This year of grief has been challenging to say the least. As we faced the year of seconds without our Melina our hearts are learning this is our forever. Our physical Melina isn’t with us anymore. Pictures of a family of four sneak into my photos. There are still many mornings we wake up and think it was all a nightmare. Only to relive the grief.
As 2021 progressed we started to learn how to live for her. I am learning how to take her with me. I am learning how to fight. I fight for those whose hearts and fears I know all too well. As the new year approached, I continued to see people making resolutions or choosing words to represent the new year. I decided in true Melina fashion I didn’t want to be like everyone else. My word will always be Joy, and I don’t have much of a resolution anymore. My values couldn’t be more focused on what matters, and that is my three baby girls, and my family forever. This year I thought why not establish a promise. A promise to myself. A promise to every mother. A promise to every father. A promise to every child fighting. A promise to every family touched by cancer. A promise to every family who has experienced loss from any cancer. And a promise to my Melina.
I promise to be here. I promise this year I will push harder. I promise this year that we will continue to work to increase awareness. I promise that I won’t sit back silently and accept four percent. I promise to support this battle and any family on this road any way I can. I promise to never stop talking of Melina’s Joy. I promise this year i will find her Joy more than we ever have.
So to start this promise I wanted to share our first donation that we were able to make at the close of last year. (We made three). First and foremost we chose to continue to grow the Melina Michelle Edenfield Fund at Akron Childrens. This fund was established to help brain tumor research and the neuro-oncology program of Akron Children’s to grow. We donated 50,000 dollars to Akron Children’s to make our total donation since our start to 200,000.
We will never forget the amazing professionals that helped our Melina. We will always honor them and all the local families that continue to be all in. Thank you always to Melinas neuro team and oncology teams. This donation is dedicated to all of you. Your community supports the amazing work you do. We are forever grateful for the treatment and compassion you gave all of us.
Today I wanted to wish you all a very joyful new year. I want to thank you for sharing this journey with us for the past year and half. I want to thank you for helping us to grow. We can not do this alone. I promise everyone of you this year our fight will only be bigger. And my greatest promise will be to help others find Joy. As long as we all continue to Choose Joy, we all win.