Kobe Bryant: Wife Vanessa Asks Fans to Support Other Families Affected by Helicopter Crash
On Wednesday, Vanessa Bryant paid tribute to her late husband and daughter, Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant, who tragically died as a result of a helicopter crash on Sunday. In her Instagram post, which was filled with love, emotion and grace, Vanessa directed fans to two separate organizations that they can support in honor of Kobe, Gianna, and the seven other victims in the tragic accident.
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"Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality," Vanessa wrote, before detailing how fans can not only pay tribute to Kobe and Gianna, but how they can support the families of the other victims, as well.
"To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna's legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org."
Elsewhere in her caption, Vanessa opened up about how the Bryant family has been handling this sorrowful "new reality."
"There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved," she wrote. "We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way."
Kobe, Gianna, and seven others were tragically killed on Sunday, Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. In addition to the NBA legend and his daughter, the aircraft was also carrying John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the helicopter. TMZ reported that the group was on their way to a basketball game at Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy when the aircraft went down.
Kobe and Gianna are survived by the former Lakers' wife Vanessa and three of the couple's daughters, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.