Article continues below advertisement

Natalia, Kobe and ’s eldest daughter has been her mom’s greatest support system as she deals with the pain of losing her loved ones. Vanessa even calls Natalia her “right-hand woman,” adding that she is “extremely proud” of the teenager. 

“On top of her own grief, she has balanced her senior year of high school, applying to colleges, nurturing her sisters, and just recently signing her own modeling contract with IMG,” she gushed. “She is a wonderful big sister and an incredible daughter.”

Article continues below advertisement

“This pain is unimaginable, [but] you just have to get up and push forward,” she proclaimed. “Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.” 

Article continues below advertisement

As OK! previously reported, on the morning of January 26, 2020, Kobe, his daughter and a group of friends — which included Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa — set out in a helicopter to attend a basketball game.

Piloted by Ara Zobayan, the helicopter ultimately crashed in Calabasas, Calif. Zobayan had 10 years experience flying in the area, but he climbed sharply before banking (swift change in direction) abruptly and plunged into the California hillside. There were no survivors.

first spoke with PEOPLE for the magazine’s Women Changing the World issue.