Date of Birth
Date of Death
Melanie Hatch, age 24, opened an eternal gift on Christmas day after valiantly fighting Brain cancer with an amazing strength and unmatched dignity since she was only five months old. Truly home for Christmas, Melanie was surrounded by the love and prayers of her family that will never forget her courage and the fact that although cancer had broken her body, it could never come close to breaking her spirit.She was born October 1, 1989, in Dekalb, IL, the daughter of Steven and Loretta (Faber) Hatch. At only five months old, Melanie was diagnosed with Brain cancer and her prognosis gave her only another six months to live. Unbeknownst to the doctors, God and Melanie had other plans by not only exceeding their expectations at every turn, but by shattering them. Steven and Loretta searched for the right doctors and new treatments and each time a door closed, a window opened for them to continue their fight.Melanie grew up in Maple Park and attended local schools. She graduated in 2008 from Central High School in Burlington, IL. While in school, Melanie was president of the Writer’s Club and editor of their literary magazine even though she was legally blind her entire life.Following graduation, she attended Waubonsee Community College where she studied English and Poetry. She continues the leadership she honed in high school and became editor and president of the Poetry Club, where she was instrumental in the publishing of a book of poems gathered from her fellow student as well as some works of her own. Later, she changed her major to massage therapy with the hopes that she could leave the cold winters of Illinois behind, making a living and name for herself in the warm sunshine of Florida. Summertime was her favorite time of year. She spent countless hours swimming in her pool with cousins and family or she just laid in the sun soaking up the Vitamin D! (That is what she told the doctors and nurses whey they told her it was not a good idea to lay in the sun.). Melanie was an ambassador for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and was a literal poster child for Ride for Kids, founded by Mike and Dianne Taylor, when Melanie was only three. As she grew, so did the organization as she helped to develop, organize and expand Ride for Kids which has now become the largest non-governmental, non-profit organization for pediatric brain tumor research. Through her years of treatment, full of ups and downs, success and failures, Melanie never shied away from the spot light and became a role model for other children. Doctors worldwide studied her case and the path she trail-blazed for others to follow. In May of 2013, she was awarded the Courage Award from Voices Against Brain Cancer. In July, 2013, she was honored by her biker friends who formed a motorcycle chapter named "Mel’s Angels". It is their mission to continue raising money in her honor for the Ride for KidsMelanie had a special bond with her brother, Ryan and sister, Larissa. Her face lit up when Larissa entered the room. They spent many hours teasing, laughing, and giggling about everything and anything. She shared many special moments with Ryan canoeing, and riding the golf cart around the property and in the field to watch and share their love of sunsets.Melanie had a tremendous heart and a warrior spirit that belied her size. She had a love for everyone and everything, especially those of the four-legged variety. Melanie had a connection with animals of all sizes and kinds, but cats always had a special place in her heart. While in college, Melanie performed her poetry at The House Cafe and Borders and was a headliner at "Open Mic Night" at Westridge Community Church in Elgin. Through all the years of her diagnoses and treatmens, never did she express self-pity or a "Why me?". Her bedrock of family and faith weathered all storms with the quiet strength of Gibraltar. Rock and roll was the music that spoke to her soul. It started with Elvis, through Janis Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix to all the 1980’s hard rock and glam-rock bands during her late high school years. College brought alternative bands whose harder rhythms and darker themes became a balm and brought catharsis to her warrior spirit. No matter who was blasting from her speakers, the life and sparkle that emanated from her eyes and smile that could power the city of Chicago with it’s electricity, never faded. Her handshake was strong and firm and the honest and natural connections she had with so many people radiated warmth and sincerity that forged unbreakable bonds with all who were lucky enough to know and love her. She was an avid writer of poetry, expressing herself and her view of the world.She had a great sense of adventure. She was ready to travel anywhere and everywhere she could. Disney World and the ocean were always her destination of choice. She loved all that the World of Disney had to offer. She loved roller coasters and would ride all day if she could. She loved motorcycles and those who rode them. That sense of rebellion, strong spirit and generosity that they represented touched her soul. To Melanie, the first sign of spring was not the chirping of birds, it was the sound of motorcycles roaring down the road.She is survived by her loving and dedicated parents, Steve and Loretta Hatch, 2 devoted siblings, Ryan (Cheryl) Hatch and Larissa (Steve) Alcorn: her maternal grandmother, Pauline Faber: her aunts, uncles and cousins; and thousands of people the world over that have come to love and respect Melanie not only for her valiant fight, but her determined spirit and never-ending love for others.She is preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Ansley and Catherine Hatch, her maternal grandfather, Lawrence "Tuffy" Faber and two uncles, Warren Hatch and Lenny Faber.Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m., Monday, December 30th at Westridge Community Church, 3300 Encounter Lane, Elgin, IL. A funeral to celebrate her life and faith will also be at the church, following a brief visitation from 10-10:45 a.m., Tuesday, December 31st, at 11 a.m. The Rev. Darren Sloniger, founding pastor of the church, will officiate with private family interment to follow cremation at a later date.In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit Melanie’s favorite charities. Checks may be made to the "Melanie Hatch Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or on the web at www.conlyecare.com.
Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m., Monday, December 30 at Westridge Community Church, 3300 Encounter Lane, Elgin, IL. A funeral to celebrate her life and faith will also be at the church, following a brief visitation from 10-10:45 a.m., Tuesday, December 31, at 11 a.m. Rev. Darren Sloniger, founding pastor of the church, will officiate.
Private family interment to follow cremation at a later date.