According to those who know him, Mike Mora, photographer and husband to singer and chef Kelis, passed away this week after a battle with Stage 4 stomach cancer.
The news was shared by actor and singer Evan Ross (son of Diana Ross), who paid tribute to Mora on Instagram on Monday (March 14) night.
“We lost a brother Yesterday. We will truly miss you Mike,” Ross wrote. “Thinking of some of the great times we all spent together.”
He added later in his tribute, “Everything I saw you do. Was built in passion. I loved connecting again with you. Hearing about your children and the life you and your wife have built. Im sending all the prayers and love to your family brother. @kelis ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️RIP @mikemorafotos”
Mora and Kelis had been married since 2014. They shared two children, a son born in 2015 and a daughter born in 2020. (Kelis also has a son from her marriage to rapper Nas.) The couple left behind LA living in January 2020 to build a home, and life, on a farm outside the city.
Back in September 2021, Mora took to his Instagram account to share that he’d been battling with stomach cancer, an advanced gastric adenocarcinoma. It started with severe stomach pain and loss of appetite that he initially attributed to farm work. During the pandemic, he received his diagnosis.
“I thought the whole time that I just had an ulcer. With no idea what was about to come my way,” he wrote on Instagram. “Here I was, in a hospital bed, during the middle of the pandemic. All alone.”
Despite the prognosis, which was 18 months to live since at the time he was first diagnosed, Mora wanted to be of encouragement to others to live life to the fullest.
“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. “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 shared in a separate post. “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!”
One of his last Instagram posts, in January, was a photograph of his wife.
Our thoughts are with Kelis, her family, and all those who know and love Mora, at this time.