Megan McNeil: Celebration of Life

Megan McNeil Celebration of Life

A celebration of life was held for Megan McNeil on February 19th, 2011 at the Bell Centre for Performing Arts in Surrey, which over 700 attended. Special thanks to the hosts Sophie Lui and Steve Darling, as well as the wonderful performers Ryan McMahon and Cory Woodward. The event began with guests being shown the original video and performance of Will To Survive given by Megan while receiving her treatments at BCCH. It was then followed by highlights of her life and featured photo videos, and moments shared by family, teachers, friends, hospital staff, and workmates. The afternoon finished with Susan McLennan featuring the Will To Survive campaign highlights and the final version of the WTS video and song that had been produced with the support of many people. This was an event that left guests saying they had never experienced anything like it! Special thanks from her parents Dave and Suzanne McNeil to all who helped organize this memorable afternoon.

As Megan’s time on earth drew to a close, she made some requests of us all. She wanted her work to continue, and for us all to fight for a day when no child died from childhood cancer. As a gesture of remembrance, her parents ask that you:

1. download her song from iTunes or Amazon and

2. share The Will to Survive video with as many as you can to help get her message out.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to BCCCPA and/or The James Fund. You may do so by going directly to their sites.

If you would like to honour Megan by providing corporate sponsorship or other support to assist with the costs surrounding The Will to Survive campaign and the Celebration of Life for Megan, please contribute by clicking the link below. Please note, this is not a charitable donation. Anyone requiring additional information is welcome to to email: susan at babbleoncom dot com.



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Megan McNeil’s Obituary

Born in Vancouver on September 7, 1990, Megan died at Surrey Memorial of adrenal cancer on January 28, 2011, surrounded by family and friends. She was 20.

Megan is survived by her adoring family, including her parents, Suzanne and David and grandparents Helen McNeil, Carolyn and Ken Reeves, and Jean Peters. She is also survived by her partner, Ryan Kadoranian, and many dear friends who shared adventures with our irrepressible Megan as she crossed as many items off of her “bucket list” as she could, including parachuting, bungee jumping and zip-lining.

Megan captured hearts across North America and even overseas for her tireless campaign promoting childhood cancer awareness. She wrote a beautiful song about the childhood cancer journey called “The Will to Survive” that legendary producer Garth Richardson (Rage Against the Machine, Nickelback) produced.  Emerging star Ryan McMahon arranged the song and provided backup vocals.

Megan and “The Will to Survive” were featured on media outlets across the United States and Canada, with Canada AM naming her campaign one of the best stories of 2010 and CBC’s Connect with Mark Kelley naming her the most inspirational person of the year.

As Megan’s time to depart this earth grew near, she requested that those who love her continue her campaign to end childhood cancer through her song “The Will to Survive.”

As a gesture of remembrance, the family asks anyone wishing to honour Megan to download her song from iTunes and share The Will to Survive video on YouTube with those they treasure. Funds raised by downloads of Megan’s song benefit BCCCPA and The James Fund.

The family wishes to thank the BC Children’s Hospital Oncology division and Surrey Memorial Hospital, Child/Youth Services (CYS), Oncology Clinic for the excellent care Megan received over the course of her four and a half year illness.

There will be a celebration of Megan’s life on February 19. Details will be posted soon on www.willtosurvive.org and on Megan’s Facebook page: I Want to Give Children Fighting Cancer the Will to Survive.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The James Fund and BCCCPA.

Those wishing to help support Megan’s campaign to promote childhood cancer awareness through corporate sponsorship or other contributions and means should please email: susan at babbleoncom dot com.

Sad news

It is with a very heavy heart that we tell you of the passing of Megan McNeil. She died yesterday at the age of 20, having battled childhood cancer since she was 16. To learn more, please read the press release surrounding Megan McNeil’s death. Details about services and other information will be forthcoming as they become available.

In the meantime, the family asks that you share her video of The Will to Survive with those you love and that you download The Will to Survive song from iTunes. Proceeds go to support the fight against chidhood cancer, including two of Megan’s favourite causes: The James Fund and BCCCPA.

The family requests privacy at this time, but thanks everyone for their support and for sharing the gift of Megan and her song.

Canada AM came to my house!

Just finished up with Canada AM… I think it went pretty well! One of those days though where it seems like I couldn’t answer a question properly… Man did I feel off my game today! The folks did a super rad interview though, and Ryan McMahon popped by for some B Roll of us singing his new song “Wake Up”, (which I am suuper stoked for, wicked melodies, stay tuned ladies and gents!).

The filming at work really made me miss the kids though! Now just adding some finishing touches to my speach for the Evening to Inspire event tomorrow (http://www.eveningtoinspire.com/ … Check it out!). Pretty excited, I feel so legit! Like I said before, life has become a bit of a gongshow. It’s a lot of fun, but stressful! Good stress though, and I still can’t believe that this is techincally my job right now.

Seriously though man, my arm, I’m not even kidding you, is going to drive me nuuuts. How we take for granted the “little” things until something changes. I mean, not even being able to lift my arm past shoulder height = BEYOND frustrating. Not to mention the fact you can’t even sleep on it properly. I’m one of those annoying people too who push themselves and blah blah, so when something stops me it drives me loco. Ask my physio :P. But yes, seems I’ve got damage going on from the later effects of radiation (scar tissue, limited mobility, problems with lymph drainage)… Ay caramba! That’s one thing about cancer that still gets me… Once you think it’s kicked you down until you can’t hit any lower, it proves you wrong and brings you down some more.

It’s so frustrating that you might kick cancer in the butt, but then have to face all the other side effects that come with the package. Still though, I’m here, and plan on being here for plenty more time, so any side effects that come my way, bring it on baby!
Also want to give a HUGE shout out to my super awesome support network. I’m feelin’ cheesy today. My parental unit, there is no way I would’ve made it through this without you. My family, you guys have been MORE than amazing. My friends, you guys are the best of the best (legit, my friends rock my socks). Best friend (aka sub sister) and boyfriend, you two are my rocks. My cancer dudes and chicks, I’m blessed to have you come in my life. My cancer families, oncologists, nurses, childlife, all staff, you guys truly have become second family. Also everyone who’s come into my life through music (Cath, Susan, Ryan, Deb, Garth…), thank you for reminding me what my passion is, and for being such amazing people (and for picking such an awesome cause). Basically, I have an endless ammount of people to thank, and I am SO so so lucky. I will never take for granted all the great people I have around me (if I ever forget to mention you, I’m so so sorry, chemo brain’ll getcha!). Also, the friends I’ve lost along the way, not a day goes by when I don’t think about them. They truly are my role models, and I just keep reminding myself of how amazing they are whenever I have a bummer moment. They’re the reason why I’m doing this.

Told ya I was feeling cheesy! (Seriously, now I’ve got a MAD craving for brie. And pepper jelly. Holy foodgasm. Am I allowed to say that online?).

But yes, I’m feeling all inspired today, I’m liken’ it! I’ve been kinda in the dumps lately, but I think I’m finally getting out. Even wrote another song recently… Yay!

Off to finish packing for the weekend and go check on psycho puppy

Ciao for now,
Meg

PS- Finally got Microsoft Word (and various Microsoft upgrades) to my laptop… Huzzah, I’m a bit too stoked! You know you’re a nerd when.

What’s new in the world of Megan McNeil?

When Megan McNeil sets her mind on something, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to happen. Two weeks ago, she was in hospital battling painful side effects from her cancer treatments. Last week, she jumped out of a plane. That’s just how she rolls…

If you’d like a chance to hear Megan speak, now is your chance. This Saturday, Megan will be in Victoria speaking at “An Evening to Inspire,” hosted by The Young Entrepreneurs of Victoria.  The evening is in support of BCCH, a top notch children’s hospital that has helped Megan, and one that is also connected to the charities she has chosen to benefit from  her song The Will to Survive: The James Fund and BCCCPA.

For more information about the event, please watch the Evening to Inspire video or you can visit the Evening to Inspire website.

Not going to be able to catch up with her live? Look for her on the CBC website, where The National and CBC’s Connect with Mark Kelley did features with her. Or, you might want to check out one of the twenty interviews she did last week with media outlets across the US, including Fox 4 Morning Blend and Las Vegas Morning Blend.

Megan will be spending this coming Friday with Canada AM for a featuring they are doing on her, airing in the coming weeks.  You won’t want to miss that!

Back from Seattle and the satellite media tour, skydiving and a new puppy!

Wowwww oh wow, back to being suuper busy!  What an aaamazing/whirlwind past week.  Did the Satellite Media Tour last wednesday in Seattle, which was a BIG day…  Basically I sat in the studio for a set ammount of hours and did a bunch of radio/TV interviews back to back during the time we had…  Woke up at 3:20 that morning (yeah, I was a happy camper) and kept going until around 10…  It was a looong morning for sure! 

I think I did about 20 interviews, so not too shabby!

It was pretty cool too considering I’m looking into Broadcasting as a career choice and this was quite the tester to see if I’d like it… I’m impressed man, having that little earpiece where 5 people talk to you and then talking yourself is NOT easy!  Helloooo ADD!  Took some getting used to but once I got the hang of it it was a lot of fun!

Big thanks to Solving Kids Cancer for making this happen… I think we got a lot of awareness out there because of you guys, so HUGE thanks for making it possible.

What else is new in the life of Megan… I finally went skydiving!!  Most amazing thing I’ve ever done…  Screw pain killers, jumping out of a plane is where it’s at!  Finally got the weather for it because it kept getting cancelled due to rain, so when the clouds burned off and blue sky showed up for Saturday we got preeeetty darn excited.  Still can’t believe we did it!  Saw Jack Johnson in concert the night before, he’s so good live… I love that guy!

So chill, and seems to be so genuinly in love with his wife… I absalutely love that (good ol’ hopeless romantic!).  Also got a puppy!!!  I am in extreeeme puppy love right now (where you think EVERY little thing she does is adorable, and your friends look at you like you’ve lost your marbles).  She’s such a little monkey, I tell ya, but soo loveable it’s ridiculous.  Her name’s Pepper and she’s a Schnoodle (isn’t that the coolest name you’ve ever heard?  I should’ve just called her by her breed.  It’s funny because with our last dog we were spoiled and got her at around 12 weeks, so we got the cute puppy stage but already fully trained…  This one we’re defiantely getting all the puppy traits (good and bad!).

As for medical updates, I’ve been feeling a bit better lately which is nice!  The shoulder/arm pain has subsided, so I still can’t move it above my shoulder (big bummer) but at least it’s not excruciating (legit man, I have a high pain tolerance, but this thing killed me)!  Keeping everything crossed that this is just some flare up from the chemo/radiation combo and not just from radiation itself, as that could cause some problemos.. We’ll have to see.  Also getting some liver pain again which always scares the bajeebies outta me.  BUT!! Exciting stuff, I have a biopsy schedualed for this thursday (how sad, I’m stoked for a biopsy).  Basically they’re doing it to study a bit of my tumor, and compare samples to the old ones and see if anythings changed and what not… It’s just super awesome that they actually get to study my crappy-uuber rare cancer and maybe get some basic questions answered. 

But yeah, waiting on that to happen and then maybe starting another new game plan (treatments wise). We’ll test out one more round of the Gemcytabine to see if it’s still equally as evil and then go from there.

Anyways, off to check if the puppy has pooped (joy joy!)

Ciao for now,

Meg

PS- 16,384 hits on YouTube… Chikachikayeaaa!

Cold and flu season…

Yuck what a gross combo… Chemo, cold and flu all in one go, woo!  Needing to get an extra dose of chemo this week too because I took a little bit of a break for my birthday (but it was worth it!).  Can’t believe I’m 20 now, sounds all old!  Been keeping busy as usual though… Got to speak again for the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation again, a great ride for childhood cancer.  Been picking up more shifts at work too.  Also got to do another fun shoot with the uuber talented Jessica Luch (who’s been doing all my awesome photos)- check her out at www.jessicaluch.com

But basically been down for the rest of the time trying to get better!
Stoked for this weekend for the Music Therapy ride up to Whistler… Should be alot of fun!
By the way, if you hear the song on the radio and like it, phone in and request it, because we need more radio stations to get on board! 🙂

Ciao for now,
Meg

Toronto and New York trip…

All I can say is WOW.  This trip was incredible.  Basically found out on the friday that we were going to be flying to Toronto and New York for campaign stuff on Sunday… Let’s just say it for sure was a fly by the seat of your pants adventure!  Frank Giustra was wonderful enough to lend us his private jet for our flights, HUGE thank you to him, what an awsome guy.  The jet was amazing, and the flight staff were all really great… Bonus too, the food was yuuummy.  I felt like a legit rockstar or something!  They even let me watch the landing, which was pretty cool.  Let’s just say that I could get used to flying in style!

We first landed in Toronto to meet with sponsors for a concert that’s coming up in February… We’ve got some ridiculous artists hopefully lined up, so it’ll be crazy to see what pans out for that (I’ll keep you posted, it’s a little bit too exciting actually)!  It was nice to finally meet them all, they’re all great people (thanks Mike for everything!).  The next day we woke up bright and early (a little too early for my liking) to get my passport all sorted out.. Maaan oh man did I ever feel like the biggest loser on the planet for that (sorry Susan and Diana)!  Had to get a new one on rush (the old one had expired), and literally got it with 5 minutes to spare before we had to give the boarder all our information… Just in the nick of time, that’s for sure!  I thought I was good because I had Nexus, but unfortunately didn’t cut it… Oh weyll.

We then headed off to NY, and had the rest of the night to settle in and what not.  Let’s just say that my body must HATE extreme heat now, as temperatures were reaching 38ish, and then add on the humidity factor… It was smoooken’!  With the chemo combo and my pill schedule all out of whack, my body wasn’t too happy with me at some points, but meh, what can ya do!  So we did as much sightseeing as we could (and shopping, obviously) during our spare time.  We met with some more sponsors, including Solving Kids Cancer (Scott and John, you two are awesome guys… thanks so much for everything you do!)… They were kind enough as well to give us tickets that night for the broadway musical Memphis, which was reeally good (I looove broadway)!

So ya, lots of meetings (more that are so exciting, I’ll fill everyone in when it’s all sorted out and 100%), all jammed in to a short period of time.. Crazy, but lots of fun… I had to keep pinching myself!

Let’s just say this song has gone farther than I would’ve ever dreamed of (and opportunities have fallen into my lap that I’ve never thought possible)… I’m just in awe.  I’ll be headed back to NY again towards the end of September for a Media Tour for the campaign… Fun stuff I tell ya, what a job!

Anyways, back in Vancouver now (I love it here, I don’t think I could ever move away, I’m too much of a BC girl!)… Back to more excitement though… Tomorrow I get an ultrasound to see what the chemo has accomplished (fingers, toes, eyes, legs all crossed), Saturday I’ll be having an early birthday celebration as lots of my friends head back to school again this weekend (boooooo, I miss them all too much… Pretty much 3/4 of my girlfriends all go back, it’s quite depressing), and sunday maaaybe skydiving!  Then more birthday stuff and crazyness for the week ahead.. Life has become a gongshow, but I’m loven’ it!

Ciao for now,

Meg

Tour of Corus Entertainment to record “Will To Survive” PSA

Holy awesome day batman! (Minus chemo, yuck).  Recorded a PSA for Corus Entertainment today, stay tuned for when it’s aired during September on CFOX, Rock 101, AM730 and CKNW.  So stoked to hear how it turned out, hopefully not too shabby… It’s always so weird to hear yourself, I’m always just like “thaaat’s what I sound like?!  Nooo waay”.  Also did an interview on CKNW.  But ya it was pretty sweet!  Got a tour of all the studios and everything as well… Thanks to Corus!

Other things I’ve been upto lately… Well, lovely story of how I went to go see Lady Gaga thinking the tickets were for Monday, went there and they were for Tuesday… Ohhh cool! 

So we had to come back on the tuesday and try it all over again… But it was so worth it!  She’s craazy live. 

Thanks Scotiabank for the rad tickets!

By the way Vancouverites, whats with all the random weather we’ve been getting lately?  Pooouuring down rain then super sunny… Hello weather gods, what did we do to make you peeved?  Kinda refreshing though to get a bit of cooler weather, especially now that I’m a freakin’ menopausal woman haha… I can put my hot flashes on semi hold, woo!

Another by the way… My eye has decided to have numerous dance parties lately, it won’t stop twitching!! I look like some crazy nervous lady… Lovely for interviews.

Anyways, more exciting news, I’m off to Toronto and New York this Sunday… Yayay! Hopefully doing some interviews over there and spreading the word! This is all too surreal man, I have to keep pinching myself.

I have also decided that I have the bestest friends on the planet.

Anyways, ciao for now
Meg

Back to business…

Hoooooly guacamole, I can not believe how much support I’ve been getting lately with the song! Lots of interviews have been schedualed, including a couple BIG maybes that have got me super stoked… Some of which I’ll need to be travelling to various places… Ooo exciting! It’s so awesome to see everything finally coming together, big shout out to my family for being soo amazing.

I’ll have to keep everyone posted as to what big things come in the future 🙂 Also got a letter in the mail today from Mario Lemieux (um say whaaaaa!), what a nice guy! Made my day for sure.

By the way, heard some sneak peaks from Ryan McMahon’s new album… Be excited guys, they’re all good’ns!

So the Okanagan was awesome, first half was pretty crap as I wasn’t feeling good from the chemo, but once I got over that it was great… Did some watersports, formula cart racing, relaxing… etc etc. Had some interviews in there as well, but it was nice to get some down time and chill… Have you ever noticed though that you only seem to start getting into your holiday once it’s almost over? I tell ya.

Been dating the boyfriend for 2 years now as well… (crazy!)… What a guy 🙂

Watching So You Think You Can Dance at the ‘mo post more chemo (infront of a fan.. so warm!)… Loove it, makes me all sad though, I miss dancing! Feeling pretty decent right now, hopefully that continues!

Ciao for now,
Meg

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