Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Feature:
Superheroes Unite! Volunteer Veteran
In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, CureSearch is featuring our team of supporters, partners, industry leaders and researchers who are changing the face of childhood cancer. Volunteer veterans like Megan, who have a close personal connection to the cause are helping us to push forward better treatments and cures for kids. Read more about Megan’s story and why our mission to end children’s cancer is especially close to her heart.
Tell us about your connection to childhood cancer and CureSearch.
My son JP was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in February 2012 when he was just 2 ½ years-old. He did 39 months of chemo, was cancer free for 27 months and relapsed in July 2017 when he was 7. He has about one more year left in treatment for his relapse and thanks to a clinical trial he was able to get on, we are hopeful this will be his cure. He is my WHY. His cancer diagnosis has turned us into advocates for better treatment options and more favorable outcomes for those diagnosed with childhood cancer.
How did you first get involved in our Superheroes Unite! events?
I first heard about CureSearch from some local cancer moms that started the walk in Salt Lake City. We had a team during his diagnosis year in 2012, I helped with some in-kind donations in 2013 and I’ve been the event chair since 2014.
How long have you been a part of Superheroes Unite! events?
This year is our seventh Superheroes Unite! event!
Why do you choose to support CureSearch?
I had the opportunity to sit down with some researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute when they were given the Accelerated Initiatives grant to study Ewings Sarcoma. They showed us the data and research they were doing with the CureSearch grant. I could SEE where the money we work hard to raise was being used and I was very impressed with the passion those researchers have to find an effective drug that will focus more on eliminating the cancer with fewer side effects. These doctors truly care about our kids and want to make their futures a reality not just a hope.
What is your hope for the future of childhood cancer?
I’d obviously love to see more effective treatment options that render fewer side effects. Our main goal is to save the life of our child, but I want him to be able to live his life without daily reminders of the treatments his body had to endure.
Why is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month important to you?
It’s an opportunity for us to let people know our story and what we’ve been through and also shine a light on the facts of childhood cancer. Before JP was diagnosed, I had no idea that genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors don’t play a role in diagnosis. I also assumed children’s cancer treatments would be the best of the best since our society claims to put children first. When we learned most of JP’s drugs to treat his cancer were developed before 1970 for adults, we HAD to do something. It’s our job to be the change we wish to see and letting people know the truth about childhood cancer is an effective tool in pushing for better treatment option.
Learn more about how you can join CureSearch and our team of superheroes and sidekicks as we work together for children’s cancer cures. Get involved with our events or learn more about Superheroes Unite! at curesearchsuperheroes.org.
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