By Dakota Vaughn, Student Director


Emily Ransil passed away on September 3 after battling with cancer for nearly a year. Ransil was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma on September 22, 2018. Ransil was 23 years old.

Enrolled as a nursing student at Messiah College, Ransil was a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Wellspan Hospital in York, Pa. She had taken the 2018-2019 academic year off for medical leave to focus on treatments.

Emily Ransil

“Her presence in the nursing department and on campus will be sorely missed,” said Vice Provost for Student Success and Engagement Kris Hansen-Kieffer in a statement.

A memorial service in honor of Ransil will be held on Friday, September 13 at 10 a.m. at Christ Evangelical Free Church in Bethel, Pa. Condolences can also be offered online at

Ransil kept a blog detailing her treatment process, which can be read here. According to Ransil’s obituary, she was passionate about traveling, musical theater, animal rescue and ending human trafficking.

In a Facebook post from Wednesday, September 4, Ransil’s mother Jennifer said that Ransil passed away at home, surrounded by loved ones.

She has two brothers attending Messiah currently, and one sister who is an alum. Jennifer Ransil is an adjunct professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science as well.

The Engle Center staff, College Ministries staff and Residence Life staff are all prepared to help students who may be dealing with the grief of Ransil’s passing.