Grief

Five Months

5 months

“So when tomorrow starts without me
Don’t think we’re far apart
For every time you think of me
I’m right here, in your heart”

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Basketball, College

Meredith: The Hall of Famer

To know Meredith is to know about her love of basketball.  One of Meredith’s proudest moments was when she was inducted into the USC Aiken Athletic Hall of Fame.  In a moving formal ceremony on February 17, 2012, Meredith took her rightful place as a Hall of Famer in women’s basketball.

You can read about this incredible moment for Meredith here and  here.

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Melanoma, Wedding

Meredith said yes to the dress

302816_10101143373971317_1063705864_nOn April 19, 2013, Meredith appeared on an episode of Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta “Hope on a Hanger” where viewers got to watch Meredith choose her wedding dress.

Accompanied by her mom, sister Lyndsi mother-in-law and some of her best friends, we all got to watch and enjoy as this beautiful bride selected the perfect gown for her big day!

Check out some of the articles written about this exciting moment in Meredith’s life:

“Legg to appear on Say Yes to the Dress”

“Former USC Aiken star to appear on Say Yes to the Dress”

 

 

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David Cornfield Melanoma Fund, Dear 16 Year Old Me, Friends, Grief, Melanoma, video

We remember Meredith

On February 24, 2014, our dear friend Meredith Legg Stapleton passed away at the age of 26 from ocular melanoma (OM).  We met Meredith when she kindly donated her time to travel from South Carolina to Toronto to film Dear 16 Year Old Me.  The minute we met Meredith, we knew we were in the presence of someone very special.  With her gorgeous smile, sparkling eyes and charming Southern accent, Meredith stole our hearts.

This Hall of Fame basketball player was a beloved and respected figure wherever she lived but particularly, in her University town of Aiken, South Carolina.  She held many records including all- time leader in scoring and sinking the most three-pointers in one game career  – just to name a few. In addition to her success on the court, Meredith achieved academic and career success and was popular with her classmates and colleagues.

Diagnosed with OM when she was just 22, Meredith was determined not to let this serious illness stop her from living life to the fullest and chose to use her illness to help raise awareness. When she participated in the filming of Dear 16 Year Old Me in 2011, her OM had spread to her liver, but you would never have known it from her energy and enthusiasm.  She was so excited to be part of this project and like us, never dreamed of the worldwide attention it would garner.  Meredith shone in the video.  Numerous people reached out to her to express their admiration. Many others told her that she had motivated them to get checked and their lives had been saved through early diagnosis and successful treatment.  As in her everyday life, Meredith was an inspiration to countless young people – showing fierce determination, zest for life and quiet courage and dignity.

To know Meredith was to know a whole community of people who loved her.  We were so fortunate through Meredith to get to know her incredible parents, siblings and friends. It was not surprising that Meredith was raised by and surrounded herself with people who were as genuine, kind and lovely as she was.

In October 2012, Meredith married her high school sweetheart, Christopher Stapleton – a truly wonderful man.   Again, Meredith took this opportunity to raise awareness, appearing in the TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta” and speaking bravely about her melanoma with her mom, sister and best girlfriends by her side.  Meredith’s wedding was on a lovely fall day, befitting this stunning bride. It was a privilege to all those present to watch these two young people, so obviously in love, exchange their wedding vows.

Enjoying newlywed life, Meredith tackled her cancer bravely – participating without complaint in any available treatment that her tireless parents and healthcare providers could track down for her. When all treatment options were sadly exhausted, Meredith faced this final journey with the same spirit that she had lived her whole life.

Surrounded by those who loved her, Meredith passed away on February 24, 2014, just a few days before her 27th birthday.  Our thoughts are with her family – her beloved husband Christopher, her devoted parents Basil and Robin, her sister and brother-in-law, Lyndsi and Rick, her brother Trey and her darling nephew and nieces, in addition to her countless friends and admirers.

We love you Meredith and you will always be in our hearts and thoughts

by Elyse Sunshine and the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund

 

At their May 2014 event, the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund dedicated this video to Meredith.

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