Hello Brats and Aramco Tribe, HPA ohana, and friends of Melinda Hagen! My beloved chosen sister and best buddy for over 30 years needs our help.
Melinda recently received a life-changing diagnosis. She is about to undergo a massive full abdominal surgery to remove multiple tumors including a giant ovarian tumor the size of a watermelon. Test results show that the tumors are very likely cancerous, and there is major concern for her stressed liver as well. This devastating news comes after years of trying to conceive, including multiple failed IVF treatments. Surgery is scheduled for November 19 (already postponed once from November 10) to remove all the unwanted guests and any suspicious tissue. Recovery from the surgery is projected at 4-6 months, and we won’t know till Christmas time what additional treatments may be necessary. While she is recovering, Melinda will be unable to work and her mobility will be limited.
Melinda is an active Aramco Brat of DH ’93 and HPA alumni '96, and the daughter of David and the late Som Hagen. Before retirement, Mr. Hagen was the lead Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine Supervisor for Aramco. He served all of Aramco’s private hospitals as well as contracted hospitals across Saudi Arabia. Mrs. Hagen was a phenomenal Thai chef and shared her fabulous Thai dishes through her small catering business. Oh man, I miss her spring rolls! Melinda was very active in K’s Dance Studio, including co-teaching dance to preschoolers and kindergarteners with our late Lesley Wood.
Melinda is a pillar in her community and an active volunteer, donating time and resources to anyone - and any creature - in need. She’s the person who will stop traffic to save the stranded dog on the highway, or spend 8 hours to capture a runaway sheep. She is a Block Captain in her neighborhood providing a variety of practical assistance like Fire Safety & Disaster Preparedness, coordinating CPR/First Aid classes, as well as organizing the fun stuff like Meet & Greets and potlucks. She cruises around her hood in her golf cart, delivering goodies and making rounds to check on folks - just like the good ole Aramco days! Prior to the pandemic, she had a thriving pet and house sitting service and a consulting business which she cleverly pivoted to a personal shopping business for the residents of her county.
Melinda is a gem! She is a rock, a rational sounding board, a reliable comrade. To me, to her family and friends, to her community. And now she needs our help, folks! Since she became symptomatic in April, she has been self-advocating for her health - fighting for insurance authorizations, nagging referral coordinators, pushing for appointments with specialists.
When a fellow schoolmate and extraordinary person needs help, we do what we do best - we unite to support one of our own! Please join me in a group prayer chain or healing juju dance - whatever your practice and beliefs are, may we join forces to channel positive vibes towards Melinda. And if you are able to, any donation to help ease Melinda’s financial burden would be greatly appreciated. Small things come together to make big differences.