“Not only was she my daughter, she was my friend. Being Meredith’s mom was one of the greatest experiences a mother could have. I watched her as she grew up and everyday she excelled in something. She was loving, funny, athletic, a scholar, and her love for the Lord was beyond anything I have ever seen. April 8, 2009, she lost her peripheral vision and immediately went to the school nurse. She was referred to a specialist who immediately dilated her eyes and found a 15mm tumor. We went to Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia where they did a radiation plaque for 7 days. She lost almost all her vision in her left eye. One year and one month later her PET scans showed 4 lesions on her liver. The cancer had spread… there was no cure. Meredith lived the next 4 years coaching and mentoring girls in basketball, married her high school sweetheart and on February 24, 2014, she died with family surrounding her. She would always say, “I am not afraid for we walk by faith not by sight” ll Corinthians 5:7. She was only 26 years old. I miss my baby everyday. One day I will see her again. She assured me, “Mom, this is only temporary”.
President Jimmy Carter was recently presented with a Courage Award at the 20th Anniversary Wings of Hope for Melanoma gala by the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF). President Carter is the great uncle to Meredith’s husband. In this video for the MRF, President Carter discusses the advances that have been made in the treatment of melanoma since Meredith’s untimely passing.
It means so much when people continue to post and share pictures of Meredith.
Recently, an incredible woman from California, a melanoma warrior herself, has been turning her personal Facebook page into a melanoma awareness tool. With some 2,400 followers, the amazing Kristi has created albums for melanoma warriors and melanoma angels. Last night we were very touched to see her feature Meredith on her page https://www.facebook.com/kristi.nyhuis/posts/10205566746901551
Thank you Kristi and everyone who keeps Meredith in their thoughts!
Post by the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund
February 24, 2014: Your mom calls with the terrible news. There are tears. There are no words.
March 2014: We read and re-read the beautiful articles written about you and all of your accomplishments. We honour what would have been your 27th birthday.
April 2014: We obsessively read your old emails and Facebook messages and smile at your enthusiasm and zest for life. We think of all of the people you inspired with your bravery and willingness to share your melanoma journey.
May 2014: We honour you in a slideshow at our fundraiser event for melanoma awareness month. We all fall silent as your smiling face fills the screen knowing that no pictures can ever capture how beautiful you truly were.
June 2014: We re-watch your episode of Say Yes to the Dress. We smile listening to your Southern accent and seeing the sparkle in your eyes as you find your gown.
July 2014: We work on a website for you, trying to include all of the amazing tributes written about you – there are so many.
August 2014: We take the ALS ice bucket challenge and in addition to donating to ALS, we give money to the DCMF and other melanoma charities in your name.
September 2014: We create business cards to inform others about you and your website and to keep your legacy going. When they arrive, seeing your beaming smile when we open the package is like a gift.
October 2014: We think of you and Christopher on what should have been your anniversary. We remember your fantastic wedding and what a gorgeous bride you were.
November 2014: We are thrilled that your parents come to Toronto but know you should be here too – laughing as we peer down the depths of the glass floor of the CN tower. We brave the cold in Niagara Falls and think of you as we take in the magnificence of this world wonder.
January 2015 – We see in the new year. We whisper a toast to you and to the others who are no longer with us.
February 24, 2015 – We cannot believe the year has passed. We think of you with love. We think of your parents, siblings, family and friends and many admirers. The world remains a sadder place without you but your legacy is strong. You will never be forgotten.
Meredith was an inspiration to so many people. Whether it was because of her brilliant smile, her amazing talents on the basketball court, her faith and devotion to God, her love of her family and friends, or how she handled and bravely battled a terrible disease, Meredith left an indelible impression on everyone she met (and even countless of people who never had the pleasure of being in her remarkable presence).
Having touched so many lives, it is not surprising that Meredith was a muse for bloggers and photographers and many other creative folk. How grateful we all are to have these lovely tributes to help us commemorate this wonderful young woman:
Meredith had her own blog “My Journey on Eagle’s Wings” where she reflected on her cancer journey. Reading her own words is another way we can remember Meredith’s faith, perseverance and love of life.