#WhyI529 June Spotlight

Honoring a mother's legacy

June 2018 Spotlight - jump page.jpg

Melinda Sauceda was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, or AML, on March 31, 2018. The next day, she started a week of chemotherapy. Sadly, Melinda passed away on April 12.

“We had less than two weeks from Melinda’s diagnosis until her death. To say it was a shock is a huge understatement,” says Ben Sauceda, her brother. “There’s no way to make sense of it all. Although my family agrees we want to honor Melinda while taking care of her daughter, Angelina. One way we’re doing so is by establishing a college saving account for Angelina. She was the most important person to my sister. Melinda loved being a mom.”

The Sauceda family opened the 529 account in Angelina’s name and established it as Melinda’s memorial fund. Family and friends contributed $5,000 in the first month.

“People have been so generous and want to help with Angelina’s future,” Ben says. “By opening the plan now, it will have the next decade to grow until she’s ready to graduate high school and go off to college. It’s hard to think that far in the future, as we’re just taking it day-by-day right now. But, I know some day Angelina will appreciate it. I know my sister would appreciate it, too. Angelina was her world. Maybe our story can help another family going through a similar situation.”

A few weeks after the funeral, Angelina’s school shared a note Melinda had written. All parents were asked to send in cards of encouragement for their children in anticipation of state-wide testing. Melinda’s note to Angelina reads: “You’re amazing! You can do anything you put your mind to!”

Sound advice to keep close at heart today, tomorrow and in the future.