Meghan had always dreamed of a big family, but to date, she is the mother of just one: her precious daughter, June.
June is everything a parent could ask for: beautiful, joyful and healthy. But in early 2018, she started having virus-like symptoms, and she didn’t want to be lifted due to pain under her arms.
June’s parents took her to the doctor three times the week before she was admitted to the local hospital and diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, blood cancer.
You never think you’re going to be a 'cancer mom,' but it happens in an instant. It can happen to anybody. Cancer doesn’t discriminate.
They were transported to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by ambulance within hours of diagnosis. “I didn’t even pack a bag,” said Meghan. “I was scared to leave her.”
In the ambulance, Meghan used social media to let people know where they were and why.
Messages of support began flooding in immediately, including one from a woman who became Meghan’s lifeline during the fearful trip: the mother of a St. Jude patient who had survived the very disease June had just been diagnosed with.
“I don’t know what it was about her message, it just hit me,” said Meghan. “I talked to her the whole way here. She told me what to expect and told me about St. Jude. She made me feel that I was going to the right place.”
St. Jude became a ray of hope for the family before they even arrived. St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
June is a go-with-the-flow little girl, but cancer treatment brings upheavals and requires adjustments.
“This was a crash course in medicine for her,” said Meghan. “Now it’s just part of her life. She is now obsessed with ‘doctor stuff.’ She wants to give her baby dolls ‘shots’ all the time. I recently had blood work done, and she begged me to video it so that she could witness it. I’m hoping this means she has a future in medicine!”
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As of October 2018, June is still early in the 120 weeks of chemotherapy she will undergo, but already, she is able to receive much of her care outpatient, through the St. Jude affiliate clinic near her home.
This is a big deal, because it means she can live at home and be close to her toys and her dog, “Kitty Bird.”
She returns frequently to St. Jude for appointments, however, and gets so excited about staying in St. Jude housing and seeing her doctor.
Despite cancer, June is still June: chatty, cheerful, busy. “She’s full of fun, happy all the time,” said Meghan. “She’s just enjoying being a kid.”
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