THE parents of four-year-old Megan Malone, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last year, have been told that she is “clear of cancer”.
Megan, whose father John is from Ballyalla, has been continuing her treatment in Boston after amazing doctors with her progress in New York’s Presbyterian Hospital.
This week, Megan’s parents, John and Sheila, described how the latest MRI scans for Megan are “truly amazing” and that “this is the best news we could have asked for”.
Last month, doctors in New York told the family that while scans showed that Megan’s brain looked completely clear of cancer, there was uncertainty about a small area of her spine. However, the most recent scans have shown that this area is now clear.
He explained that after the scan two doctors rang with the “unbelievable news”. “After examining the MRI scans, there is a noticeable difference between these and ones taken in June. All the areas of concern in the spine have now disappeared. There is now no tumour visible in Megan’s MRI and CT scans for both her brain and spine. Visually, Megan is clear of cancer for the first time since her diagnosis. We are so delighted with the news. We cannot believe it,” he said.
John explained radiation therapy is still required for Megan because there may still be microscopic cancer cells present. And the Proton Beam Radiation Therapy Megan is receiving in Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital works best on microscopic cancer.
“Of course, nobody knows whether or not this cancer will recur but her long-term survival prospects are starting to look really promising now.”
The family have moved into an apartment across the road from the hospital in Boston, designed specifically for children and their families going through proton beam therapy.
The family have said they are really looking forward to going back to their home in Cork. “The journey is not over yet and there are a few gruelling weeks on the way but we’re nearly there now and we’ll look forward to being back home with hopefully a long, healthy life ahead of Megan.”
They thanked all who have helped them in America and also “the amazing Irish public who continue to support us”.
Doctors have recommended that following her treatment, Megan would return to MGH every year for a full check-up. According to John, Megan is in “flying form” although she is still on a lot of medication. “She is almost running now and we are all delighted that she is still alive and well and part of our lives.”
Megan was given just a 20% chance of survival when she was diagnosed with a rare cancerous brain tumour called sPNET medullablastoma last year. Megan is from a well-known Clare family, being the granddaughter of Michael John and Kay Malone from Ballyalla. The family moved to America for Megan’s treatment with the help of extensive fundraising in Clare and Cork, along with a donation from a mystery benefactor to cover her medical costs.