Meaghan, 16, of Rockville, Maryland “cannot be defined” and likes it that way because she wants to be open to all the possibilities of life. Meaghan is a dreamer with her feet planted solidly on the ground. Her passions include literature, music, dance, science, swimming, and theatre- and she has added advocacy for the cure of pediatric cancers and care of children and their families to the list of things she is passionate about.
In January of 2017 Meaghan was busy with her studies at the Stone Ridge School in Bethesda, MD, swimming for her high school team, reading every book that Rick Riordan had ever written, preparing to compete at the Irish Dance National Championships, and being with her friends and family (parents Mark and Maura and brothers Christopher, 23 and Brian, 19) when life took a sharp turn. Meaghan was swimming for Stone Ridge when she noticed that the lymph nodes in her neck were becoming swollen and hard. After a few doctor’s visits, an X-Ray and CT Scan Meaghan’s family received a phone call to pack their bags for an indefinite stay and head to the Pediatric Oncology unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital right away. After a series of tests and a biopsy, Meaghan was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, Stage 2A, Bulky.
From February 2017- June 2017 Meaghan underwent four 21-day cycles of chemotherapy and 14 days of radiation, had a complete response and was declared to be in remission in June of 2017.
October of 2017 follow up PET scans revealed that Meaghan’s cancer had returned: Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma near her left armpit and collarbone.
Meaghan just completed a pediatric trial at Johns Hopkins that included four 21-day cycles of Immunotherapy with highly targeted chemotherapy to get Meaghan back into remission. Meaghan will be admitted for an in-patient stay for High Dose Chemotherapy (HDCT), and an autologous Stem Cell Transplant in February 2018. When Meaghan is stable enough to be released from the hospital, she and her family will move into temporary housing near Johns Hopkins for ~ 100 days to be just minutes away for any planned or unplanned visits to Johns Hopkins. Meaghan’s cancer journey has now passed the one-year mark and it has been a difficult one, but the love, prayers and support of family, friends, doctors, nurses, and the cancer community has strengthened and carried Meaghan and her family each and every day.