The Megan Hayward Fund

Megan Button Megan Hayward Megan Pin

Status Updates


16 July 2001
8:00 PM EST

Dear Friends,

OK! So it has been a long time since we’ve provided updates about Megan. She is doing fine. As a matter of fact, she is doing great (all things considered). Christmas 2000 was wonderful, and I spent the time at her house putting together all of the toys all of the kids received (to this day can’t figure out who the heck wrote the assembly instructions),...all I know is that I was able to make just about all of the toys work. What amazed me was that Megan’s Mom gave me a box with every size battery imaginable, and all of the tools I might need. I didn’t know parents were so well prepared for this event,....but soon discovered that all the Moms were delighted that I was designated as the “toy assembler”. After many years of intensive business development training,....I found it rather humorous utilizing my “skills” teaching kids how to make the golf ball go in the alligator’s mouth and come out his rear end. In the grand scheme of things, despite all of which I have been able to accomplish in the business world, the alligator toy was a true challenge. The victory was watching all of the kids laugh when I was able to finally get it to work properly. Sometimes, kids teach us that the ball should come out the rear end just like the instructions say it should. It would be nice if there were instructions for everything else in life,.....but it was nice to hear the kids laugh as the alligator shot out the ball, and they all tried again.

We went through another bout of medical fears as Megan’s counts altered, and they thought there should be more tests in Johns Hopkins (which they did). The results were rather inconclusive, but, one never knows when something shows up on the scans, fluid, a growth, another onset??? All I know is that everything worked out fine for the moment, despite the few times when Megan ran a fever and it peaked at 102+ (which is the plateau for her being admitted to the emergency room). A few trips back to Hasbro, and things worked out for themself. But one always wonders, is always concerned, is always worried.

In May, we did the Border to Border Relay Race and Walk for Megan and her friends. A 2-tiered event where we had a 32K relay race and a 5K walk. Lots of people showed up for both events, and the MELDVAC Corporation was able to raise funds for the Megan Fund as well as the Tomorrow Fund and the RI Ronald McDonald House. The Tomorrow Fund does a lot of great work with kids and their families at Hasbro Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House does a lot to support the families while they are in town (we cooked Thanksgiving Dinner for the residents last year). Together, we were able to raise some significant funds for all of these charitable organizations,......Megan’s message and efforts are now reaching out to numerous groups.

As I travel around the country and the world, I find myself wearing my Megan pin on my suit jacket, or my Megan hat or Megan sweater. The logo of the candle has always resulted in questions about who Megan is,....and I tell them the story. Recently, while in Riga, Latvia, almost every picture taken of me found me wearing something with Megan’s candle on it. Before I departed, I left one of my dear friends with one of my Megan hats. I had shown him pictures of Megan, told him the story, and when I gave him the hat with the Megan candle logo on it, he immediately placed the hat on his head and told me that the candle for Megan would always glow brightly in Riga. Despite the thousands of miles, the cultural and language barriers, my friend understood the message of Megan, and he asked me to take a picture of him wearing Megan’s hat just to prove that it was and forever will be a proud symbol in Latvia. My friend, Osvalds, lost his mother just 2 hours after he was born, and his father disappeared from his life by the time he was 11 years old. He was raised by his Grandmother. But he knows how important children and family are,...his daughter is one of my best friends, and he and his wife are like surrogate parents to me (despite the fact that we’re pretty close in age). All I know, is that when I told them the story of Megan, and Santa (his daughter) translated what I had said,....they had the same tears in their eyes that I had in mine. One might not be able to understand the words of a foreign language,....but one always understands the smile in the eyes of a child. So,....somewhere in Riga, Latvia, there is a friend of mine walking around through the city wearing a Megan hat,....and I know that everytime someone asks him what the candle logo represents,.... he’ll tell the story about Megan.

My family and friends have grown larger during the past few years due to Megan. She has not only touched my heart, but she has touched the hearts of all of those I know,......especially since they ask me about the pin, the hat or the sweater (all of which have the candle logo on it).

Megan is now 5 ½ years old. She was diagnosed at 2 ½ and we started this web site just before she turned 3. In 2 years I have received email messages from around the world. I have received email messages requesting updates. I have received messages “begging” for updates. I apologize to everyone who feels that I have been remiss in posting status updates. Sometimes, it is far too easy to get drawn up in living with Megan, than it is to write stories about her life. She is a miracle, mystery and wonder all wrapped up into one. Sometimes it is difficult to write about her and her life,.....sometimes it is best to just laugh with her, I did the other night when I was at the house and was so tired that I fell asleep on the couch and she and Kelsey “bombed” me with water balloons.

Megan and her family recently returned from a “Make A Wish” Disney Cruise, one week sailing everywhere. From what I hear, it was a great time had by all. I’ve yet to see the pictures, but when I get them, I will post them up to this site.

At the same time, and in a much sadder note, Megan’s Aunt Joan was diagnosed with breast cancer, and during this past week she had a double mastectomy and will be undergoing major chemo treatments. Joan has always stood fast beside her brother’s daughter Megan, and at this time I would request that you add Joan to your prayers. Your prayers have worked well for Megan and Joan could use a little help from your prayers as well.

Well, this doesn’t tell you everything which has gone on with Megan in the past few months, but at least it brings you up to date in a small way. I hope that when I post the new pictures, they will tell the story I am so incapable of telling in my words.

Megan touches our souls and her story crosses countries, languages and time. The only thing I can say at this time is, if you don’t know Megan and can’t get to meet her,......reach out for someone like her in your life,......touch their soul, touch their life. Make it better. We don’t have much time to share, we don’t have much time to love. But all the time in our lives is available to share our love with others. Touch the Megan in your life today,......that’s why the Megan candle is always lit, will light your way to what you need to do. It is never too late to say you care.

On Behalf of Megan & her family,......

Thanks for your prayers and caring,.........
.......Share the Joy of Life,...........
.......Smile and Laugh,..............
.......and Thank God for every moment.

I will talk to you soon, and post pictures as well,

Mark S.



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