Wish Week 2019: Megan Pike
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
While you hear stories of cancer patients, until it affects you personally, you don’t fully understand the emotional roller coaster that cancer causes.
My cousin Libby had stage 4 cancer when I was in 7th grade. Libby was diagnosed with Wilm’s tumor. As if that did not cause enough stress, after having her kidney removed, part of the tumor broke off and went to her heart, so Libby had to have open-heart surgery. Libby’s cancer affected everyone in the family. Libby was not only the patient, but at 6 years old was trying to figure out what cancer was.
My aunt, wrote on Facebook describing an interaction she had with Libby:
“Mom, is cancer contagious?" Libby asked last night from the back seat.
"No, Honey" I answered.
"Because I don't want to be the only one."
Libby’s cancer journey continued and eventually got to the point where Make-A-Wish granted Libby’s wish to go to Disneyworld with her family.
Make-A-Wish brought a sense of normalcy to Libby’s life in a time when a 6 year old should not be constantly at the hospital. We traveled to Texas frequently and visiting hospitals became my normal too. Life was suddenly put into perspective for me, and realizing that everyday is not guaranteed. I remember sitting in my aunt’s living room, with my uncle playing the guitar, singing “it’s a great day to be alive” and seeing out the corner of my eye, sweet, bald, Libby belting the song at the top of her lungs. As my whole family adopted the mentality of “it’s a great day to be alive”, Make-A-Wish blessed the Serber family. Libby just got to be a kid again. And enjoy Disney. And Make-A-Wish made that happen.
Today, I am happy to report that Libby is cancer free and her cancer journey is a distant memory.
As I reflect back to 6 years ago, there wasn’t much I could do to help my little cousin. While I brainstormed ways to help Libby before bed, I could only do so much. Fast-forward to six years later, I remember standing in the Chi O room on philanthropy day of recruitment week, and watching the video hearing about how Chi O raises money for Make-A-Wish North Texas, it all came together for me. As I got chills watching the video, I realized that back in 2012, Chi O’s were raising money and some of that money could have gone directly to Libby’s wish. At the time Libby was going through it, there wasn’t much I could do to help. I gave my friends “team Libby” bracelets and prayed and asked others to pray too. But now, I’m able to help in a different way, but supporting Make-A-Wish and raising money.
I’m so grateful that I now have the opportunity to support a philanthropy so close to my heart. In a time of darkness and uncertainty for families, Make-A-Wish is a light and chance for the patient to be a kid again.