On January 27, 2017 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage 2A with bulk. I was a freshman at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, a competitive Irish Dancer, swimmer for my summer team and for the Stone Ridge Gators, a violinist and had just tried out for and secured a spot in the Georgetown Prep play. Now I have cancer.
From February 2017- June 2017, I endured 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. I spent the summer of 2017 recovering from the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, started swimming again and was looking forward to my sophomore year at Stone Ridge. I was excited about the study abroad I would be going on in October to Scotland, trying out for the Georgetown Prep play and starting to Irish Dance again.
October of 2017 follow up PET scans revealed that I had relapsed, cancer had returned: Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma near my left armpit and collarbone.
I was able to enter a pediatric trial at Johns Hopkins that included four 21-day cycles of Immunotherapy with highly targeted chemotherapy to get me back into remission. I then was admitted for an in-patient stay for High Dose Chemotherapy (HDCT), and an autologous Stem Cell Transplant in February 2018. After four weeks I was stable enough to be released from the hospital and my mom and dad and I moved into a furnished apartment in Baltimore for almost 100 days to be just minutes away for any planned or unplanned visits to Johns Hopkins, a requirement for any pediatric patient having a bone marrow transplant. I missed most of my sophomore year at school, lost my hair again, and was pretty much in isolation for those 100 days since I was immunocompromised. I received 14 more cycles of targeted chemotherapy post transplant, and on February 13, 2019 my CT scans revealed I was still in remission one year post transplant. I have completed active treatment (as of January 2, 2019). February 15, 2020 was my 2nd re-birthday, two years from transplant. I am still in remission but dealing with late term effects of treatment including significant Peripheral Neuropathy and POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which is a condition that affects circulation (blood flow).
I am a sophomore at Vanderbilt University studying Chemical Biology with the intent to go to medical school. I am the philanthropy chair for Phi Sigma Rho, a sorority for women in STEM. I am an undergraduate researcher at the Pua lab at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and am on the club water polo team.
January 2023 Update
“Meaghan celebrated 5 years cancer free on December 12th and will be celebrating her 5th re-birthday on February 15. She continues to deal with late term effects from her treatment post transplant – POTS and chronic migraines. She is a junior at Vanderbilt studying Biochemistry and she just took the MCATs and plans to apply to medical schools this summer. She is the Philanthropy chair for her Women in STEM sorority, does research in the PUA lab at Vanderbilt and shadowing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She spent the summer doing research at the NIH where she will be again this summer.”
(In 2012, Meaghan raced in our Bethesda triathlon.)