.
“I miss you, I love you,” said Chandler. “I wish you were here."
According to her mother, Shelby wasn’t wearing a seat belt when she crashed. That wasn’t like her, said her sister, who added she always saw Shelby wearing a seat belt.
They ask anyone who gets in a car to always buckle up.
This weekend, there is a fundraiser at Jorgenson’s Restaurant in Helena to raise money for funeral and medical expenses. It is Sunday, February 23rd, from 1 to 4 p.m.
There will be a spaghetti dinner, silent auction and 50/50 raffle.