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Friday, 22 June 2012 11:41

Swift Current native scores big with Touchdown for Dreams wish

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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On June 22, Swift Current native Megan Wells will see her new kitchen and backyard for the first time since receiving renovations to her home donated by the Touchdown for Dreams campaign.

In February of 2011, Wells was settling into her life as the newly-married mother of a beautiful seven-month-old girl. However, a diagnosis of Stage IV B locally-advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue led to the removal of two thirds of her tongue in an effort to stave off the cancer, which was already advancing quickly.
“Unfortunately, it had already spread to my lymph nodes,and I had a surgery to remove them, as well as the affected muscle and tissue,” Wells explained. “It was caught just in time, before it was definitively terminal. I am one of the youngest people to be diagnosed with this type of cancer — it usually strikes much older people.”
Wells underwent chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy to improve her chances of survival, concluding in August of last year.
On her second wedding anniversary, she was rushed to the ER and hospitalized for a month due to complications from treatments, missing out on her daughter’s first birthday.
Through the Saskatoon Cancer Centre, Wells began working with Social Worker Alison Gantefouer, who recommended Wells to be the Ambassador for the Touchdown for Dreams campaign — a partnership between the Roughriders, Cameco and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.
The program is a three-year partnership aiming to raise more than $250,000 through two annual events: a spring gala held in Saskatoon and a fall Riders game where pink Roughrider merchandise will be sold. The money will be used to grant wishes to 15 Saskatchewan women diagnosed with life-threatening cancer.
“There are so many amazing, deserving women I have met who have been affected by cancer, and this will serve to brighten an otherwise challenging time in their lives,” noted Wells. “I know for my family and I, there were several things we put on hold because we were suddenly in a literal survival mode. This will enable women and their loved ones a chance to allow their focus to shift back to being able to dream and have an experience that may not have happened because of their cancer diagnosis.”
Cameco is also fundraising for a mobile medical unit to visit northern communities with the goal of cancer screening and prevention for women.
As a cancer survivor, Wells is proud to help more women have access to medical facilities.
The first woman to see her wish granted by the Touchdown for Dreams program, Wells was hoping for a hardware store gift card to pay for some needed kitchen upgrades. Instead, Wells received a complete kitchen and yard makeover to her home in Dundurn.
“The improvements being done to my home will ensure that my daughter, Boudicca, will be easier able to help me cook in the kitchen, play in the backyard freely, and colour at a new kitchen table,” Wells explained. “When we bought our first home a month before our daughter was born, my husband and I were aware there were several improvements that needed to be made before it would be comfortable for our small family. Bu was only seven months old when I was diagnosed with cancer, and our reality was that our home projects had to be put on the back burner.”
Wells will see her newly made-over home for the first time on Friday, on the Saskatoon CTV news morning show. Cameco partnered with Northridge Developments to make the scope of the project even more grand, and Wells is excited to see the results.
“It is still difficult for me to grasp that this is all happening, I am truly humbled by it,” she admitted. “I have come a long way so far, but certainly have a long way to go: speech therapy, physiotherapy and emotional therapy. I was told I had a 50 per cent chance of surviving the next five years; after facing my mortality and looking inward to draw on strength I never knew existed, I know precisely who I am. I fully accept the journey I’ve been on with cancer, because it has brought a heightened sense of gratitude to my life.”

Read 4063 times Last modified on Monday, 25 June 2012 05:53