Why I'm Running
I’m taking on the 24 in 24 because my best girl has cancer. I don’t like running. It’s hard. But it’s NOTHING compared to what this sweet 4-year-old does with a smile on her face. If I can run with a fraction of her strength, it will be no problem at all. I love you, Mimi. #melastrong
About Team Mela

On Tuesday, July 14th, 2020, at approximately 4:30pm, our world was flipped completely upside down. Our sweet, HILARIOUS, joy spreading Mela was diagnosed with high-risk Neuroblastoma. After three ER visits and one 3-day hospital admission for constipation, my momma gut, that just knew something else was going on, was proven to be correct. I’ll never forget the moment when the doctor opened the door to our hospital room and somberly entered with his entire team. He knelt by Mela's bed and quietly muttered the words with tears in his eyes, “I’m so sorry, but your daughter has cancer”. The next week was a fast-paced whirlwind of emotions, testing, diagnosing, and really (REALLY) hard conversations. The good news (miracle of God): she defied the odds and was diagnosed before the cancer had spread (extremely rare for high-risk Neuroblastoma). She had fallen off a swing at the end of June which caused a huge hematoma (bleed) around her tumor which caused the symptoms that led to diagnosis.

The very next day, Mela underwent a tumor biopsy and port placement and by that Friday, she started chemo. She was in the hospital for nearly 3 months with multiple complications including fevers, GI bleeding, infections, and an infected blood clot in her heart. On August 18th, she underwent a total tumor resection that also discovered the tumor had invaded her colon which required approximately 5cm of her colon to be removed. Since her diagnosis, she has completed 6 cycles of chemo, multiple surgeries, two stem cell transplants, and radiation. We are currently still in the hospital recovering from her second stem cell transplant that caused severe liver complications. When she is fully recovered, and/or well enough to proceed, she will continue treatment with six months of immunotherapy. Because high risk Neuroblastoma has a high (50%) relapse rate and there is no proven cure for relapse, Mela will likely be entered into a trial for the next few years to increase her chance of long-term survival. Like many other pediatric cancer treatment regimens, there is a risk for long term complications such as hearing loss, infertility, heart/kidney/liver problems, and even secondary cancers.

Over the last 11 months, our emotions as parents have gotten the best of us, but Mela has never let her diagnosis dim her sparkle. She travels through each admission and harsh treatment with grace, smiles, and humor and is constantly reminding us of the strength and fight she has within her. She encourages us daily to keep the hope and to look forward to the days that she can be with her brothers, swim, ride her dirt bikes, and just be a kid again. She showed us in the beginning of this cancer diagnosis that she is a odds-defying miracle, and she will show us again and again, all with a huge smile on her face. Better days ARE ahead.

$1,704.00 of $700 goal

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Recent Donations

Jessica Buca
19 days ago

Keep smiling and fighting Mela🦄🥰🌈❤🦄

$24.00
Nikki Lanigan
20 days ago
$120.00
Terri Folino
20 days ago

Keep fighting Mela 💛

$24.00
Jenny St. Marie
20 days ago
$24.00
Lemon Aid Apparel
22 days ago

Team Mela shirt fundraiser with the rest going to Erin Stellato <3 Good luck, friend!!

$5.00
The Willets Family
1 month ago

Our youngest went through a battle with neuroblastoma. Sending positive vibes your way.

$24.00
Bettie Schmikla ~ Re/Max Results
1 month ago

Lets do This!

$25.00
Dyana Fleming
2 months ago
$24.00
Debbie Stephens
2 months ago

To a true warrior princess. You are truly amazing!

$50.00
Anonymous
2 months ago
$120.00
Mary G
2 months ago

Always in my prayers sweet Mela💛

$50.00
Donna K. Breeding
2 months ago

Mela Rocks!!!

$50.00
Kim Justice
2 months ago

Here’s hoping everyone gets their wish!

$35.00
Racheal Cambarare
2 months ago

You guys are awesome! Love to Mela!

$24.00
Lynn Cambarare
2 months ago
$24.00
Halle P
2 months ago
$48.00
Beth Ramsey
2 months ago
$24.00
George and Debbie Tylka
3 months ago

Praying for Mela

$25.00
Tracey Lang
3 months ago
$50.00
Findleys
3 months ago

All three of you girls are just amazing !

$48.00
LC Campbell
3 months ago

Fight on Warrior Princess!

$100.00
Stephanie Basinger
3 months ago

I love you all! She will never fight alone.

$100.00
Heather Novak
3 months ago

Anything to hep this wonderful family and that sweet girl!

$24.00
Valerie and Daryl Price
3 months ago
$48.00
Carol Tarnowski
3 months ago

Hope and help for all children battling serious illnesses; thank you for running for Mela.

Nancy Gannon
3 months ago

🙏💜🦄

$24.00
Ken & Joan Flinner
3 months ago

Cancer has touched our lives and Mela gives me so much inspiration!!

$100.00
Terri Folino
3 months ago

Mela’s strength is an inspiration

$24.00
Laurie
3 months ago

I miss you. I admire you. I pray for this beautiful girl. You are an amazing Aunt! Namaste!

$50.00
Judd and Lauren Wallace
3 months ago
$120.00
Laurie Kortowich
3 months ago

❤️ Hugs to you and to Mela!!!

$24.00
Kathleen Cathey
3 months ago

Thank you for doing this

$48.00
Emily Fig
3 months ago

💖sending all the love to you, Mela, and everyone else 💖

Stacy Cambarare
3 months ago

You're a warrior! #melastrong #myhero #teammela

$20.00
Aunt Liz
3 months ago

You are amazing

$50.00