ROBBINSVILLE: Cancer takes the life of Melissa Ferrono

2012 RHS graduate bravely fought rare cancer for two years

by James McEvoy, Managing Editor
ROBBINSVILLE — Melissa Ferrono,19, a 2012 graduate of Robbinsville High School who was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma two years ago, has passed away.
   According to her obituary, on July 15 Melissa succumbed to the illness she courageously fought with the support of family, friends and the community.
   In an e-mail to the Messenger Press, Rosanne Ferrono, Melissa’s mother, marveled at her daughter’s strength throughout her illness.
   ”Melissa was an amazingly strong, courageous girl who didn’t let cancer define her,” her mother wrote. “Her bravery and grace left us in awe of her.
   ”She didn’t feel sorry for herself and faced every challenge with optimism and her own sarcastic sense of humor,” she added. “Melissa always looked to the future with hope and determination. She was the strongest and most amazing person I ever met.”
   Despite her illness, Rosanne said her daughter was able to attend prom, high school graduation and a family vacation made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey.
   ”We made the most of every day,” Rosanne said. “There were many days she couldn’t get around but we made the most of those days, too, with visits from family and friends. Even when Melissa was in pain, she made the time to see her faithful friends who stuck by her during every trial and tribulation for the past two years.”
   She said that her daughter lived her life to the fullest and, with the support of her family, completed most of her bucket list.
   She also expressed appreciation for the community that “rallied around” her daughter.
   ”Melissa and I would be constantly amazed at the thoughtfulness from the people of Robbinsville, her classmates from Robbinsville High School, and people we did not even know,” she said. “This kindness helped Melissa and our family through this ordeal.
   ”She was a special person and we were lucky to have her share our lives,” she added. “She will be forever missed.”
   Melissa was born in Princeton, and was a lifelong Robbinsville resident.
   She played on the RHS field hockey team for four years and had been awarded a four year scholarship from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia.
   She had hoped to attend law school after graduation.
   She is survived by her parents, Barry and Rosanne Pane Ferrono; her brother, Anthony Ferrono; maternal grandmother, Dorothy Pane; aunts and uncles, Frank and Lisa Pane, Theresa McNinney, Liz Pane, Joe Gallagher, Ron DeLapo, cousins, Rachel Ecker, Andrea and Scott Sirak, Alyssa Pane, Tom DeLapo, Justin and Suzanne Ecker and many dear friends.
   In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Melissa’s memory may be made to the Make a Wish Foundation of New Jersey, 1347 Perrineville Road, Monroe Township 08831.