Photographer Mike Mora, the husband of eight years of singer Kelis, has died from stomach cancer. He was 37.
“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,” said Steve Satterhwaite of Red Light Management, which represents the singer, in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.
Mora and Kelis married in 2014 and had two children together – a 6-year-old son, Shepherd, and a 1-year-old daughter, Galilee.
Mora shared his cancer diagnosis in an Instagram post on Sept. 29, 2021. He said he knew something was wrong after experiencing “the worst pain” in his stomach, “loss of appetite,” pain in his back and other symptoms just 17 days after Galilee was born.
He was diagnosed with stage 4 gastric adenocarcinoma or stomach cancer. Most cancers of the stomach, up to 95 percent, are adenocarcinomas.
“This picture was taken as I was being transferred to the oncology section of UCLA Santa Monica from nearby Ronald Reagan hospital,” Mora wrote in the caption of a photo showng him being transported by a critical care medical worker. “This gentleman, Latin brotha, saw how weak I was. He looked back at me before leaving my room and said ‘I’ve seen people make it out of the craziest situations, be strong brotha, you got this’. I’ll never forget his face. They said 18 months. It’s been exactly 12. Here we go.. Scared as F¥#% … The story will continue.. Love you @kelis”.
The diagnosis came shortly after the couple sold their Los Angeles home and moved to a farm on the outskirts of the city in 2020, according to a Harper’s Bazaar interview.
Becoming a “farm person” was something Kelis said she began to take great pride in, noting it was the way Africans flourished for centuries.
“We were proud agriculturists,” Kelis told the Bazaar. “The idea of farm-to-table is not a new, trendy thing. That’s an African concept. We were thriving because we were able to work the land in such a way that it was feeding our people and for generations.”
Mora shared other posts throughout his battle with the disease in hopes of inspiring others going through trying situations.
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“I am posting this…after so much thought. Many hours thinking of what the right thing to do is. Not because of a selfish reason .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,” Mora wrote in a follow-up post on Instagram.
“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 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. Sh*t can be over just like that!”
Mora signed his post with his usual ending, sending his wife his love. He ultimately succumbed to the disease.
Twitter users sent Kelis their deepest condolences, noting it was particularly devastating because the “Milkshake” singer seemed so happy and the couple has such young children.
Kelis has not commented publicly yet about losing her husband.
IN THE ORIGINAL PHOTOS: Kelis arrives at the Secret Genius Awards at Vibiana with her husband Mike Mora on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) / Kelis’ husband Mike Mora is pictured with their two children, Instagram/@kelis