Meredith Ann Holbert Rankin loved life. She had a magnetic personality that drew people to her in every setting. She graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2005 with a degree in Communications. During her senior year of college, she began experiencing various digestive issues. These included weight loss, decreased appetite, burping and a change in bowel habits. Unfortunately, each time she expressed these concerns to a doctor, they were dismissed as symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Medication did not improve her symptoms and her health continued to decline. She suffered additional weight loss, back pain, high fevers and stabbing pains in her abdomen. After over two years of symptoms, she was given a colonoscopy. During the procedure, they found a tumor in her colon. Subsequent tests revealed the cancer had metastasized to her liver, lungs and lymph nodes. The diagnosis of Stage IV cancer was given just three weeks before Meredith’s wedding.
Meredith fought her cancer courageously, drawing deeply from her faith and relationship with Jesus Christ during her journey. Over the course of 23 months, she underwent more than 45 rounds of chemotherapy, several surgeries and radiation treatments. Meredith passed away on April 22, 2008.
During Meredith’s battle with colon cancer, she expressed the desire to establish Meredith’s Miracles. In a journal entry less than a month before Meredith’s death, she wrote these thoughts on Caringbridge.com:
“I cannot wait to begin this Foundation to hopefully save other young people from going through what my family and I have gone through these past few years …”
Though Meredith never saw this dream become a reality, Meredith’s Miracles Colon Cancer Foundation is a living legacy of that desire, and its purpose is to pay forward what Meredith received from those who were so generous during her journey.