30 Aug Meet the Morgan Family
Four-year-old Samantha Morgan made it through her third day of radiation like a pro. Her reward? A brand new Ninja Turtle stuffed animal. This brave girl was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor on June 19, immediately turning her family’s world upside down. Wilms’ Tumor is a rare kidney cancer that affects mostly young children. Not long after her diagnosis, Sam underwent surgery to remove the tumor and her left kidney. She now receives radiation at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston, where she will need a total of 14 radiation treatments followed by 33 weeks of chemotherapy.
Sam’s parents Marie and Craig weren’t sure what to expect when they first arrived in Atlanta for Sam’s treatment, but they quickly found comfort at the Ronald McDonald House. “The first week we were here, I was able to meet a lot of mothers and their kids,” Marie describes. “It was really nice to get out of our room and be around everyone in the House.” Marie and Craig work in their hometown of Macon, Georgia, so they plan to alternate days with Sam in Atlanta. “We haven’t even caught our breath since her diagnosis,” says Craig. “It just all happened so fast.” Sam has an older sister, Cheyenne, who just started kindergarten and stays at home. Marie explains, “Cheyenne will say ‘I don’t have a friend at home anymore.’ But they look forward to seeing each other on face-time, and on the weekends that Sam is home.”
The Morgans know that they have a long road ahead of them, but knowing that they have a comfortable and safe place to rest at night relieves a great deal of stress. Sam has made friends with other children staying at the House, and enjoys playing games and doing arts and crafts. “This is a convenient place for us to stay and be together,” Craig says. When asked what they would do if they weren’t staying at the House, Craig explains, “I just don’t know…”