Kelis‘ husband, Mike Mora, has died after a battle with stage 4 stomach cancer. He was 37. Kelis’ management team confirmed the sad news in a statement to ET.
“Sadly, it’s true that Mike Mora has passed away. We would ask all to respect Kelis and her family’s privacy as of right now. Thank you,” Steve Satterhwaite, of Red Light Management, told ET.
Several friends of Mora and Kelis shared tributes to the late photographer, including Evan Ross.
Ross took to Instagram Monday to share a black-and-white portrait of Mora, writing, “We lost a brother Yesterday. We will truly miss you Mike. Thinking of some of the great times we all spent together.”
“You and @naztokio recording me at @dallasaustins studio in atlanta. First time I had ever really recording a record in the studio. You made it feel easy and safe. Everything I saw you do. Was built in passion. I loved connecting again with you,” he continued.
Ross concluded his tribute to the photographer by sending prayers to Kelis and her family. The pair share a one-year-old daughter who they welcomed in Sept. 2020, as well as their 6-year-old son, Shepherd. Kelis is also a mom to 12-year-old son Knight, whom she shares with ex-husband Nas.
“Hearing about your children and the life you and your wife have built,” Ross went on to add. “Im sending all the prayers and love to your family brother. @kelis ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️RIP @mikemorafotos.”
Fellow photographer, Brian Bowen Smith, also posted about Mora’s passing, calling him “an amazing photographer” and “the sweetest guy” he had ever met.
“Saddened to hear the news about our dear friend Mike passing away last night. Working with you was such a pleasure. I loved all of your questions and your passion for your family and photography. Reminds me of me. Sending love to his wife and family. Mike had been sick for a minute but he loved being on set,” Smith shared. “Today we will be thinking of you at every frame. Great example of why you need to live every day to the fullest. And be great full for every day your here. Love you MM. way to soon. He was an amazing photographer and would have gone far. Sweetest guy I ever met. check out his page @mikemorafotos.”
Mora opened up about his battle with cancer back in October.
In a series of posts shared to Instagram, the photographer chronicled life since his stage 4 diagnosis, sharing that a doctor had given him 18 months to live.
The “Milkshake” singer’s husband went on to reveal that his symptoms first started in Sept. 2020, with “the worst pain” in his stomach that he noticed shortly after moving to a farm outside of Los Angeles with his family.
“Loss of appetite. Pain in my back also started to creep in… finally decided to do something about it,” Mora wrote at the time. “It was a bit late. But just in time.”
Mora shared that after a week of back and forth, he finally started getting answers as to what was going on, not long after he and the singer welcomed their daughter.
“I thought the whole time that I just had an ulcer. With no idea what was about to come my way,” he continued. “Here I was, in a hospital bed, during the middle of the pandemic. All alone.”
After seeing three specialists and undergoing an endoscopic biopsy, Mora was diagnosed with gastric adenocarcinoma — stomach cancer stage 4. Mora entered treatment and was optimistic about his diagnosis. He also shared his hopes of his post reaching those who may be going through something similar.
“I am posting this, after so much thought. not because I want people to feel bad or sorry for me and my family. I am posting this because life is full of the most unexpected situations,” he wrote in a separate post. “I never thought this could happen to me. At just 36, with 3 kiddos, and a wife that loves me. I want to be able to help those that might experience something, maybe, hopefully. By showing that it’s possible to make it through.”
“I want to be able to help those that might be experiencing something like this- a life altering disease full of questions and doubt- maybe, hopefully. By showing that it’s possible to make it through,” he continued. “You always see people post about how life is too short. How you should reach out to those you love no matter where life has taken you. It is the truth. Don’t take your time here, your time with friends, family, for granted. S**t can be over just like that!”
Mora went on to thank friends and fans of he and the singer for their support in his ongoing battle with the disease, saying at the time, that while overwhelming, the outpouring of love and encouraging words he’s received, was only making him “stronger.”
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