Former USCA star Legg, battling cancer, to appear on 'Say Yes to the Dress'

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 11:01 AM
Last updated Thursday, May 24, 2012 6:51 PM
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Meredith Legg has plenty to be excited about these days.

FILE/STAFF
Meredith Legg (right), a University of South Carolina Aiken graduate and basketball standout, got engaged to her high school sweetheart earlier this month. On Thursday, she heads to Atlanta for the taping of 'Say Yes to the Dress,' a popular cable TV show. And the cancer – ocular melanoma – she’s been fighting for more than three years hasn’t affected her outlook.

Earlier this month, she got engaged to her high school sweetheart. On Thursday, she heads to Atlanta for the taping of a popular cable TV show. And the cancer – ocular melanoma – she’s been fighting for more than three years hasn’t affected her outlook.

“I feel real good,” she said. “I feel way better now. My appetite’s fine. My weight is good.”

In February, Legg, a former guard on the women’s basketball team, was inducted into the USC Aiken Athletic Hall of Fame. Weeks later, the all-time leading scorer in Lady Pacers’ history learned her cancer had spread outside her liver at a checkup.

In April, Legg underwent a TIL (tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes) extraction process. Doctors removed cells from two tumors and separated the good cells from the bad in a lab; Legg was told it would take a week to start seeing the growth of new cells. A few days after undergoing surgery, Legg wrote on Facebook that her doctor called, telling her it’s the fastest he’s ever seen cells multiply.

“The more rapid they multiply,” she said, “the better your chances are.”

On Tuesday, she’ll begin a three-week process in Tampa, Fla. The first week, she’ll undergo chemotherapy. The next week, she’ll undergo the TIL transfer, with doctors blasting her with the good cells every eight hours for a week. Then, she’ll spend another week of recovery in the hospital. Six weeks after she’s released, she’ll have another checkup.

“My spirits are real good. I’m still fighting,” she said. “Thanks to everyone for their prayers and support throughout the years. It always feels good to know people are praying for you. I can really feel it when they do.”

Before she heads to the hospital, Legg is going to have some fun in Atlanta with her mother, her fiance’s mother, her sister and two bridesmaids. They are participating in a taping of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, a popular show on TLC. Legg said she will be at Bridals by Lori trying out wedding dresses from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. And she said she expects some difference of opinion in her group.

“I think the big thing is my mom is super girly and I’m not,” Legg said. “It’ll be interesting to see what they pick out for me.”

Legg said her appearance on the show stems from a chance encounter her mother, Robin, had in a grocery store with Monte, the fashion director at Bridals by Lori. Robin Legg told him what her daughter’s been going through the past few years, and he told her to send her story along to the show when she got engaged.

The show is scheduled to air later this year or early in 2013, Legg said.

Legg’s engagement happened after a chance phone call she made traveling through Charlotte, N.C., earlier this year. On a whim, she dialed up her high school sweetheart, Christopher Stapleton, a contractor living in Charlotte. The two broke up when she moved to attend USC Aiken. They had been apart for seven years, but they soon reconnected after her phone call. They got engaged on Mother’s Day weekend, and now the two are planning an October wedding.

“It’s all God working,” Legg said. “It’s been awesome.”

HELPING MEREDITH LEGG

If you’d like to assist Meredith Legg as she continues to battle cancer, you can make a financial contribution to the “Meredith Legg Cancer Fund” at Savannah River Banking Company, 407 Silver Bluff Road, Aiken.

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