Early life Edit
Melissa was born in Mineola, New York to Patricia Keefe and Michael McHenry and had an older brother - Michael.
When she was a child, she was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse - a non-life-threatening condition where the heart valve doesn't close properly. Melissa went to a cardiologist every year for regular check ups and even struck up a friendship with him.
Girl Scouts & Gold Award Edit
Melissa joined Girl Scouts in kindergarten as a Daisy and received her Gold Award in April 2015. Melissa’s Girl Scout Gold Award Take Action Project, Advocating for Veterans, combined her love of art and her desire to give back to veterans. Knowing that a fire had destroyed much of the interior of a local VFW Post, Melissa wanted to fill the walls with artwork full of American pride. She spent time interviewing and working with veterans to learn about the different branches of the armed forces and the service some of the veterans provided for the nation. She also developed an educational component to her art project to help inform others about her project and the veterans’ contribution.
On May 9, 2016, Melissa died suddenly of heart complications at her home in Lynbrook, New York just after she finished her first year of college at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts at the age of 18. Her body was discovered by her mother.