Melanie Paige

Sunflower Field Foundation

Childhood Cancer Awareness

Melanie Paige

 

In many ways, Melanie Paige DiDomizo was your typical teenage girl. Melanie loved music, fashion, makeup, and hanging out with  and talking with family and friends. 

 

At the age of 13, Melanie, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). There was no indication anything was wrong until Melanie hurt her leg at dance and after two weeks of her leg not feeling better she had an MRI, that revealed a child and parents worse nightmare. They discovered cancer in her leg and knee. An 8th grader, whose only worry should have been decided what dress to wear for the 8th grade dance and looking forward to graduating and going to high school, instead had to deal with many battles with cancer.  While It could chip away at parts of her, it couldn’t chip away at her beautiful spirit, because Mel wouldn’t let cancer define her.

Mel was an Angel, she was a warrior, she was fierce. Melanie fought and won many battles against cancer over the last 3+ years. For some of these battles, many people didn't even know she was fighting. That's because she never wanted pity or to be treated differently. No matter how bad the situation, she still considered herself lucky, for I heard her say so many times, there was always someone who had it worse. She always handled it with with her beautiful smile and a positive and happy spirit. With each battle, and with each victory, she came away stronger, more beautiful, more loving, more courageous; and for all of us around her we grew more inspired. That's because once again, she didn't let cancer define her.

One of Meanie's friends shared with us a story that perfectly defined Mel:

"I didn't know you well, but Freshman year I was in the bathroom, crying. You were there. You didn't even know who I was, but you comforted me with a hug and told me everything was going to be ok. We need more people like Mel."

 

The Melanie Paige Sunflower Connection

 

If there is one thing, one symbol that could best define Melanie, it's that of her favorite flower, the sunflower. While sunflowers come in many shades, they are best known for their beautiful shades of yellow and gold. Not only does yellow represent Melanie's favorite color, yellow is also the color associated with Osteosarcoma awareness, as gold is associated with childhood cancer awareness. But it's not the symbolism of cancer and the colors of yellow and gold that we associate Melanie with the sunflower. It's the many other qualities and characteristics the two are known for and share.

Sunflowers are world renowned for their beauty and inspiration, having inspired artists like Van Gough and Monet. It was Melanie's inner and outer beauty that inspired us. It was her courage, strength, and positive attitude that inspired us. It was Melanie's spirit that inspired her family, friends, classmates, her community, and even perfect strangers, inspired us to want to be around her, to help her and to root for her.

Sunflowers, like Melanie, represent optimism and hope. Melanie said that what she loved most about sunflowers was that they always moved to follow the sunlight. It was Melanie's great sense of optimism, that for all her battles with darkness, she always chose hope and light, always look at the bright side, to follow the sun.

Sunflowers represent the feelings of Love, Joy, Adoration and Admiration. It's this same sense of Love, Joy, Adoration, and Admiration we all had for Melanie and that she showered on her family, friends and people around her. To Melanie, family, friends, caring doctors and nurses, classmates and random acts and gestures of kindness represented her sun. To us, we were the sunflowers and she was our sun. 

 

Sunflowers represent loyalty and strong bonds. Mel forged many strong and  loyal bonds, with close family, friends, classmates, doctors, nurses and her community. But there were no stronger bonds that inspired us like the loving and loyal mother-daughter bond between Mel, Samantha and their mom, my sister. The loving and loyal sisterly bond, That was and always will be, Melanie and Samantha. The loving and loyal father-daughter bond that grew so strong between Mel and Dan; and lastly, the strong, loyal and loving bond the four of them shared as a family.

Sunflowers represent healing. Sunflowers are able to absorb heavy metals and toxins from the ground, freeing the solid from these contaminants, while growing into a big beautiful flower. Melanie's family and friends have embraced the sunflower as a symbol of Melanie's beauty, inspiration, love and to help us heal. It's a reminder that in Melanie's most difficult and dark times, she chose to look at the sun. 

Sunflowers represent faith. It is our faith that by setting up the Melanie Paige Sunflower Fields Foundation, that Melanie's love, beauty, inspiration, optimism, can live on, in helping other children and their families who are battling cancer. Faith that we can raise awareness for children's cancer to inspire more funding for research  for a cure.

 

Melanie Paige Sunflower Fields Foundation Mission

Melanie Paige Sunflower Fields Foundation was established to raise awareness for Children's cancer to support children battling cancer and their families. 

Melanie Paige, inspired friends, classmates and perfect strangers to do host fundraisers on her behalf and to raise funds for research for children's cancer. Through the Melanie Paige Sunflower Fields Foundation, we hope to inspire other kids to be involved with our foundation to raise childhood cancer awareness; help in fundraising efforts in partnership with local children's hospitals for needs such as gift cards, art and craft supplies, electronics, etc.. Kids can start their own Melanie Paige Sunflower Fields with friends and classmates and even be involved in decisions on what the money is used for with local hospitals. Students will be able to earn scholarships through the Melanie Paige Foundation based on their involvement in fundraising and volunteer efforts.

Melanie Paige developed strong bonds with doctors and nurses who helped care for her. They were among Melanie's biggest champions and cheerleaders. They cheered and celebrated with her and her family with every victory and shared our tears and heartbreak with Mel's setback and her passing. What stood out is their strength and compassion. We want to ensure that they understand our appreciation and how important they are in helping these children and their families. Some of these efforts include making ear savers to alleviate the discomfort of having to wear face masks; making protective masks, sending pizza or boxes of goodies for the nurses and doctors.

Melanie Paige developed strong bonds with doctors and nurses who helped care for her. They were among Melanie's biggest champions and cheerleaders. They cheered and celebrated with her and her family with every victory and shared our tears and heartbreak with Mel's setback and her passing. What stood out is their strength and compassion. We want to ensure that they understand our appreciation and how important they are in helping these children and their families. Some of these efforts include making ear savers to alleviate the discomfort of having to wear face masks; making protective masks, sending pizza or boxes of goodies for the nurses and doctors.

© 2020 Melanie Paige

Sunflower Fields Foundation

501(C)(3)

​​Contact Us:

1-732-618-3310

RachelB@mpsunflowers.org

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