ST. MARY’S COUNTY, Md. —  The family of a local author needs help to make her last wish come true. At the beginning of January, Tracy Kentish put together a vision board for 2021. Her goals were ‘no fear’ and to ‘sell a million books.’ The 52-year-old St. Mary’s County woman had recently fulfilled a lifelong ambition to publish her first book, a self-help guide called “Don’t Just Say You Love Me.”

She looked to be well on her way to achieving her dreams when unexpected tragedy struck. Tracy had been feeling tired for some time but doctors had never been able to come up with a diagnosis. On Jan. 20, she went in for a checkup and doctors sent her for an x-ray. During the procedure, she went into cardiac arrest. Doctors discovered she had advanced ovarian cancer. Seven days later, the beloved wife and mother died.

Overcoming Obstacles

Her daughter, La Toya Medley, said the family is in shock. Tracy, who was one of 9 siblings, had always been able to overcome any obstacle life put in her path. She gave birth to La Toya when she was only 16 years old. Tracy and her high school sweetheart Sergio Kentish were separated when his father was transferred by the military. 

Despite the responsibilities of being a single teen mom, Tracy graduated from high school and began a 30-year-career with the federal government.

When La Toya was 10, Tracy and Sergio reunited and were married. The couple was happily married until her death.

The Oprah of the Family

Despite a successful career in the government and happy family life, Tracy felt another calling. She wanted to help others. La Toya says it came naturally to her mom.

“She was one of 9 siblings. They always called her ‘Oprah.’ The Oprah of the family. If anybody had issues, she would mediate and help out. All through high school, she was the go-to girl for her friends. Helping people was her heart.”

When La Toya was younger, her mother would often bring several of her friends home for the weekend. In addition to good time like swimming in the family pool or taking a trip to an amusement park, her mother always made sure to throw in an educational opportunity.

Tracy’s proud daughter said no one was surprised when Tracy decided to become a life coach 15 years ago. She started her own website:

Lifelong Dream 

Despite a busy career in the government and as a life coach, Tracy always dreamed of publishing a book. La Toya said her father, Sergio Kentish, gave Tracy the push she needed to finally get the book out. ‘Don’t Just Say You Love Me’ was finally published on November 18 of 2020, just two months before Tracy unexpectedly passed away.

La Toya says the book is a great summary of her mother’s work and truly expresses who she was. “It’s an awesome, fun self-help book to teach you to love on yourself. In order to experience real love, you have to notice and recognize it in yourself.  It’s about the definition of love. The simplicity of unconditional love. Finding that within yourself. That’s what people will take away from it.”

She Embodied Unconditional Love

Her daughter said the book perfectly sums her mom. “She was unconditional love. I always think of the scripture in First Corinthians. Love is patient. Love is kind.  If you don’t do anything else down here, just love yourself. It sounds so simple, but it’s really hard for the majority of the people on the planet.”

La Toya followed in her mother’s footsteps and helps others as a life coach and yoga teacher. She plans to take over her mother’s website and continue her mission.

“My mom wanted everybody to live their dreams,” La Toya said. “One of her favorite things was helping people find their purpose and their passion. Finding a purpose to exist.  Finding yourself.”

The family hopes Tracy’s guide to help other people achieve their dreams will make her dream of selling 1 million copies of the book a reality. 

You can get your copy at