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A loss in my MSBA family

candelightI am saddened by the recent loss of my friend, Melody Tagliaferri-Cronin. We had known each other through the young lawyers section but hadn’t really spoken in a long while as she was busy raising her son and battling a rare form of leukemia. But Melody was a friend nonetheless. A friend that lost her battle with cancer Sunday.

I have come to consider friends that I have met through the Young Lawyers Section (and the MSBA) to be family, albeit my MSBA family. In the countless hours of volunteering, I have made lifelong friends and been part of some truly special events.

In addition organizing charity events, plunging in the Chesapeake Bay for the Maryland Special Olympics, providing pro bono legal services to those in need and delivering hot meals to the homeless, we have attended weddings together, hosted baby showers and watched our children play together. We have seen members of my MSBA family make partner, leave private practice, open up their own firm, and ascend to the bench.

And, unfortunately, we have mourned together, be it the loss of a member of our group or one of their loved ones.

When Melody was first diagnosed with leukemia, the MSBA YLS Public Service Committee organized a Light the Night Team to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. When she needed a bone marrow transplant, we worked in conjunction with the Be the Match foundation in an effort to increase the number of registrants on the bone marrow registry.

This is what you do for family. This is one of the reasons you join bar associations.

This year, we will be putting a team together for Light the Night and will push to increase the number of bone marrow registrants, both in her honor and in her memory. For more information on being part of the Light the Night Team, click here. For information on the bone marrow registry, click here.