My name is Meg and I am shaving my head at Kitty Hoynes in Syracuse on April 2nd! I shaved in 2009 and 2010 but haven’t shaved since! I am really excited for this opportunity to raise more money for cancer research.
One of the projects that St. Baldrick’s has done that resonates deeply with me is survivorship research. I, myself, am a cancer survivor and have been for just over 28 years. I was born with a malignant brain tumor on March 25th, 1994. After a year of treatment, I was deemed cancer free but there wasn’t much else my parents could tell my doctors as to what kind of life I would have - if I would walk, talk, hit any of my milestones, or have any sort of neurotypical life. Despite all odds, I lived the most “normal” life I could with the help of my doctors and my amazing parents.
While I hit my milestones and lived somewhat of a normal life, there was no guidance from anyone on what would happen as I hit and got older. There was no guidebook that could tell my family what exactly my future would hold.
As I got older into my early teen years, my body went highwire. My mental health was terrible, along with chronic pain issues in almost every single part of my body, along with medical problems that seemingly came from nowhere that there was no family history of. We did the best we could at the time to navigate this whole experience by ourselves. Many doctors did what they could, though sometimes I wasn’t believed or was dismissed due to not being the right age or “typical” patient. Age and typicality don't matter when chemo advanced my body by five to ten years. It has been a struggle to find a set of doctors that have believed me, and I am so blessed and grateful to have that now. With them, my quality of life is improving.
But it was a journey - a journey that my family and I endured because I had chemotherapy at 7 days old in 1994. My incredible parents have always said that if we can help just one family from going through what we went through, then our life missions would be done. I am shaving for survivorship research so that we can help all of those kids and teens who are dealing with the side effects from treatment that no one saw coming.