There was not a dry eye in the house when a teen battling an ultra-rare form of childhood cancer opened a package to reveal that her siblings were a perfect bone marrow transplant match.
Megan Mejia’s unique “Bone Marrow Match Reveal” was born out of extreme unlikelihood, but her family viewed it just like any viral gender reveal party: a celebration of new life and hope.
Thirteen-year-old Megan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a common form of childhood cancer, in August 2021 – but her family later learned that Megan actually had a rare subtype that is resistant to all chemotherapy and is found in just one percent of all children with leukemia.
As a result, Megan is currently undergoing a fairly new and groundbreaking treatment for hard-to-treat cancer, known as CAR-T immunotherapy, after which she will undergo a bone marrow transplant to stop the cancer from returning.
According to doctors, there was around a 25 percent chance of a sibling being a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant, and so most patients end up searching for a donor through a bone marrow registry.
When doctors at Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles notified Megan’s mom, Christine, 41, that one of her siblings was a perfect bone marrow match, she asked for them not to tell her immediately.
Instead, Christine, from Eastvale, California, asked if the name could be put into an envelope so that the donor could be revealed to the family all at once.
A group of oncology nurses then suggested going one step further, putting the announcement on a Christmas ornament and wrapping it as a present.
On December 12 at Megan’s Bone Marrow Match Reveal Party, the teenager opened the package at her grandparents’ house in Ontario, California.
The family screamed in shock when she pulled out a bauble to reveal that her brother, Ben, 12, was a perfect match.
But then, as Megan looked a little further, she noticed that two more of her five siblings – Brianna, 22, and Emily, 18 – were also perfect matches, their names featuring on baubles.
Christine said: “Megan is getting a second chance at a healthy life because of her sibling. This is worth celebrating.
“I wanted to throw a party and shout from the rooftops that our prayer was answered.
“I’ve seen so many gender reveal parties, so why not throw a Bone Marrow Reveal Party? Both are announcing and celebrating a new life.
“I’ve received an overwhelming response from strangers and obviously friends and family.
“Viewers have reached out telling me they could relate to my desperation and they cried with me.
“Many shared that this came during a trial of their own and they now have renewed hope.
“Others have said they watched it numerous times and couldn’t stop smiling.
“And a few have even shared their own personal cancer stories with me.”
Story via T&T Creative Media
READ MORE LIKE THIS: Late Organ Donor’s Mom Surprised By The Recipient Of Her Son’s “Heart Of Gold”