A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that can help raise and maintain awareness to important subjects. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to help keep parents in the know. They may be touching, and even make you shed a tear, but the health and wellbeing of our children are what we value most. This story is originally from 2019.
The bond siblings share is unlike any other. Having a brother or sister means having a lifelong friend.
Meagan and Laurence Collard, a happily married couple from Australia had sons, Franklin and Cayden. They lived a wonderful life together. However, the couple had always wanted to add another member to their family, a little girl. The boys had also wanted a little sister. So when Meagan found out she was pregnant with a girl the whole family was over the moon with the news.
Welcome to the world baby Piper
The entire family waited in anticipation to meet the newest addition. So, when Piper Winifred arrived the family welcomed her with open arms into the world, it was the happiest moment of their lives.
Piper grew into a beautiful baby, reaching every milestone exactly when she was supposed to. Everything seemed fine until Piper one day began vomiting and developed a fever. Her parents immediately took her to a gastroenterologist and their GP to run tests. She was diagnosed with an ear infection and given prescribed medication to help treat the infection.
Unfortunately, a month later, Piper began throwing up again. This time Meagan was extremely worried as she discovered a lump on Piper’s stomach. They rushed her to the hospital to have blood tests done. This is when they discovered that she has neuroblastoma, a form of cancer commonly found in infants.
According to Cancer.org, there are about 700 to 800 new cases of neuroblastoma each year in the United States. This number has remained about the same for many years. In Piper’s case, at the point of discovery, the cancer had already spread from her adrenal glands to the liver, lymph nodes, abdomen, chest cavity, and ovaries.
Her family knew that things wouldn’t be easy but they were determined to fight for her survival.
By the age of 11 months, Piper had already gone through five sessions of chemo, a stem transplant surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy. All these procedures were painful and tiring for Piper. However, things took a positive turn when Piper began to look and feel better.
Piper was home for Christmas. And that’s when it seemed like everything was going to be alright, but unfortunately, their happiness was short-lived. Their worst fear came true when they discovered that Piper’s cancer had returned and spread even further than before.
Her parents attempted to place her in an overseas medical trial but were turned down because her liver function was too low. So she underwent more chemo sessions in hopes that her liver would improve. Sadly, after the fourth day of chemo Piper’s health deteriorated even faster.
June 17th, 2019
Meagan and Laurence were told that there was nothing they could do for their little girl. They were told to take her home and to give her all the love in the world.
June 20th, 2019
Piper appeared happy and cheerful, she managed to gather her strength and actually played with her big brothers, but later that day she began vomiting blood. Meagan called the nurse but the only thing she was able to do was to give Piper some pain relief medicine.
That night, Piper Winifred passed away leaving her family heartbroken and grieving.
On the day of Piper’s funeral, her five-year-old brother Cayden carried her casket in hopes of holding his little sister one last time. This was his way of saying his final goodbyes to his beloved sister. The sight was nothing short of heartbreaking yet touching at the same time. His action was a show of his love for his sister and was a gentle reminder of the unbreakable love shared between siblings.
Piper’s parents created a Facebook Page, The Piper Project where they have shared her story in hopes to educate the world and to raise awareness about neuroblastoma.
Rest in peace little Piper.
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