2011 Melissa Heydenreich Moxie Benefit
Melissa Heydenreich was not only a Penn State graduate, but also a State College resident. She was a diehard Penn State fan, an avid runner, a University Scholar, Lion Ambassador, Renaissance Scholar, and a member of Parmi Nous Honor Society.
In August 1996, Melissa was diagnosed with acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. She spent the next 4 months between John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore an apartment nearby and occasionally back at the home she loved in Alexandria, VA. Despite months of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant, Melissa was irrepressible throughout her fight with cancer. She bought Holiday gifts for her doctors, chatted with the nurses, and circled the halls for hours each day while pushing an IV unit as a substitute for running, which had been one of her favorite hobbies.
Melissa died on New Years Day 1997. Although she was cared for and supported by her family and friends, it is apparent in looking back that it was Melissa who gave them the strength to carry on through her display of courage and Moxie, and who now inspires them to be loving and thoughtful and to share their lives fully with those around them