herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Brave Megan is winning her cancer battle

An IRISH toddler who was at death's door six weeks ago has made tremendous progress since moving to the US to receive vital cancer treatment.

When three-year-old Megan Malone left Ireland with her parents John and Sheila, and siblings Chloe (7), Dylan (5) and 10-week-old Tristan, her cancer was so advanced that she could no longer walk and was in constant pain.

Although the brave little girl is weak from her second round of chemotherapy at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, the cancer that spread around her spine has now almost disappeared, allowing her to walk and celebrate her father's birthday at home.

Megan's aunt Brid Malone and her daughters Beibhinn and Grace are astonished by her progress, following their visit at the family's New York home.

"Megan was running, jumping and playing. Unbelievable to have come this far," Brid told the Herald as she returned to Ireland this week.

"She's started chemo again now.

"She came home on Saturday and we had a 40th birthday cake for her dad.

"She enjoyed that. She was thrilled when we arrived in the hospital and loved playing with Beibhinn and Gracie.

"The hospital was great, no queues, big and spacious.

"Megan was in isolation but her room was big and full of toys. The doctors even brought markers for her to colour on the glass door. She was full of energy."



Courageous

John was delighted to share news of the toddler's progress this week, although he revealed that the second cycle of chemotherapy was quite tough on the courageous little girl.

"We finally got to compare the MRI images taken in Dublin prior to any treatment and the MRI images taken in the US," he said.

"As well as the main tumour reducing in size, there also appears to be a significant reduction of cancer of the spine, which probably explains why Megan is now walking.

"The lower lumbar region of the spine, which was packed with cancer, appears now to have little or no sign of cancer.

"There is still evidence at the top end of the spine but nothing like what was there. I've requested a detailed comparison report from the radiology department.

"We need a radiologist to examine the images more closely but the cancer in the rest of the brain also seems to have receded.

"We are both delighted."

When Megan was diagnosed with PNET medulloblastoma last October, Irish doctors gave her only a 20pc chance of survival, but this is now 50pc.

hnews@herald.ie

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