Melissa lives near Truro. She has visual impairment, which means that she is blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other. For several years, she competed against non-disabled people in a range of sports, including swimming, surfing and surf life saving.
In 2011, Melissa entered her first paratriathlon: an event for disabled people that includes running, swimming and cycling. Melissa has a guide to help her compete in the event and uses a tandem (a bicycle built for two people) for cycling.
After coming second in the World Championship in 2011, Melissa went on to win the British and European Championships, and the World Grand Final in 2013. She also came first in the World Paratriathlon Event and the World Aquathlon (swimming and running) Championships in 2014 and 2015. Melissa qualified for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, and won a bronze medal.
Melissa has coached at the TR1swim Club in Truro and St Austell Swimming Club. In 2012, she was named Cornwall's Young Coach of the Year and in 2013 she was the BBC South West Disabled Athlete of the Year.
Melissa has worked with Cornwall Sports Partnership to encourage more young people to become involved with sport. She has also worked with the Royal London Society for Blind People to help blind and partially sighted young people to take up sport.