Brave Megan’s guide is an inspiration to cancer patients

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

AN INSPIRATIONAL guide to living with cancer written by a young woman whose life was cut short by the disease is attracting worldwide interest.

Megan Fletcher, of Bersham, died in her mother’s arms in May last year when she was just 21.

It was only after her death that her mother Fiona discovered that Megan had used her precious time to write advice for other sufferers.

It includes how not to become a victim of cancer and how people can retain their identity if they do.

Megan’s personal mantra was ‘My name is NOT cancer’ (MNINC) and that is the title of the pamphlet published by Fiona, and a website, launched in March.

Fiona said: “The website is not a memorial to Megan. It is a resource for patients, the real people who are facing this disease, to give them confidence to say ‘I’m still me’.

“I hope the professionals will look at it and do more to help people retain their sense of self – and that it is not just about a treatment regime.”

MNINC is now available at cancer treatment centres across the UK and in the Middle East, where Fiona, Megan, her youngest daughter Rebecca, 20, and husband Ian, 50, lived for 10 years and where Ian is still working in the oil and gas industry.

Fiona gets calls from all over the world from people who have been inspired by the website, and she has had approaches to see if the pamphlet can be translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German and Arabic.

She is also being invited to collaborate with other cancer organisations and to speak at conferences.

Megan went to primary school in Minera and secondary school in Dubai when the family moved to the Middle East.

She enrolled at Plymouth University to study human biosciences but by 20 she had been diagnosed with refractory Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an aggressive cancer which proved resistant to chemotherapy treatments.

Despite her illness, Megan completed her first year of studies and the university awarded a posthumous degree to her family at an emotional ceremony on what would have been her 22nd birthday.

Fiona added: “She was ill for 16 months and experienced all the different emotions which go along with being diagnosed with cancer.

“She then decided if she created hints and tips for other people that she did not have access to it might help them take control of their identity back from the
disease.”

MNINC is a not-for-profit organisation which seeks nothing more than to cover its costs – thousands of the pamphlets have been distributed to doctors’ surgeries,
hospitals, youth services and palliative care centres.

The website, which contains instructions on how to obtain the pamphlet, is www.mynameisnotcancer.com

See full story in the Leader

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