‘Choose joy’: Family, community remembering young girl who died of cancer with fundraiser this weekend

Local News

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The community continues to step up and support the family of a 4-year-old girl who lost her battle to brain cancer in June 2020. This weekend, there will be a celebration of her life and a fundraiser to help other kids.

It’s been over a year since the Edenfield family lost their youngest daughter, Melina, to brain cancer but she is still being honored. Her family and community are teaming up to help fight childhood cancer.

Melina was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and a month later, she passed away. Before her diagnosis, her mom said Melina never had as much as a sick visit.

On Saturday, Melina’s ten best friends will be hosting the Choose Joy event for the second year in a row. They came up with the idea shortly after she passed away last year.

Since then, the event has already grown tremendously — it’s moving from a neighborhood front yard to the Canfield Green.

There will be family activities, basket raffles, face painting, bounce houses, princesses, photo booths and more.

It’s called the Choose Joy event because as Melina was battling cancer, she would tell her family every day to choose joy instead.

“We want to leave with smiles, and we always say we cannot control what happens to us. We cannot stop bad things from happening, but we can wake up every day and choose how we respond to things,” said Michelle Edenfield, Melina’s mom. “So we choose Melina’s joy, and she chose joy every day of her life and we will continue to do that for her, and that’s what I want people to take away from that.”

The goal is to honor Melina’s spirit and enjoy all of her favorite things, while raising awareness and money to fight pediatric cancer.

“There’s no options for treatment at this time. There’s things that can give you time, but there’s just no answers,” Michelle said. “We decided that Melina was our miracle for four-and-a-half years and we truly believe that she’s going to get the miracle for other families for a lifetime.”

The Choose Joy event is happening Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The whole event is donation-based and all of the money raised will go to the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation for cancer research.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WKBN.com