In Swansea and beyond, a community is rallying around one of its own.

Melissa Conlon, a vibrant 30-year-old woman, found herself facing an unexpected battle after experiencing abdominal and back pain. Initially brushed off as strain from her work, the discomfort turned out to be something far more daunting: cancer.

The diagnosis shook Conlon and her loved ones to the core.

Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare cancer of the bile duct, had spread aggressively to her liver and lungs, leaving her facing Stage 4 with a 2% survival rate. Despite the tough news, Conlon began her treatment with perseverance and tireless support from her community.

Commuting to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston became a routine for Conlon as she underwent grueling rounds of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. She also embraced holistic healing, determined to explore every avenue in her fight.

News of her diagnosis brought together a circle of friends who soon became a beacon of strength for Conlon and her family.

Courtesy April Goff
Courtesy April Goff

April Goff, a former registered nurse from a local hospital's radiology department, recalled the day nine people went from colleagues to a tight-knit family. Through life's ups and downs, they now share milestones such as weddings and pregnancy announcements and have even supported each other through tough times.

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Mindly Colon was wrestling with the pain of watching her daughter battle cancer. Determined to make a difference, she, Goff and the group of friends dubbed themselves Melissa's Warriors. One thing is certain- if there's a battle to fight, Melissa's mom is by her side for the long haul.

"This girl is fearless and so strong. I can not say we've been embracing a "new normal" what is "normal" anyway. I can say we have discovered that life is a journey and within this journey, are these struggles, we are finding strength and ways of overcoming.

Mindy Conlon said:

My inspiration has been Melissa. She has had the worse news anyone can get but is determined to live and to enrich her life. She is training her brain to be happy and her body to be healthy. We can only honor her by following suit.


I have to thank Melissa's Doctor and team at Dana-Farber, Friends and technologists at Brigham and Womens, Her new team that will be helping from Mass General and MD Anderson. Opinions from MSK. The countless researches and fellows that have grants just for CCA and the strides they have made, just in the last 4 years.


We don't know what the future will hold, there are so many avenues that she may be able to take from clinical trials, surgery and many other specialized techniques. With this multidisciplinary team we can only have hope.


Let's pray and hope that 30 is a good year for her, full of healing and hope."

Over the past few months, Melissa's Warriors took on a mission to support their friend in any way they could. Their efforts resulted in a sold-out fundraiser comedy show organized in collaboration with the Funny 4 Funds team. The response from the community was overwhelming, with over 60 donations pouring in ranging from gift baskets to special high-end auction items such as Red Sox tickets and golf packages.

As the event approaches, Melissa's Warriors have been seeking additional support from sponsors willing to contribute to their cause. As a thank-you for anyone willing to donate, the team will display special banners with the sponsors' names at the event for all attendees to see.

Donors can reach our to Goff with any questions or concerns at

The goal is to help Conlon continue her fight as she begins her next journey to a research facility in Texas where she'll undergo special medical trials to help prolong her life.

Courtesy April Goff
Courtesy April Goff

Melissa's Warriors strive to give Conlon the chance she deserves -- a chance to defy the odds and continue pursuing her passions, dreams and the precious moments life has to offer.

In the face of adversity, the strength of the community can illuminate even the darkest of days with the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

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