Lifeís path gets a little bumpy for most people, with occasional switchbacks and partly sunny skies. For Melissa Beal, until now, life has been uphill struggle, with storms momentous enough to wash the trail away - and her away with it. She was raped for years by her grandfather as a child, had a near-death experience and broke both legs mountain climbing at 20, confronted her alcohol dependency in 2004, then was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006.
Perseverance and Grace coming from deep within paved the way for Melissa to overcome these obstacles, be of service with her work, and now, to impart healing poetry. The acute crises in her life became catalysts. Her sexual abuse and accident treatment motivated her to enroll at Occidental College in biology, graduate from Oregon Health Sciences University as an MD, then earn a Fellowship at USC in Pathology. Her fatherís death in 1997 and an intensive alcohol rehabilitation program opened the door to Melissaís introspective and creative self. And so, when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and started treatment just two years later, she was reflective and open, ready to allow her poetry flow. Through the course of her successful battle with cancer, Melissa penned poems that illuminated moments in her life with beauty and reverence.
At present, Melissa lives comfortably in Salem, Oregon with her partner showing their Appaloosa horses and enjoying walks on the beach near her home in Newport, Oregon. Retired from 18 years of service at Pacific Pathology Associates, Inc. in December 2008, Melissa is looking forward to the opportunities of creative freedom ahead.