My Daughter Meghan's Story
BY CAROLYN MACK
My daughter Meghan was diagnosed with Bi-Phenotypic Leukemia at 21 months old. After a 10 month grueling battle with this disease, enduring chemotherapy, radiation, and a cord blood transplant, Meghan lost her battle when she was only 2 1/2 years old. Since that time, I have made it my goal in life to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for childhood cancer. Since Meghan's diagnosis, I have met many other women who have lost their children to leukemia and we have created a tight circle of friends who support one another on our roughest days, birthdays, Angelvesary's, and other dates that seem to stop us in our tracks. As a way to honor her memory, I have a team "Everybody Loves Meghan" that walks in the annual Light the Night walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society where we have raised approximately $60,000. in the past 4 years. It is my hope that a cure is found in my lifetime so no other mother has to endure losing a child.
I have gotten my employer to participate in Jeans Days to raise money as well as adopt families with a child with cancer during the holidays where we buy them gifts for the entire family to help make their holidays a little brighter. The financial burden having a child with cancer puts on many families is overwhelming and if we can help by alleviating some of that burden, we have all done our job and perhaps made a dreadful situation a little less painful.
Well, thru Meghan's illness and now after her death, I have connected with people whose story is sadly similar to mine. There are too many children dying of cancer and I have learned that each one of us has the power to make a difference by raising awareness and of course, the almighty dollar. Connecting with other families devastated by this disease has become my passion and I have met so many wonderful friends along my daughter's journey and even now, thru my involvement with The Leukemia Society, I meet new friends and families all the time. Some of them are just starting out in their journey, and some, like me, have faced the unimaginable. Letting them know they are not alone and being there when they are having a hard time is the best I can do.
Hopefully letting families know they are not alone. Also letting others out there know that there are those of us out here who have lost a child too and we continue to fight in their honor and in an effort to make sure no other family has to hear the words "your child has cancer". Hopefully we will inspire others to join our cause.