Stephanie Anne Melton of Boulder, CO passed away on November 8, 2010 at HospiceCare in Louisville, CO. She was 21 years old. Stephanie was born on October 12, 1989 at Boulder Community Hospital and attended Boulder Valley Public Schools. She was a graduate of Boulder High School (2007) where she was a active member of the school’s Cheer Squad for 4 years, Captain of the Cheer Squad for 1 year, and member of both National Honor Society and Model United Nations.
Upon graduation, Stephanie visited several universities with the goal of perusing a Pre-Med degree. After much contemplation, she opted to attend UCLA in Los Angeles and accumulated a 3.97 GPA during her first year at that institution. She also became a member of the UCLA Stroke Force.
Stephanie’s father explained that his daughter had a real passion for learning, was an avid reader and kept abreast of current events. In addition, she loved jogging, annual participation in the Boulder Boulder race each spring and listening to music.
Stephanie was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in July, 2008. Throughout her diagnosis and treatment, Stephanie maintained an optimistic outlook with the intent to beat her cancer and return to her studies at UCLA. Stephanie was cancer-free for six months, only to learn that the cancer had returned to her brain. Throughout her entire ordeal, Stephanie was determined to be as active as possible. Thanks to a positive attitude, Stephanie was able to spend cherished time with family and friends.
Stephanie is survived by her parents, Don and Pat Melton, her sister Melissa Melton, brother Steve Melton, nieces Kelley Roush and Ali Vasquez, nephew Anthony Melton and her beloved dog Bubba, who she rescued from the Boulder Valley Humane Society. The family has requested that donations be made in memory of Stephanie to Dani’s Foundation and their Ewing’s Sarcoma Research Fund. To make donations in memory of Stephanie Melton, log on to www.danisfoundation.orgor mail your tax-deductible donation to Dani’s Foundation, 216 16th Street, Suite 1600, Denver, CO 80202
From the UCLA Daily Bruin -Published November 29, 2010
Former Pre-Medicine Student Dies of Ewing’sSarcoma, A Rare Cancer
By Samantha Masunaga
Melton began her first year at UCLA in 2007 and quickly found her niche when she joined Stroke Force. The program trains members to give community presentations on the symptoms of strokes and also to identify possible stroke victims in the emergency room of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Although the selection process is competitive, Melton stood out from other applicants because of her passionate attitude. “She truly cared and was happy to be there,” said Jennifer Yoohanna, a UCLA alumna and former internal affairs coordinator for Stroke Force. “She was a very positive influence on the team, and her Stroke Force family really benefited from her leadership.”
Aside from her involvement with Stroke Force, Melton was a dedicated student who ended her first year with a GPA of 3.97. She also had an active lifestyle and frequently exercised and maintained a healthy diet.
Although Melton was busy, she always made time for her friends and would meet up with them for dinner, either in the dining halls or out in Westwood, said Sarah van Cleve, a fourth-year economics student and Melton’s best friend during their first year. “She absolutely loved UCLA – she was so excited to be here,” van Cleve said, adding that they would attend parties and football games together and went to the Los Angeles Coliseum to see the USC-UCLA football game in 2007. While the two friends were involved in different activities, they frequently spent time together and could bond over their similarities, such as their shared out-of-state residencies. Melton and van Cleve decided to be roommates during their second year and had planned to live with two other friends in Hitch Suites.
But during the summer of 2008, Melton was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare disease in which cancer cells are found in the bone or in soft tissue. The news was very sudden, as Melton had simply gone to the doctor to remove an ovarian cyst. Melton then had to withdraw from the university to begin intensive chemotherapy near her home in Colorado. While the complications from the treatment would sometimes make her sick, Melton always maintained a positive attitude and a cheerful demeanor.
According to an e-mailed statement from her father, throughout the entire time she battled cancer, she never once complained about her situation. Even near the end of her time, she always told people who inquired about how she was doing that she was fine. Her father stated that she was his hero.
Even though she was not physically at UCLA, Stephanie Melton continued to stay in touch with her friends. “I still remember when we moved into our suite in Hitch, Stephanie had fresh flowers delivered to us,” said Jennifer Lee, a fourth-year Chinese student who was one of Melton’s closest friends. “She was really a very caring and thoughtful person. ”But this selfless attitude was not limited to her friends, as Melton organized a toy drive for children being treated for cancer at her hospital last December. Melton went into remission for six months, before the cancer spread to her brain.
“Every quarter, she thought she’d be better,” van Cleve said. “That was her No. 1 priority – to come back to UCLA when she was better.” Melton was born on Oct. 12, 1989 in Boulder, Colo. In high school, she juggled numerous extracurricular activities, including cheer squad and Model United Nations, while doing well academically. Melton is survived by her parents, Don and Pat Melton; sister Melissa; and brother Steve.