Chelsey Leigh Bildstein was born on October 3, 1990 in Des Moines, Iowa. Daughter of Chuck and Carol Bildstein and sister of Austin, Chad, and Lindsey. Chelsey graduated high school in 2009 and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from Saint Ambrose University.
Chelsey loved spending time with her family. She was often found reading—and re-reading—her collection of Harry Potter books or with a catcher’s mitt on playing softball. Chelsey’s smile was bright and her heart was big. She was altruistic, compassionate, respectful, and caring. Her humble confidence and resilient strength radiated from within.
In 2013, shortly after celebrating her 23rd birthday, Chelsey was diagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer. When she learned of her disease, she gracefully accepted that she would not have biological children. She did not let her cancer take away her dream of being a mother and started researching adoption, quickly realizing the substantial cost that came with adopting. Her strength proved strong as she faced her cancer head on determined to persevere — concerned more about her family than herself.
As her cancer rapidly progressed, Chelsey expressed to Chuck and Carol her dying wish. Her dream was no longer to grow a family of her own through adoption, but to help other families with the cost of their adoptions. Her dream became Chelsey’s Dream Foundation.
Chelsey left this side of heaven on August 11, 2014, but continues to live through each of the adopted families that she has helped. The Chelsey’s Dream Foundation is more than the financial assistance it provides to adoptive families, it’s a large family threaded closely together by our angel, Chelsey.