Local News

Cancer patient lives dream at UNC-Duke game

Posted February 9

— The annual basketball meetings of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University are always one of the hottest tickets in town! For one woman, Thursday marked the fulfillment of a life-long dream and eased her mind, for a just a bit, as she turned her attention from a battle with cancer to the Battle of the Blues.

Before the game, Melanie Day was a guest of the Blue Devils fans in Krzyzewski-ville, and like any good guest, she brought goodies.

She shared sweets with the students as she shared her story and her desire to see the rivals play at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"I've been battling cancer for the last couple of years," she said. "Of all the things I could do with my time left, honestly, this is it. This is it."

The chaos and tradition of a UNC-Duke tilt were No. 1 on Day's bucket list.

The mother of three and former college basketball player has Stage 4 cancer and has been given only a few years to live. When her former coach at Brigham Young University heard about her plight and her wish, he took things into his own hands and contacted Coach K.

Krzyzewski donated the tickets for Day, and the BYU community raised money for her airfare, hotel and expenses.

On gameday, Day was ecstatic and emotional.

"I feel like I want to jump up and shout," she said. "I can't believe this is happening."

She said her prognosis has upper her appreciation for life.

"It feels a little bit like I'm on borrowed time," she said. "Cancer sucks. I'd do anything not to have it, but it's taught me so much and taught me to appreciate life."

Day spent the week traveling with her best friend, living out lifelong dreams.

"My whole life I've said I'll do my dream vacation someday. And then I realized when I got my diagnosis I have to do it now," she said.

"So that's kinda my message I want to share with people: Don't delay your dreams. Make it happen. You don't know how long you have."


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