Why I'm Running
To support my friend, her family, and to try and help any family that has a child with a life-threatening illness.
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.

$8,203.00 of $10000 goal

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Andrew Loree
3 days ago
$100.00
Jeff Iannucci
4 days ago
$120.00
Angela and Lance Tidwell
4 days ago
$120.00
Lori Edwards
4 days ago
$100.00
Amit Bansal
4 days ago

Best wishes...

$48.00
Deepthi Goguri
5 days ago
$25.00
Blythe M
5 days ago

<3

$50.00
Lisa B
5 days ago

Keep smiling, Mela!

$500.00
Michael K. Campbell
5 days ago
$240.00
Anonymous
5 days ago
$24.00
Chuckw7_7
6 days ago
$48.00
Doug Purnell (SQLNikon)
6 days ago
$24.00
Nick Harshbarger
6 days ago
$120.00
The Wickham's
6 days ago

Do it for Mela!

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Mike Essen
6 days ago
$120.00
Erik Darling
6 days ago
$500.00
Anonymous
6 days ago
$48.00
Anthony Nocetino
6 days ago

Best of luck Erin!!!

$240.00
Andy Yun & Deborah Melkin
6 days ago
$120.00
Chris Yates
6 days ago
$48.00
Kendra Little
6 days ago
$48.00
Greg Robidoux
6 days ago
$240.00
Jeremy Kadlec
6 days ago

Run hard.

$240.00
Chris Hinson
6 days ago

Cancer sucks, let's beat it!

$24.00
Tracey Downing
7 days ago
$48.00
Tif Scherer
7 days ago

Go Erin & Team Mela! Better Days Are Ahead 🌈

$24.00
Doug Lane
7 days ago
$24.00
Eric Blinn
7 days ago
$48.00
Brenda Kirk
7 days ago

We’re cheering for you!

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Monica Rathbun
7 days ago

#cancersucks... go kick it's ass Erin for Mela!

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John Morehouse
7 days ago

Go Erin go!

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Team Straight Path Solutions
7 days ago
$500.00
Tim Radney
7 days ago
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Allan Hirt
7 days ago
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Mom
7 days ago

For Mela!

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Rich McGarry
7 days ago
$50.00
Allen White
8 days ago
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Leslie Andrews
8 days ago

Go, Erin, go!

$48.00
thatjeffsmith
8 days ago

go, go, go, ..., go!

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The Lanes
8 days ago

You are amazing!

skreebydba
8 days ago
$48.00
Beardy McBeardFace
8 days ago

You are awesome Erin. What an amazing challenge. All of the Beardy support. Also Cancer sucks

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Zikato
8 days ago

Go Mela!

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Meher Malakapalli
8 days ago

Best of Luck Erin

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Sadukie
8 days ago
$48.00
Argenis Fernandez
8 days ago

Go Erin!!

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Anonymous
8 days ago
$48.00
The Shore Family
8 days ago
$100.00
Yanni Robel
8 days ago

So proud of you!

$240.00
Josh H
8 days ago
$48.00
Anonymous
8 days ago
$24.00
Ben Miller
8 days ago

You got this and GO Team Mela

$120.00
Glenn Berry
8 days ago

In memory of my father in law, who was taken by cancer in 2016

$48.00
Drsql!
8 days ago
$24.00
Travis Page
8 days ago
$48.00
Taryn Pratt
8 days ago
$48.00
Tina Chorlton
8 days ago

You're amazing!

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SQL Cyclist
8 days ago
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Ben
8 days ago
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Bert
8 days ago
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Jahans
8 days ago
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The McElwains
8 days ago
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Pomfrets
8 days ago

Great work Erin, can't wait to follow along as you crush this!

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LobsterPot Solutions
9 days ago
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Jason Sholar
9 days ago
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Anonymous
9 days ago
$24.00
Nettle Family
9 days ago

In memory of Donny Begue

The Randals
9 days ago

Way to go Erin!

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Lara rubbelke
9 days ago
$100.00
pmpjr
9 days ago
$100.00
Rie Merritt
9 days ago

In memory of my cousin Greg who died of leukemia in 1978

$100.00
Anonymous
9 days ago
TA
9 days ago
AB
9 days ago
$240.00