Melissa Jolynn Meulenbelt passed away peacefully at the age of 27 at the U of A Hospital in Edmonton surrounded by her family after a courageous life long battle with Cystic Fibrosis.
She is survived by her fiancé Matt Jegou, her mother Joanne (Mike) Fleischer; father Tony (Roxanne) Meulenbelt; stepbrothers Sean (Trina), Joey, Ryan, Justin, Matthew, Brandon and stepsister Bryanna (Sam); grandmother Jane Meulenbelt and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and many special friends. Melissa is predeceased by her sister Stacey Meulenbelt and her maternal grandparents Lloyd and Joan Stevenson and her paternal grandfather Aalt Meulenbelt.
Melissa was born on October 4, 1991 at the Red Deer Regional Hospital and grew up in Penhold, AB. She attended school in both Penhold and Innisfail and graduated in 2009. Melissa was immediately accepted into the prestigious University of Alberta four year Bachelor of Education program offered through Red Deer College. Unfortunately, due to illness, after her third year she had to take time off from school. But after an amazing, life saving lung transplant in 2015 she was able to continue her education and graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree in 2017. Melissa was finally able to fulfill her dream of being a teacher and taught school right up to her passing. Because Melissa received the incredible “gift of life” of a lung transplant she was able to live four more wonderful years. She was able to finish university, move into her own home, meet and get engaged to an amazing man, teach school and travel to many wonderful locations.
Melissa lived in Springbrook with her fiancé Matt and loved playing pool on her Dad’s pool team along with her sister Stacey and Matt. She also loved to golf, camp and travel. Her friends and family will always remember her for her optimistic outlook on life, her kindness and generosity, and her love of animals, especially her beloved cat “Fluffy” and her baby “Swiffer”, her toy Pomeranian.
Melissa was a strong, brave, motivated woman who showed kindness and caring to everyone she knew. She was always so appreciative to everyone who helped her along the way, especially her mom who was always there, holding her hand, telling her everything would be OK. Tragically Melissa and her family lost her sister Stacey to cancer in January 2018.
A memorial service will be held at the Crossroads Church in Red Deer on Wednesday January 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm with a reception to follow. Friends and family are invited to come and celebrate her life. The family would like to extend a huge thank you to the doctors and staff of the Calgary Children’s Hospital, the Calgary Foothills Hospital, the Red Deer Regional Hospital and the U of A Hospital in Edmonton. Without you, Melissa would not have lived such a wonderful full life. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or The Canadian Transplant Society.