SRVIVRS nonprofit grief support

THE NEHRING FAMILY

Josh and Stacy Nehring lost their oldest daughter, Lilli, in a heart-rending car accident. They started the Live Like Lilli Foundation to carry on her legacy of kindness.

Our Story

We are Josh and Stacy Nehring. Our life together started when we were married in June of 2002. We started a family 2 years later with a beautiful baby girl named Lilli. Josh went to Dental school and that brought us out East for 6 years, where we added a baby girl named Izzy and two boys, Talmage and Benson. We fell in love with Virginia! Spring and Fall were the best with all of the blossoms. We loved the beach, Washington DC and the many amazing people we met. Josh graduated dental school and wanted to pursue Periodontics, so we moved to Lincoln, NE for three years. We added one more baby boy, Nelson, became true Husker fans and fell in love with many more amazing people. We now reside in Rapid City, SD. We love it here with all of the hiking and biking trails, lakes, camping, beauty and many more amazing people. We were gifted another baby girl, Grace just 1 1/2 years ago. We love to be together as a family in the outdoors, playing games, and taking road trips. On August 26th, 2017 our lives were changed forever. We were coming home from a family reunion in Florida, Josh had already come home for work a couple days ahead of the rest of the family, so Stacy was driving. She was tired and fell asleep at the wheel, the vehicle rolled 3 times before coming to a stop. Three of the children were taken by ambulance to Wheatland, WY and Stacy, Talmage and Lilli were life flighted to Scottsbluff, NE. Stacy came out with a broken collarbone, scapula, toe and a black eye. Izzy, Benson and Nelson escaped with just scratches and bruises. Lilli had trauma to her head and passed away. Our precious daughter who had just turned 13 exactly a week before. We were absolutely heartbroken. There are no words to describe the pain! 


When Josh was talking to Stacy’s sisters after the accident they asked what they could do to help. He told them to live like Lilli, as she was one of the kindest people we knew, and she spread sunshine and kindness wherever she went. She had written an essay all about doing good to everyone around you, which she ended with this quote; “let’s spread the joy of doing good.” We felt like this was a letter to us, letting us know what she wanted us to do. The slogan ‘Live Like Lilli’ stuck and we knew we wanted to create something in her honor to help her legacy of kindness and doing good live on. So amidst unbearable pain and grief we sought ways in our community to spread good. She loved to dance, so we started a dance scholarship to help those who couldn’t afford dance classes. We saw the need to empower youth through service, so we started a service club in the middle school, a Look UP Ad campaign to inspire youth to look up from their phones and live life. We sponsor a run every year to give a scholarship to a track athlete at Dakota University. The Live Like Lilli Foundation became our therapy, our healing balm. Serving helped us look beyond ourselves, which in turn brought us so much joy and happiness as we saw other lives being touched and forever changed because of one simple thing-Kindness. We survived because we served.

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