The Story of Mel’s Bracelets™
Mel Simmons exuded life. She brought her energy into every room she ever entered, every life she ever touched. Mel loved people and took them as they were, on their terms. Mel was diagnosed in 2000 with breast cancer. Her initial biopsy showed 24 nodes positive for breast cancer. Mel entered every drug protocol offered which resulted in her having to take a year off from work, leaving her both physically and financially drained – but never without her legendary humor and spirit. As a 38 year Boston based flight attendant for Delta Air Lines, Mel had many colleagues who would bring Mel handfuls of colorful bracelets from abroad. Mel loved them and delighted in giving them away to hospital staff and patients. Patients arrived for chemotherapy treatments to find beautiful bracelet gifts from Mel on their chair.
Shortly after Mel passed away, those who received the bracelets as gifts began wearing them in her honor. Mel´s Bracelet™ has become an icon for friendship, support, love, community and solidarity that started with one person and has grown to include many other people’s touching stories. A group of her friends decided to offer the bracelets for a donation to fund the research and support that helped Mel survive for five years after her diagnosis. In just one year, Mel’s friends raised $1,000,000 and donated the funds to the Massachusetts General Cancer Center in her honor. The Friends of Mel Foundation continues to grow.