Mighty Megan celebrates milestone, federal government budgets millions for childhood cancer research
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Mellissa Patrick says after 852 days of treatment, her four-year-old daughter known to many as ‘Mighty Megan’, is now cancer free.
"She’s gone through so much to get to this point. It’s such a long hard road,” says Patrick.
Mighty Megan received her final spinal tap earlier this week and her last oral chemotherapy Saturday, marking the end of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“She’s had chemo, she had oral chemo, she’s had blood transfusions, she’s had platelet transfusions, she’s had injectable chemo,” says Patrick.
“I’m so excited to get her off all the medications and let her body do what it’s supposed to do and not worry about fevers, neutropenia and blood transfusions and everything that goes along with these little ones that have to fight for their lives every day.”
During her more than two-year battle, the family advocated strongly for children with cancer. In 2019, the family shared her story with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to push for more funding for paediatric cancer research.
“I wanted him to look at her and it to be real to him and see this is serious. We need this money,” says Patrick.
Ironically, on the same day as Megan’s final spinal tap, the federal government approved $30 million in the federal budget for strategic research on paediatric cancer.
“It was just amazing. I cried. I was happy. I screamed,” says Patrick.
“There really aren’t any words for it. There’s never been such a commitment from our government before,” says Aimee Omstead, the director of Little Hands, Kids for a Cause.
Omstead calls the federal funding a “historic commitment.”
"So many kids are being treated with adult drugs to fight their cancer because there’s never really been a lot of research for paediatric cancers,” says Omstead.
“This funding is going to buy miracles. This funding is going to buy a cure,” says Patrick.
The family says they are looking forward to watching Mighty Megan live a normal life.
“I want to see her skip down the road. I want to see her pick flowers in the garden and not worry about her feet twisting out on her or her falling,” says Patrick. “I just want her to just experience what life should be for a little one.”