BY MELISSA SPELTS
When lumps appeared on Megan’s neck, her parents took her to a doctor to get them checked out. The physician ordered two CT scans, and the results showed a mass in her chest. Megan was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in April 2020; two weeks later, schools closed down for COVID-19. No parent wants to find out that their child has cancer, but upon learning of Meagan’s disease, the Belan family kicked into ‘fight mode’. Due to the pandemic, it was very painful to abide by hospital restrictions. Only one parent at a time could be present with Megan, and after treatment, her parents had to stay away, in order to keep Megan safe. It was extremely difficult.
The Belan family has moved many times with the military in Megan’s 17 years of life. After Megan’s dad retired, they moved to North Ogden, and fell in love with the community they have called home for the past four years. Weber High School has been amazing to work with Megan. They have given her space to allow her to be a part of the WHS orchestra program, and she participates in her classes online. The Mayor of North Ogden and other city officials had a small parade in front of the Belan house to show their support for Megan. It was overwhelming to see how much that gesture meant to the Belan family. With a police escort and firetrucks, this parade was long enough that it created a little traffic jam.
Megan has been so strong through this whole thing. Losing her long, naturally curly hair was the hardest part of this trial. Megan knew that losing her hair would be a side-effect of receiving chemotherapy, but didn’t realize her hair would come out in chunks! Her eyebrows and eyelashes were next to go. These are things we take for granted until they are gone. She’d look in the mirror and not recognize the face looking back at her. Her parents found it heart-breaking.
Make-A-Wish is such a neat program, designed to bring LIGHT to cancer patients and their families. Megan got to make three wishes, and one would be granted. Those three wishes were:
- To meet her favorite band virtually (it’s called BTS; a boy band out of South Korea)
- Shopping Spree
- Have a puppy
As Megan stepped out on the front porch one day, she was motioned by the crowd outside to look at the banner on her house, to see the wish she was granted.
A Shopping Spree (written in big green letters) was read, and a big smile came over Megan’s face. Now the big question is, what to buy?
Megan has learned a lot these past months fighting this disease. Something that she found is that out of all the research money that is raised for cancer research, only four percent goes toward childhood cancer research. Megan was asked at the end of her treatment what she wants to do in life. She said she would like to be a cancer nurse. She wants to use her experience to help other children through their cancer journey. She said that if she could just comfort the children and let them know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that’s what she would like to do.
We wish the best for you Belan Family.
Would you like to help a wish come true?
Bring joy back into a child’s life and donate today at wish.org