The story of a 12-year-old Galion girl who was diagnosed last week with four tumors has captured the heart of the city.
About 400 attended a welcome home gathering was held early Wednesday evening in Heise Park for Melanie Wheeler, a sixth-grader at Galion Middle School, after she was released earlier in the day from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Jean A. Wheeler, grandmother of Melanie, walked down the line of people thanking them for coming out.
“I know she’s home. I know she’s safe,” she said.
Summer Miniard of Galion, reached out to local athletic teams who helped with the event.
“If it was one of my kids I would want as much support,” she said.
Summer has two sons, 15 and 9 years old, and a six year old daughter.
Hayli Marcum, 11 years old, said she knows Melanie.
“I was sad (to hear the news),” Marcum said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
“We’re praying for her,” her mom Samanda Anderson added.
Participants met at the park pavilion and lined the road through the park.
Participants were asked to wear grey and orange to show the colors of Wheeler’s cancer. Signs of support are also encouraged.
A GoFundMe page for Melanie can be found here.