To quote Laura’s mom, Sandy Badgett, in her beautiful book Remembering Laura , “Even though the journey was not ending as we had prayed that it would, God was still God. . .” and He welcomed Laura Elizabeth Kleysteuber home on November 14, 2006. She died at the tender age of 30 after a six year battle with brain cancer. Sandy often said that her care was being orchestrated by God; directed by the medical team at the Brain Tumor Center at Duke University; administered by the Oncology Dept at St. Catherine’s Cancer Center in Garden City and by the physicians and staff at Menorah Medical Center in Kansas City; and supported by family and friends around the world. She walked through it all with such beauty and grace, and always, with a smile on her face.
Laura was born August 5th, 1976 in Stillwater Oklahoma to Joe and Sandy Badgett. She was a 1994 graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School and a 1998 graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in Marketing. Laura married the love of her life, John Kleysteuber, on August 7th 1998 and they made their home in Garden City, KS, where John had grown up and now embraced his role as a 4th generation farmer/rancher. She enjoyed being a farmer’s wife and fully invested her life in this southwest community. Laura briefly enjoyed a successful marketing career, but she was born to be a mommy and she was blessed with two beautiful blue-eyed little boys, Cooper (2002) and Colin (2004). Laura never let her cancer stand in the way of being the best mom in the world to those boys. She cherished the simple moments with her boys . . . taking them to the pool, riding bikes at the zoo, enjoying lemonade stands at the end of the driveway, and playing with their toy farm trucks, harvesting and planting ‘pretend corn’ . . . even when she was so very sick. She poured every ounce of energy she had into their lives. While being a mommy was her passion, so was her desire to serve the Lord. Just a few short months before she died, just after completing two months of radiation and while still on chemo, Laura directed the Vacation Bible School at Bible Christian Church, inviting your hearts to know the God that she loved.
As beautiful as Laura was on the outside, she was even more beautiful on the inside. She had a way of making everyone feel special and her smile could light up a room. Even on her worst days, she never complained or felt sorry for herself. She was a comforter. She was an encourager. She was always very positive. So very many thought of Laura as their ‘very best friend’. Laura was put on this earth with a purpose – to bring people closer to God in her very kind and gentle way. She had such a strong and quiet faith, people wanted to have the relationship with Christ that she had. While we all prayed for a miracle, Laura simply prayed for God’s will in her life. She once said, “If my dying brings one person closer to Christ, then it will have been worth it.”
Loving Laura forever changed our lives and that is why we come together as the “Laura’s Legacy Team” to honor the memory of our dear friend Laura and help fight brain cancer.
“We remember . . . your endurance inspired by hope!” – 1 Thessalonians 1:3