Each one of our products has a story behind it, all of them are unique and inspiring and sometimes we’re able to share them. Today Megan is allowing us to share hers.
On her 26th birthday Megan was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, Ciliary Body Melanoma, naturally she was floored. Who gets cancer at 26? She was as young mom, daughter, married with a career. Luckily the prognoses was good and she made a full recovery. The re-occurrence rate was so small she wasn’t worried, no way she’d be that 3% and as the years passed so did her angst over it returning.
Sure there were a few bumps like divorce along the way but no cancer in sight.
Some of those bumps were actual bumps and by the time she reached 30 her brood grew to 3 amazing, happy and healthy boys. Like any mother she loved her boys and wouldn’t trade them for the world but she still had that nagging feeling that all mothers of boys get-she wanted a little girl. Boys were fun but with a girl you get to experience different adventures.
In 2015 she started dating a man named Richard and not to soon after learned she was pregnant with another boy, feeling somewhat let down her thoughts quickly dissipated as soon as she laid eyes on newborn son Ryan. He was perfect and she was in love with him, this beautiful new life she created. Life continued for the family and in the fall of 2017 Megan found out she was pregnant again. Would she finally get the little girl she dreamed of?
The first 16 weeks seemed to creep slowly by and now it was finally time to find out the sex of baby number 5! Laying excitedly on the sonogram table they had there answer in no time at all—it was a girl! Over the moon happy Megan went out shopping for the girly baby clothes she’d been eyeing every time she discovered she was pregnant. With her daughter growing away in her belly she started counting down to her birth.
But her elation was cut short by a cruel discovery.
On February 26th, 2018 her happiness turned to fear. Thirty three days after she discovered she was finally having the girl she hoped for she learned her cancer had returned….and this time the prognosis wasn’t good. Megan needed radiation and she needed it right away but no way could she have it while pregnant it would have to wait. Meanwhile the tumor would continue to grow.
Currently they are exploring Megan’s options for treatment while monitoring her daughter who is still growing at a healthy rate. Because they cannot treat Megan while pregnant they will attempt to perform cryotherapy in the hopes the tumor can at least be maintained to its current size. If that isn’t possibly her daughter will have to be born prematurely in order to save Megan’s own life. A choice no one should have to make.
Ciliary Body Melanoma is a type of cancer that cannot be operated on and is therefore treated with radiation therapy but this time that won’t be an option for Megan, not without losing her vision completely in her affected eye. Doctors have determined her tumor is too large for the radiation to work without causing permanent damage to her vision. Her only other known viable option is to remove the affected eye and put a prosthetic in its place. She would have to have the surgery as soon as her daughter comes out meaning the week the little girl she dreamed of is born she will become partially blind. It’s a painful thought and one that’s deeply unfair as most cancer diagnosis are.
However there is a hope for Megan’s vision and it grows with her unborn daughter.
Cord blood is rich in life changing stem cells, cells that could be possibly used to restore Megan’s vision post radiation. In giving the gift of life Megan could receive one of the biggest gifts in return—keeping her full vision. The research and clinical results are still too new to say whether or not it would even work but current available studies show promise in using stem cells to return vision to patients with end stage retinal degradation.
One thing is for sure we have an amazing product in the works for Megan’s treatment and we will support her as she tackles each issue that heads her way in her battle for her and her daughter’s lives.
Stay tuned for Part II of Megan's story.