May 14, 2003 at 7:43 PM CDT - Updated June 20 at 6:40 PM
Stories of Hope: Macy Morgan By: Wendy Ray
(Memphis, TN)--When you're child is sick, medicine and rest usually do the trick. But for one Tennessee family, it didn't help their daughter.
The diagnosis she was given came as a shock, and she was immediately sent to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. David and Melanie Morgan's lives were turned upside down two months ago, when their daughter Macy was diagnosed with cancer. Six year old Macy Morgan's battle with cancer started with a fever and a backache. Her mom thought it was mono. "The doctor did blood work and came back and told us it was leukemia. I had no idea what leukemia was, I thought, is that cancer," her mom Melanie says. Her dad David says, "The doctor said you need to go to St. Jude, my wife said okay, we'll go home and go in the morning. He said no you won't, you're going now, you're going straight there." That was in March. Macy and her family have been at St. Jude ever since. She gets chemotherapy five times a week, and the treatments are working. "When she first came in they did a test, and she had 51 percent in her bone marrow. They did another one, and now there's less than one percent in there right now," David says.
Macy soon lost her hair, a common side effect of chemo. Her parents didn't want her to feel out of place, so they shaved their heads to look like her. "People look because they are concerned and care but we would like them to look at us first," Melanie says. "We want to go through everything Macy's going through," David says. "We want to go through it together. If we could take the chemo for her, we would." Macy's five year old sister Sophie wants to shave her head too. The Morgans know there are tough days ahead, but as Sophie sings "You are my Sunshine" Macy is their sunshine, and she's getting better thanks to St. Jude. "It's like heaven on earth," Melanie says. "It's a place where miracles happen."
Macy will need treatments for nearly three years to get rid of the cancer. When St. Jude first started, the survival rate was 4 percent for the type of leukemia Macy has, now it's more than 80. Her parents say they walked into St. Jude with nothing, and they were told immediately they would never see a bill.