herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Megan's cancer battle miracle

HOPE: Now toddler faces big test

AN IRISH toddler who is receiving cancer treatment in the US faces one last battle before she can be free of the deadly disease.

Megan Malone (4) had been given a less than 10pc chance of survival when she was first diagnosed with the disease in Ireland, but her latest MRI scan shows that she has made a remarkable recovery in New York.

Doctors believe the aggressive tumours in her brain and on her spine have disappeared -- but she will still need radiation therapy before she can come back home.

Megan's dad John (40) was cautious in his enthusiasm for the good news.







Spine

"We met with Dr Garvin [A doctor who has been treating Megan] to discuss the results of [last week's[ MRI scan.

"After careful examination of the scans, the team have concluded that, since Megan's last scan on April 6, there is nothing to suggest recurrent or metastatic [spread] disease in both the brain and spine," John explained.

"The brain still looks completely clear of cancer, which is great news.

"There is no significant change, for all three sections of the spine, since the MRI scans in April.

"This could mean one of two things. It could indicate that the cancer is gone and all that remains is inflammation from scar tissue or could mean that the cancer which is left is resistant to chemo.

"The problem is that there is no way to conclusively confirm this either way."

Megan's family have decided to go ahead with radiation therapy next week to ensure the cancer does not reoccur.

"Just because an MRI shows no visual cancer, this does not mean that Megan does not have cancer remaining at a cellular level, which if untreated now, could eventually cause a relapse," John said.

Megan was diagnosed last October with SPNET Medulloblastoma, a rare form of tumour.

She underwent chemotherapy at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, but the prognosis was not good.

Megan, her parents John and Sheila and siblings Chloe (7), Dylan (5) and baby Tristan flew to the US in early December because medics at world-renowned New York Presbyterian Children's Hospital were much more experienced with the type of treatment she needed, and were optimistic about her recovery.

A massive fundraising drive got under way, raising nearly €150,000, and then an anonymous benefactor stepped in with a huge donation that will cover her hospital bills.

The family hoped to be heading back home to Kilnamartyra, Co Cork, this September, but they may now have to stay for another month at least.

hnews@herald.ie

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