Everyday Hero: Melody Melloy - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Everyday Hero: Melody Melloy

A rare few are exempt from the long reach of cancer.

The disease can steal hope, love and the future.

But Everyday Hero Melody Melloy is helping patients fight for those very things.

“The statistics now in America is one in every two men are going to be diagnosed and one in every three women are going to be," said Everyday Hero Melody Melloy. "So there’s nobody that’s not affected by cancer anymore.”

And unfortunately, not everyone is equipped for the long, hard fight ahead.

That’s where the United Cancer Assistance Network or UCAN comes in.

“Every day we get to make a difference here," Melody said. "Every day we’re helping somebody, we’re changing their lives whether it be a little bit or a lot.”

From the basics like food supplements and trips to and from treatment, to helping pay electric bills and mortgages, UCAN helps patients in Butler, Ripley, Wayne and Stoddard counties.

“Nobody should ever have to do it alone," she said.

And this organization assures that no one does.

Melody was originally a volunteer for the non-profit and on the board of directors.

But in 2012, she became the Executive Director.

“I think its definitely taught me more compassion and more empathy," Melody said. "I have met some of the strongest people you’ll ever meet in your life.”

Melody often meets people at one of the worst times of their lives.

A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, but her work is tireless and life changing.

“I feel like God put me here for however long it is," she said. "Everything we’ve done has gone so well and there’s not been a lot of hiccups, God’s had his hand on every bit of this.”

In her time leading the non-profit, the organization has expanded to three fundraisers a year, moved into the Danny Bell Cancer Center in Poplar Bluff and added two transport vans to make sure patients never miss a treatment.

“We’re going to do everything we can to give them a fighting chance," Melody said.

That’s not to say there aren’t hard days, “we get to celebrate with them when they get good news and we mourn when they don’t.”

But through the tears there are moments to relish.

Melody says a lot of those moments are in the wig room.

“Sometimes the wig room is the funnest room to be in.”

There cancer patients get to pick out a wig or turban or scarf, whatever makes them feel beautiful.

All of these things help ease the financial burden and provide support that otherwise isn’t always there.

“You watch these people go through it and they never complain," Melody said. "And you know they’re tired, you’re watching them lose weight, and they’re doing it.”

So while they fight UCAN stands in their corner.

For Melody, it’s an emotional journey.

“If I had a dollar for every time I asked 'Why?' UCAN wouldn’t need to have fundraisers.”

But there’s one thing that keeps her coming back day after day.

“It seems there’s more losses than victories. But man, those victories. Those are the ones that keep you going.”

She hopes there are many more victories to come.

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Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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