This year, more than 2,500 British Columbians will be diagnosed with a blood cancer: lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma. They are the fourth most common type of cancer worldwide.
Three years ago, this number included four-year-old Morgan May.
In the spring of 2017, Morgan’s mom Kelly noticed her daughter started to look unwell.
“We had thought she just had a virus,” says Kelly.
Just a few weeks after her fourth birthday, Morgan and her family received the devastating news: she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare and it happens very quickly,” says Kelly.
For the next two and a half years, Morgan would endure chemotherapy treatment every single day.
“As a Mom, I would have done anything to trade places with her, but she was such a champion and we got through it one step a time.”
Morgan’s last chemo treatment was in June, 2019 and today, she is cancer free.
“We had this overwhelming sense of gratitude and at the same time felt like there is still so much work to be done,” says Kelly.
There is also an urgent need to improve outcomes for people facing blood cancers in British Columbia through fundraising, which will advance research at BC Cancer focused on uncovering new, curative therapies, and bring families more hope.
“Support truly gives families hope – it gives us hope for the future and that one day there will be an end to all of this, and that other families won’t have suffer and have heartbreak,” says Kelly. “It also brings us all together as a community that gets us through these really hard times.”
On May 11, Kelly, Morgan and the rest of the May family will celebrate a special Mother’s Day.
“This year will be my first Mother’s Day since Morgan was diagnosed where she will be on no medicine and is cancer-free. It will be a day where we can celebrate that we’re all here and we are healthy,” says Kelly. “Even as we face a pandemic, we’re grateful to be spending family time together, healing at home.”
To help change outcomes for patients with blood cancers like Morgan, please visit www.bccancerfoundation.com.
While Morgan is doing well, those who face cancer in our province are considered high-risk of getting viruses like COVID-19. The BC Cancer Foundation is also raising funds to support at-risk patients with a COVID-19 Response Fund. To learn more, please visit here.