Photography by Kristine Freed Photography
Meet Melissa. She is Beauty Revived.
Mommies are so incredibly special- no matter what they have going on, or what obstacles they are facing, they love unconditionally and put everyone else above themselves. Mommies are the epitome of unconditional love. In my search for mothers with real beauty, I came across Melissa. She is all of this, and so much more. In my short time knowing her, we have become friends and I see in her words and actions all of the things that her family and friends have to say about her…
Her sister and the person who nominated her, Becca Rouco:
My beautiful sister, Missy entails all that beauty is. She is kind, compassionate and funny. She is an awesome wife and an amazing mommy! She is beautiful on the outside and the inside.
Missy has been sick for over 10 years now. She has an implanted port so that she can get her, sometimes weekly, treatments at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. She has very low platelets and low white blood counts which makes her very susceptible to bleeding and to sickness. Even through the many blood and platelet transfusions, chemo, IVIG treatments, procedures and tests for cancers, she is positive. She struggles daily with pain in her bones. She is not even able to brush her teeth and shave like normal people do and take for granted. She has to use special swabs for her mouth and cream for her legs. Yet, even through her daily health struggles, she continues to be a role model for those around her.
She encourages her children to be kind and compassionate. Her son Blake was recently on the news and his story shared hundreds of times for setting up a little “toy stand”. He stayed outside for over 6 hours handing out free toys and books all on his own accord. THAT shows how amazing of a mommy Missy is. Missy is ALWAYS making memories with her two beautiful children. She takes her babies on little dates and surprises them with little treats. She makes her family feel special.
She does not work a full time job because of her health. She cleans homes for our family and friends to make a little money. She never spends money on herself; only others. Even if we tell her not to, she has come to help us babysit or clean the homes of her clients the day after a treatment at Moffitt, despite the pain and side effects she is experiencing. She volunteers at her church, driving an hour every single week, to work with children and others. She consistently sends out positive messages to everyone she knows. Once while at Moffitt, she was so concerned about me having a sitter, she arranged, from the hospital, for someone to come help ME out with my daughter. That’s how thoughtful and “others oriented” she is.
Missy surprises others with homemade meals and thoughtful baskets She arranges for new mommies to have food delivered to their homes the first couple of weeks after giving birth. She does not ask for anything in return.
Melissa Work is an amazing person, woman, wife, mother, aunt, sister and friend. I could go on and on about my wonderful, beautiful sister!
Her husband Gene Work:
Missy and I are opposite in almost every way. Where I am quiet and shy, she is friendly and outgoing. I have never met anyone who truly cares about people as much as her. Her loving and caring spirit rub off on everyone around her and leaves lasting impressions. If you spent a day with my children you would see her influence on them, especially my son Blake. She has changed my life and taught me to love and care for those around me. Through our struggles with health issues and the hardships of daily life it has brought us closer together. She is the most beautiful and caring woman I have ever met and she is my best friend.
Her best friend Jen:
Missy is my best friend. She is the most kind hearted person I have ever known. Even with the whole world against her, she manages to get up every day, put a smile on and uplift all those around her. She is an inspiration as a woman, a friend and a mother. She loves unconditionally. Her strength, not just physically, but spiritually as well, is admirable. If you ever need a good laugh, a good cry or just simply someone to listen to you- Missy is always there. She is beautiful inside and out. She is humble enough to admit she’s not perfect- but always finds a lesson in every bad situation on how to be a better person. She deserves every good thing that comes her way.