The Megan Hayward Fund

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Status Updates

1 March 1999
9:00 PM EST

Mark, Nancy and Megan returned home from Johns Hopkins on Tuesday 23 February. The chemotherapy treatments which Megan received while in Baltimore were probably the most difficult for her to endure. We all have our "perceptions" about chemotherapy, what it does to the body, itís affects, etc. Megan has not been exempt from many of these "side effects". While in Baltimore, Megan was rather ill as a result of the treatments, probably more so than sheís ever been before. It was a grueling process for Mom, Dad and Megan,..... but rest assured,... it was Megan who found the positive aspects of all of this as she reached out for her favorite toys, giggled while she played with them, or, laughed as she watched the latest videos on her VCR. Sometimes, despite the worst of odds, children are able to show us the fun things in life!

Just after the treatments in Baltimore, Meganís blood counts and other bodily functions were of critical concern. Her white blood cell count (which had plummeted to "0") was a flashing alarm that even the most insignificant virus or infection could be life-threatening. Just imagine,.... a common cold could be fatal to a child in this condition! Anyway, Meganís counts bounced back, but even then, some of them are still either below or beyond acceptable parameters. Meganís functions are monitored daily, and adjustments are made to her medications each day.

The impacts of chemotherapy are taking their toll. Megan has lost almost all of her hair, which would be shocking it if happened to any one of us. She doesnít seem to have noticed yet, and hopefully, sheíll be able to find some fictional childhood character who doesnít have a lot of hair, and be able to use them as a model. As adults, weíre all concerned about our appearance and acceptance by others. Meganís acceptance of the stark realities of what sheís gone through, I think will serve as a lesson for all of us. Megan will continue to play with her friends, continue to play with her brother and sister. Megan will continue to be Megan.

It is nice to know that so many people came out to support Megan at the 50's Dance. And there are many more events planned where families and friends can have a great time in support Megan and her family. The process goes on from day to day. The logistics continue to be staggering, and as each day passes, there are increased demands on Meganís family. Sometimes, no matter how hard you cry, the pain and pressure just wonít go away.

This is why we must all continue! We need to help Megan, we need to help her family. We need to help people like Megan.

Next week, Megan will be back at Hasbro Childrens Hospital for another round of chemo. It wonít be easy, toughest round yet. But with our prayers and best wishes,..... Megan will be there looking for the "Kuala cooties" with her magical rabbit pillow, and sheíll have a giggle for all of us to hear.

On behalf of Mark & Nancy,

"Thank you for the sound of a Meganís laughter. It has made all the difference.



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