We lost our daughter, Megan at the tender age of nine after a long 2 ½ year battle with Leukemia. She was a sweet, caring, feisty, outgoing little girl. She taught me to not put off tomorrow what we can do today, to love those around us with all our heart, to be thankful for what we have because it can all be taken away in a heartbeat, and that it is our destined journey here on earth to reach out to those in need, helping anyway we can. Megan was such a kind considerate soul, always reaching out to others even in her toughest times. Megan faced her illness with a brave smile and a courageous heart, seldom shedding a tear for herself. While I held her hand, caressed her back and shed a lifetime of tears while she slept, and after she was gone. I never wanted her to see my fears. I couldn’t take away her pain or the cancer that forced her to go through everything she had to endure to fight it. I could only give her medication, soothe her aches with mommy’s tender touch and put my faith in the doctors and God to heal her. As a parent, you feel so helpless.
Megan had the best doctors and treatment available, but it wasn’t enough. Her innocence and future were stolen at a very young age. Cancer took away her simple pleasure of being a kid, going to school and playing with her friends and replaced it with long hospital visits, needles, hair loss, weight gain, insecurity, chemotherapy, a suppressed immune system, isolation, sickness, bone marrow transplant and a slow painful death. I can’t even put into words how aweful it is as a parent to watch your innocent, precious child endure all this. It has challenged my faith and dampened my spirit trying to understand the reasons why things happen in life. It has changed me forever. After we lost Megan, getting up every day and trying to function through the day was a challenge for so long. I don’t know how I would have made it without my other two children. As I worked through my anger, sadness and grieve, I came to accept for some reason, we were only meant to have Megan with us for a short time, and I may never know why. But I do feel so blessed and lucky to have had my little girl for nine precious years. One day when we face our maker, I hope there are answers why she had to endure such struggles. For today, I choose to live a productive life and not dwell on the unknowns that can haunt me if I let them.
Megan’s Wings primary mission is to assist families who have a child going through cancer treatment. We also support vital childhood cancer research to assist in the search for a cure. Pediatric Cancer is a family disease. Every member feels its presence because life is turned upside down. Mommy’s gone a lot with their sick child. Routines are altered. Money runs short as mom or dad cuts back on hours to care for their sick child. The sick child needs a lot of attention and care from mom & dad, and many times gets spoiled by everyone around them. People don’t know how to help, so they shower the sick child with gifts, many times forgetting about the siblings, not realizing they are hurting too. The sick child doesn’t feel well, is moody, and transforms into a different person at times because of the drugs. Siblings feel left out, lonely, neglected, jealous, and deeply sad. Younger ones don’t understand what’s happening so act out more. Older ones don’t want to be a burden to their parents, so grow up way too fast, taking on responsibilities they shouldn’t have to bear. All see way to much sickness and death at a much too tender innocent age. Parents face their worst fears, and all the anxiety & worry that goes with it. Life is a roller coaster ride of emotions. Everyone mourns their old family life, but life has changed forever, and you learn to cope. Eventually a new normalcy & routine is established. You learn to endure what lies ahead and hope lives strong in your heart.
Childhood cancer is a family disease, and it tests the strongest marriages. It is through our own experience with the disease that we wish to help families in need and in doing so keep Megan’s memory alive. As a tribute to our daughter, Megan’s Wings was established in January 2005, twenty months after we lost her. The foundation honours Megan’s memory and the fight she endured by reaching out to other innocent children, like her and their families who still face this terrible struggle with cancer. We named the foundation Megan’s Wings because butterflies significantly remind us of Megan. We feel her presence when we are fortunate enough to see one. She watches over us from above now, leaving behind a family who still aches for her presence every day, but her memory rests gently now in my heart. The terrors of her illness will still probably wake me from a restless sleep for many years, but knowing we are making a difference in another child’s life when a family gets the worst news of their lives, “Your child has cancer,” brings me a sense of peace.
We have shared this very personal information, to allow you to see our passion behind the creation of Megan’s Wings. I hope you will support our search for a cure and help those children in need.