My girls have all been very blessed with the people in their lives since birth. They are lucky to grow up in our wonderful Canfield community but also to be so loved in their Dad’s work community of Lisbon. And Melina loved her Lisbon family. Melina grew up in Lisbon schools. Riding her bike in the hallways (don’t tell the principal) cheering at every game and not for one second being treated like an outsider.
When Melina was diagnosed this community found out first and very quickly. And from that moment the support has been endless. They truly loved our little girl. They have bought helmet stickers for their football team. They created the ribbon profile picture that filled Facebook. They have purchased more choose joy shirts than I can count. Their sports teams wear choose joy as their warm ups. There is a group of students who have made and our selling their own choose joy bracelets. They made their community youth group shirts to represent our Melina. They are doing everything they can to make an impact. But they aren’t just doing it for research. They are doing it because they knew her and they are one of the most caring groups of people I have ever met. Her legacy matters to them.
So as a mom how can you begin to thank a community of people…you can’t. How can I ever express my appreciation for not only what they are doing for my baby girl but for what they are doing to help my husband manage this tragedy. This community is one that I never got to live in but can not be more grateful for the love and compassion they have. And I can never thank them enough. And just when I think they have done all they can. They go and do more. They dedicated a volleyball game this year to raise money for our Foundation. Just when I think I have seen it all they rise up. Thank you Lisbon for loving all three of my girls. Thank you for caring for our family. And thank you for showing me how much we matter. You truly are one community I could not be more grateful for and am so blessed to be part of.