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The Choose Joy for Melina
 Fourth Annual Virtual 5K


How do I register and what does it cost?

You can register for the event by clicking HERE. The cost is $30.00 per participant.

What do I get for my registration?

Shirts and cinch bags are no longer available for participants registered after September 18th, 2023.  Your registration fee is a contribution toward helping to find a cure for childhood brain cancer by "Choosing Joy for Melina".

Where do I pick up my race packet?

You have the option of picking up your goody bag (t-shirt included in the bag) at Second Sole in Boardman prior to the race date (date and time TBD, all participants will be notified via email) or you can choose to have your goody bag shipped to you for $10 (select shipping during registration).  


Who is the race organizer?

The Choose Joy for Melina 4th Annual 5k is presented by the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation.


What is the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation? 

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 Virtual 5k.’ All proceeds from this event will 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!

Where do I run or walk my 5k?

Anywhere!  Be creative - you can complete your 5K in your neighborhood, the park, or even on a treadmill.  Run or Walk! Choose Joy!


How long do I have to submit my time?

You may submit your time between the dates of October 2nd-October 31st.


How do I submit my time?

Simply submit your time to and he will upload it for you.  If you run a faster 5K time at any point thereafter, you may resubmit your time to be updated.  


Do I need to submit proof of my time?

No.  This virtual event is honor-based.  We hope that everyone is truthful when submitting times, although we will monitor times as they are uploaded.  

Are there awards?

We will be offering "fun" awards that reflect Melina's personality and passions. More information to come! However, all profits from your race registration and/or donation will be donated to the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation to help find a cure for child brain cancer by “Choosing Joy for Melina.”


Are you accepting donations?

Yes we are.  Thank you for your interest in supporting the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation. You may make a donation during your registration or by clicking HERE.


Who are the proceeds benefiting?

Proceeds will benefit the Melina Michelle Edenfield Foundation to support finding a cure for childhood brain cancer. You can read more about this non-profit organization by clicking HERE.

Who are the sponsors for this event?

Endearing Events, Wee Ones Pediatrics, Youngstown Painting and Decorating, Travco Behavioral Health, Grandpa Bernie & Miss Sharon Edenfield, KRK Associates, J.S. Paris Excavating, Philipstrong Fund, York Mahoning, Blue Sky Therapy, Mike and Cindy McCarthy, Simon Roofing, Westside Bowl, Carlyn K Photography, Gilea Landscape Lighting, Posh Studio, Zarlenga Family Foundation, ACME Resources, Barry Dyngles, Paullin Sealcoating, The Cromer Family, F45 Southloop, Lincoln Reimbursement Solutions, The Nutrition Group, Edward Jones Columbiana Ohio, The Nelson Family, Phil & Karla Popovec, GO30 Realty, SA Stone, Investment Advisors, Fresh Coat Painters of Canfield, Roger Popovec & Holly Flaniken, EDM Management, Brouse McDowell LPA, Covelli Enterprises, Industrial Mill Maintenance, Wedgewood Pharmacy, Covelli Enterprises/Panera Bread, Raymond Chiropractic, Dr. Laura Musser, Haus Auto Group, Cafe 422, Graft Electric, American Portfolios, Kubik Tax, Valley Little Melodies.


How can I view the results?

Results will begin to upload on October 2nd and will update each day through October 31st, 2023.  You will be able to view results by clicking HERE beginning on October 2nd. 

Message 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. 




Thank you for your support. 

For questions or concerns please contact the race director Brandy at

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