Meredith Ann Forlenza, 33, of Buford, GA, passed away on Saturday, May 16, at her home, after a 10-month battle against triple negative breast cancer.
Meredith’s and her family’s vigilant fight against the illness that ultimately took her life touched people from her native state of North Carolina to Texas, where she lived for more than four months while undergoing surgery and treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. With her family’s and friends’ support, Meredith worked tirelessly and optimistically to regain her health and maintain the life that she loved.
Meredith was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer while she and her husband Dane were expecting their first child. Meredith was eight months pregnant when her treatment began. On September 4, 2014, she gave birth to Hadley Ann Forlenza, who is currently 8 months old.
Meredith is survived by her loving husband, Dane Forlenza, whom she married November, 22, 2013; their adored daughter, Hadley Ann Forlenza; and their sweet dog Tabitha Ann.
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Also left to cherish her memory are her parents Elizabeth Ann “Mumsie” Riddick of Kinston, NC, Roger Riddick, Jr. of Kinston, NC, and Richard Carter and his wife Doreen, of Cary, NC; her sister, Ashleigh Black, brother-in-law, Peyton, and nephews, Peyt and Turner, all of Raleigh, NC; her sister, Amanda Riddick Harrell, brother-in-law, Brandon, and their children, Wilson and Stuart, all of Fayetteville, NC; her sister, Liz Riddick and her children, Simon and Eliot, all of Boone, NC; sister Wittney Carter of Cary, NC; in-laws, Candace and Ken Forlenza of Snellville, GA; brother-in-law, Greg Forlenza, his wife Tania Stewart, and baby Pia, all of Minneapolis, MN; as well as many other loved family and friends.
A native of Kinston, NC, Meredith graduated from Kinston High School in 2000 and was an active member of Gordon Street Christian Church. In 2004, she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi. In 2006, Meredith received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Georgia at Athens, and in 2009 she earned an educational specialist degree, also from UGA.
Meredith devoted her professional life to helping others, first in social work and then as a school counselor at Buford Middle School, where she was employed for six years. The school staff knew Meredith as a person who was always available to students, a person who had a “gift for reading” children and their parents, a positive person who made people feel special, who was always involved and never had to be asked to help on projects. She also was in charge of the school’s testing program. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Buford.
The family thanks the Buford community, Meredith’s co-workers, Meredith’s friends from all over eastern North Carolina, the new friends made during her ten month journey, Meredith’s cancer support group, and all of Meredith’s medical professionals for the overwhelming love, support, and encouragement shown to Meredith and to them. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Buford, Georgia with visitation following the service.
In lieu of flowers, you may send memorials for Hadley’s education fund to Hadley Ann Forlenza c/o Pastor Stephen Fountain, 4550 Hamilton Mill Rd., Buford, GA 30518 or donations to the Triple Negative Breast Care Foundation (www.tnbcfoundation.org).
To express condolences, please sign our online guest book at www.flaniganfuneralhome.com. Arrangements by: Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133.