Mon October 2, 2023 Canfield, OH 44406 US


Please be aware that shirts and cinch bags are no longer available for participants registered after September 18th, 2023.


The Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping find a cure for childhood brain cancer.  As a foundation, we are organizing the "The Choose Joy for Melina Fourth Annual 5K."  All proceeds from this event go directly to our foundation and we are hopeful that you will consider participating in the event.


On May 22, 2020, the lives of the Edenfield family changed in an unimaginable way, when their youngest of three daughters, Melina Michelle Edenfield — a joyful, energetic, and brilliant little four-year-old — was diagnosed with a deadly childhood brain tumor called Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG). Despite initial hope from the doctors that radiation treatment might extend her already limited prognosis, the tumor was one of the most aggressive the doctors had seen, and just a month and two days later — on June 24, 2020 — the tumor took sweet little Melina’s life. 

Up0n Melina’s diagnosis, we learned that childhood cancer research is severely underfunded, receiving less than 3% of all money raised for cancer research.  Less than 1% of that total goes toward pediatric brain tumor funding, equating to only $500 per child diagnosed.  Our mission is to not only raise awareness, but to further fund the necessary research efforts in hopes of saving these wonderful children.

Melina loved her family, her older sisters, Emilea and Klara, “cheeto” (cheetah) print, and during the most difficult part of her and her family’s lives, Melina never lost her zest or passion for life.  She chose joy every day, and continues to inspire us all to do the same. Please consider racing, sponsoring, or donating to the first annual ‘Choose Joy for Melina Virtual 5k’. We are dedicated to choosing joy for Melina, and we are dedicated to raising as much money as possible to further advance the research to cure pediatric brain tumors. We are greatly appreciative of your consideration. CHOOSE JOY!

Please submit your virtual 5K time to and he will upload it to the official results page.  

Thank you to our sponsors!

Race Website

Additional race information can be found by clicking HERE.

Letter from Melina's Mom


I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. I’m Michelle, and I am proud to say I am the mother of three beautiful baby girls, Klara, Emilea, and Melina. I am also currently the president of the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation. I have tried to resign a few times since it began because, to be honest, it’s hard, it’s very hard. However, what is harder is thinking of all the families that are experiencing this pain, this loss, and the magnitude of helplessness upon hearing the most brilliant professionals say “yes this is a death sentence, there is nothing that can be done, we just don’t have answers.” Because of that, and because of my Melina, I invite you into my army to fight. 

As we fight I want you to understand our cause, our mission, and our love. Our Melina was a beautiful, happy, strawberry blonde, curly-haired competitive spirit. Melina never so much as had a sick visit. She had never been on an antibiotic. Imagine our shock on May 22nd when we were told there was a mass on her brain, and as the day unfolded, we found out she had a tumor in her brain stem. And the craziest part, we caught the tumor earlier than most. From the day she was diagnosed, Melina declined. There was a chance radiation could give us 4-6 months with our baby. Think of that -- the best there is to offer right now to a family with this diagnosis is a chance at 4-6 months with their child. And, as of now, very few clinical trials exist, and unfortunately, they provide minimal to no success with quality of life. 

Our Melina was amazing throughout the last month of her life. As she declined, her spirit never did. And because of that we have to carry her spirit to fight. I can’t sleep at night thinking this is the best we’ve got. Neil Armstrong’s daughter had the same type of tumor. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. We haven’t made a significant advancement in treatment for this type of pediatric brain tumor in 60 years. 

So I ask you to join my fight. I don’t care how big or how small. But we are fighting for answers, for awareness, and for joy. I need to know families can have hope. I need to know Melina has a purpose greater than her four and half short years on this earth. I need to hear people talk about her because she truly was our miracle, and I really want her to be the miracle for someone else. We are raising as much money as we can to donate to research for a cure for these horrible tumors. We are raising awareness of Melina’s joy. So today I am asking you to register for the ‘Choosing Joy for Melina First Annual Virtual 5k,’ to make a donation, to share the event, and make a choice today to choose joy because you can and because Melina wants you to. 


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