2019 Grand Service Project
Below is the transcript of the speech given by our Grand Worthy Advisor, Hannah, introducing our new Grand Service Project, Megan's Wings (www.meganswings.org) at the at the First Official Visit in 2018.
The course of our lives can change in an instant. One simple action or short phrase can alter our lives forever. Kim and Dave Savage were an average American couple, happily married and raising their children in a small suburb located in Southern California. One of their daughters, named Megan, was a sweet, outgoing little girl with a courageous heart and a considerate soul. But, one day, the course of the Savage’s lives changed with one, four worded phrase: your child has cancer.
Megan had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a rare type of leukemia which affects the blood and bone marrow. They began treatment in California but Megan needed more specialized care that wasn’t available here. So the family packed up and started to seek treatment in Texas. The attention Megan needed during her battle coupled with the temporary move to Texas caused her mom, Kim, to not be able to maintain her job. Funds became tight and the family began to struggle in a way they had never struggled before: financially. Fortunately, they had a great support group of friends, family and coworkers to help them with these struggles and they were also involved with a Foundation in Texas which aided them in this time of need. Unfortunately, Megan lost her battle to Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in April of 2003, at the young age of 9 years old. The Savages were devastated, but they remembered the support system that was available to them and they wanted that support system to be available to other families coping with the same problem.
So, in January of 2005, 20 months after Megan passed away, the Savage Family established Megan’s Wings to assist other pediatric cancer patients and their families and to honor Megan’s memory. Based in Upland, Megan’s Wings helps families navigate through their journey with pediatric cancer through supporting the financial, physical, and emotional needs of families, acting as advocates, supplying resources and transportation and funding cutting edge cancer research. Their goal is to improve the care and quality of life of children coping with cancer and they do so through various programs.
Their patient aid program helps families pay their bills, compensating for the lost income from parents having to take off work to provide their child with around the clock care. This assistance comes in the form of medical or utility bill payment, gas cards, groceries, and even rent or house payment. They also provide temporary housing to families whose child needs to stay close to hospital for treatment through Megan’s Home.
As a tribute to their daughter, the Savage’s created Megan’s Wings. They named the foundation Megan’s Wings because butterflies remind them of her whenever they are fortunate enough to see one. This year, we can work together to help Megan’s Wings provide their services to even more families. The assistance we provide will help families be able to focus on their child, instead of worrying how they can make it all work. California Rainbow, I ask you to join me in supporting Megan’s Wings’ mission of helping families impacted by childhood cancer take flight. Thank you.