The Megan Hayward Fund

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Status Updates


9 November 2000
8:00 PM EST

Dear Friends, Well, time moves on (as it always has). Iím amazed to realize that weíve been posting status updates for almost 2 years. Not much of a long time for an adult, but a veritable lifetime for a child such as Megan. I look at the picture of her (on the home page) in her hospital bed with her family back in December 1998 and am in awe at how much she has grown up since then. As a matter of fact, everyone in that family picture has grown up a bit since then, and everyone who has come to know about Megan has grown up a little bit more as well. Maybe the one comforting thought is that we have all been allowed to grow up together.

During late September, the entire family made their scheduled trip to Johnís Hopkins in Baltimore for the periodic check-up, and to also perform some tests regarding the infection which recently hospitalized Megan. There is a virus which is found in 50-85% of all adults by the age of 40. It is a virus which most of us are infected with by the time we reach adult age. This virus is called "CMV" or, for the technical name: "cytomegolovirus". It is a virus which, although alive, usually remains dormant for life. It does present a problem for people who are immunocompromised. Let me remind you, organ donor recipients are immunocompromised because their bodies must be altered with drugs to accept the donor organ. This is why even the common cold is a major threat to someone like Megan. So, this is part of why she was hospitalized a while back, and why she underwent such an aggressive drug therapy. I can tell you that the infection appears to have been significantly reduced, but just about anything could "trip" this virus to become active again at any time.

On September 6'th, Megan and her friends were in attendance at the RI State House for a Press Conference sponsored by Governor Almond to declare September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This event was coordinated by the Tomorrow Fund, an organization which has helped people like Megan and countless others. Their website can be accessed at:

I recently received an email message from someone who was browsing the internet. The message is as follows:

I stumbled upon Megan's website accidentally. I actually have a little girl named Megan as well. She is 2 Ĺ years old and I could not even imagine her going through what your Megan has. God bless her. I was wondering where I could purchase Megan's pin (the $10.00). I live in Canada.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people "find" Meganís web site and send messages such as this. I always forward them to Meganís Dad, and I know he always responds. It just proves to me that Meganís Candle truly does shine for all of us.

In 2 weeks, Thanksgiving will be here. Iíve been told by members of the Megan clan that I am duty-bound to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House to assist with the Thanksgiving dinner being served to children with cancer and their families who are staying at the house. Something I wouldnít refuse, and something I am more than happy to have the opportunity to participate in. After all, there were so many people who stood by Megan and her Family,.....I can see nothing better than helping other "Meganís" in the world.

So, wherever you are on November 23'rd, when you sit down amidst family and friends, rest assured that there will be many of us saying prayers of Thanks for all you have done to help Megan and her Family. We have all been blessed by what you have done, blessed by your prayers, blessed by your messages, blessed by your caring. And as you sit at the table, take a moment to look into the eyes of the person next to you. We hope you will see the same reflection of a smile that we see as we look into the eyes of Megan.

This is what we wish to share with you this Thanksgiving. We offer our Thanks for Megan and for all of you. Each laugh, each smile,....each happy moment in time is something we share with all of you.

On behalf of Megan and her Family,

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless You All!!

Mark S.

Megan is now in pre-school, she plays with her classmates, runs around like any normal, healthy child. She is learning how to read and write, and is becoming more proficient at creating greeting cards on the computer. She is a true 4 year-old waiting to turn 5 in January. She still looks for cooties, but she is now trying to figure out how to communicate with Mr. Bunny Rabbit. If anyone knows of Mr. B. Rabbitís address, Megan would like to respond to the last card he sent to her.



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