On Christmas Day, 2014, our family changed forever. It was on that day that we first saw the lump on our beautiful 14-year-old daughter’s left forearm. We tried our best to get through our Christmas festivities without alarming Megan, but she already knew something was wrong. The next day we took her to the doctor and heard the words that I would never wish on any parent. We found out that our daughter had cancer. After much testing, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. She had tumors all over her body, and a daunting fight ahead of her.
After 54 weeks of chemotherapy and over 70 radiation treatments, she was declared in remission on January 25, 2016. However, in February, 2017, she relapsed and is currently undergoing another 36 weeks of chemotherapy, a surgery to remove a tumor, and 28 radiation treatments. Megan is the toughest kid I have ever met, but no matter how tough you are, it is impossible to get through the trials and tribulations of battling cancer without the support of others. One of those sources of support for Megan was the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Representatives from Make-A-Wish contacted Megan early in her treatment about granting her wish. Knowing that wish was coming gave her something to look forward to; it gave her hope
. There were so many times when she would be in the midst of a five day in-patient chemo treatment complete with the usual chemo side effects of throwing up, neuropathy pain, and various other ailments, and the only relief she would have would be looking on her computer to plan her Make-A-Wish trip. That trip represented a diversion from the reality of her condition; it represented a future she could look forward to; it gave her hope
Megan finally decided to attend an award show in Los Angeles. Her older sister, Mackenzie, got to attend with her as well, which meant our entire family was there. When your child is going through cancer treatment, you treasure every single moment your entire family can be together. It was also important for Mackenzie to experience this with her sister, because many people do not understand the stress and anxiety cancer puts on siblings. We will always treasure the time the two of them got to spend together at such an amazing event.
During the event, our entire family was treated like royalty. I don’t think Megan stopped smiling for the entire two-day experience. For at least that weekend, she didn’t view herself as the kid with cancer. Instead, she was finally just a teenager enjoying a once in a lifetime activity. Megan’s Make-A-Wish trip not only gave her hope
, but it gave her a lasting memory that she will carry with her forever. We could never thank the Make-A-Wish Foundation enough for giving not only Megan, but our entire family, a respite from the daily grind of battling this cruel and vicious disease.