(WKBN) – Michelle Edenfield doesn’t describe herself as a remarkable woman, but those around her do.
She is a walking example of choosing joy — the same phrase she chose to honor her daughter.
“A lot of people live through tragedies, and the only way that my family and myself could make sense of this was to find a purpose greater,” she said.
In June of 2020, the Edenfields lost their daughter Melina to an aggressive pediatric brain tumor. Since then, Edenfield’s purpose has become to help others through the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research.
The foundation has joined with national partners to make changes to the way that cancer research is done.
“They are forcing institutions to now work together to share data, which doesn’t happen when it comes to cancer research,” she said.
Since its start, the foundation has raised nearly half a million dollars for cancer research. The foundation’s next event will be a softball tournament in May.
Edenfield is a mother, a wife and a mental health counselor, working with around 150 patients in her private practice.
“I can honestly say, I’ve never worked a day in my love. I love what I do. It is who I am,” she said.
She’s helping others choose joy, like she is, even if it’s not easy for her.
“My Melina chose joy every day of her life,” she said.
And while Edenfield doesn’t describe herself as remarkable, she knows that if Melina were here today, she’d be celebrating right along with her.
“She would want me to be proud of myself, because that’s just the type of person that Melina was,” she said.
More information about the Melina Edenfield Foundation can be found on its website.