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Friends and family are saying goodbye to a teen who touched the lives of many people during her fight with cancer. An inoperable brain tumor claimed the life of 15-year Kelsey Michelsen earlier this week. Over the last year we’ve brought you her story, one that inspired all of us to live life to the fullest, even in the face of adversity.  Friday morning, hundreds of people, most of them dressed in pink, gathered to say goodbyes and celebrate Kelsey’s life. 

“Her spirit will forever live on in all of us, she has impacted this community unlike anything we have ever seen or heard before, I love you Kelsey and we will dance again someday,” says Kelsey’s friend Connor Ward.

Kelsey’s celebration of life included hundreds of the people she had touched all wearing her favorite color pink. Her Southeast Polk dance team surrounded Kelsey’s pink casket with their pom poms and sat around her throughout the service. On top of sharing stories, many people expressed how much Kelsey changed their life for the better. Her big smile and love for dance were also mentioned many times. Kelsey’s three brothers also spoke, one sharing what a big impact Kelsey had on his life.

“She taught me more in 15 years, then what I was ever able to teach her. She taught me not to take the little things for granted, and to never give up and continue to try,” says Kelsey’s Brother Kane Michelsen.

Around 1,000 people attended Kelsey’s funeral.  Following the service she was buried in a private service with family. Kelsey was laid to rest in her Southeast Polk dance uniform, the same one her entire team wore today in honor of their teammate.