The Megan Hayward Fund

Megan Button Megan Hayward Megan Pin

Status Updates

18 February 1999
6:00 AM EST

Well, the 50's dance was an overwhelming success with over 1,000 people in attendance! It was very interesting to see the dance floor full of people from the ages of 6 to 60 in a line dance, or, dancing with hoola hoops!! There were people who attended that didn't even know who Megan was, but wanted to support the cause on behalf of a friend who had invited them. In any event, it sure seems like everyone had a GREAT time! I don't have specific financial information just yet, but all indications are that this Dance really helped to boost the Megan Hayward Fund. Everyone who attended this event, as well as all of the dedicated volunteers truly helped to make this evening something which none of us will soon forget.

Mark & Nancy have seen some of the videos from this night, and they are amazed at how so many people joined in one evening to help out Megan. Megan's brother Patrick was there, and did an excellent job of selling "Megan pins", and Megan's sister Kelsey was just stunning in her pink 50's dress.

The culmination of this evening was probably Mark's "taped" message which was played for all to hear. Everyone heard the words of a father who was totally humbled by the outpouring of support from the community to help save the life of his youngest daughter. The silence which spread throughout the room as we all listened to Mark's words set the stage for what we were all participating in. Although Mark, Nancy and Megan were in a hospital many miles away, over 1,000 people were united to listen to the words of thanks from one of our friends. The ensuing applause indicated just how much all of us support Megan and her family.

Mark and Nancy extend their sincere thanks to the Executive Committee, the Dance Committee, all of the volunteers, prize contributors, and all of the attendees. They wish that they could have been there to Thank you all in person, and however much they might not ever have the opportunity to thank everyone individually,.... rest assured each and every one of you holds a special place in their hearts!

Now for some technical info:

Megan underwent some rather drastic chemotherapy, it had some massive impacts on her immune system and her ability to accept the transplant. Her week of treatments at Johns Hopkins was critical and she seems to be adjusting well, although there have been some major complications. The doctors seem to have the reactions to the treatments under control with medication, but in situations like this, everything merits significant concern. The doctors, nurses and staff at Johns Hopkins have done nothing less than perform miracles with the treatments for Megan! But, none of this is to be taken lightly,... get over one battle and you move on to the next battle. When I spoke with Mark & Nancy last night, Megan was doing fine and I could hear her giggling in the background. As each day moves on, they continue to take blood tests to determine how well the medications are doing.

The next round of chemotherapy is scheduled to take place at Hasbro Childrens Hospital in RI. This gives Mark and Nancy the opportunity to be close to home. Although another round of chemo is another grueling medical process, the doctors, nurses and staff at Hasbro Childrens Hospital have come to know the Hayward family and friends on a first-name basis. This is where it all began, where a father and mother learned about all the medical things necessary to save the life of their daughter.

So, with any luck, the family will have the opportunity to return home soon, and continue Megan's treatments at Hasbro Childrens Hospital. This battle is far from over, and as each day moves forward, there are additional medical issues which Megan must face.

When this Fund was first created, we indicated that it would be at least a one-year effort to work on behalf of Megan and her family. Our efforts will continue, and you can check out many of the upcoming fundraising events scheduled on the "Fundraising" section of this web site. As over 1,000 people learned at the 50's Dance, it IS possible to have fun and help a friend in need at the same time. We hope that you find some of the other fundraising events something you and your family would like to participate in.

All of us, .... as individuals and as friends of Megan and her family, have begun to learn just how much our efforts can have a positive impact on the life of another. We might decide to participate in an event today, thinking that our efforts have "changed" something. And they truly have. But just as a reminder, Megan's life will be medically altered for the rest of her life. Although we may have helped her today, she will spend the rest of her life on medication, checking and re-checking blood counts, looking to see if something else impacts the acceptance of the transplant. Her battle will be one that will never cease, be ever-constant, and it will be with her every minute of her life.

This is why we are all here for a long time. We all need to realize that our efforts can have a positive impact on the life of Megan and others like her. Just because one battle is won in the operating room doesn't mean that the battle is over. It is a life-long challenge. Our reaching out to Megan and her family may serve as a charitable act in a point in time. Just imagine if we were all this charitable ALL OF THE TIME. Just imagine what we could accomplish! Megan, and every family with someone like Megan would be able to feel the love and support which is necessary to survive these kinds of life-threatening challenges.

I apologize for the "personal commentary", but if you could have heard Megan giggling on the telephone tonight, if you could see her playing with the "cootie rabbit", you would understand why I am so moved to say things like this.

When I spoke with Mark and Nancy, I asked them if there was anything they would like me to include in this posting as a message. I thought they might want to tell you about the medical stuff, how Megan is doing (which they knew I would post anyway). What they said was:

"Thank-you, all of you! That's the most important thing! We still can't believe everything everyone has done for us. It has been a very difficult week with Megan's treatments, this was probably the most grueling chemotherapy Megan has ever endured. It was not easy."

"We saw videos of the 50's Dance, and it was just amazing! We are truly sorry that we could not be with you to say " Thank-You" in person."

Mark: "I don't know how we could have gone through all of this without all the support of others. It's been like a miracle."

In a short time, Megan and her family will be back at Hasbro Chidrens Hospital, in the trusted hands of excellent staff. Thanks, and prayers of thanks go out to all of the people at Johns Hopkins, the Megan Fund volunteers and event participants. A special Thanks goes out to Patrick and Kelsey, who came to the 50's Dance and let us know just how important it was that we cared.

But most importantly, Thanks go out to everyone who has held Megan in their thoughts and prayers. Megan's "journey" has been a lesson for all of us. We CAN have an impact on the life of another, we CAN care enough to try and to help, we CAN help a family survive! We all proved it on February 13'th 1999! Don't ever forget the gift of life which you helped to provide.

On behalf of Mark & Nancy,......

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!



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