Melissa says she's a bit nervous. As she puts it, "I'm not big on giving speeches but I've learned a lot about being an inspiration because of my friends, family and all my fellow Chivers so I think I owe it to everyone else to compete and be the best I can be for everyone that follows me and has supported and loved me all these years."
We have a feeling she'll do just fine.
Melissa wanted to share some more of what is going on in her life recently. We'll let her take it from here:
"I am still working on finishing up my driving and getting hand controls. I have some new news that isn't exciting. I have found out that my shoulders are struggling from propelling my wheelchair. The shoulders are the most important part of the arms when it comes to being independent with your wheelchair. Now I need a piece of equipment called the SmartDrive before my shoulders give out on me completely. I just got out of the hospital for a little over a week but I'm feeling better now. My summer was pretty healthy for the most part and I felt very lucky for that."
"At the end of December, I will be getting a pretty big operation on my spine. I have a lot of pain and spasms daily that keep me on a ton of medications and I can't stand it anymore, as I'm taking over 20 pills a day. So while this surgery is super invasive and scary to me, it will do wonders for my body and my quality of life. I will also be in great hands at Hopkins. I will definitely let you guys all know how everything goes. On a little side note, I appreciate allllll of my Twitter, Facebook and instagram love so much more than you guys will ever know. You don't understand what it does for my psyche, the amount of support and love I receive daily really reminds me that I have a purpose here when for years, I felt that I lost all purpose and couldn't understand why I was even still here. I am so very blessed and thankful for all of y'all. Can't wait to see everyone in two weeks, I can't wait for hugs and pictures and to feel the love that you all possess and give it all right back!!!!”