Megan Smith was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia when she was just shy of her first birthday. The years since have brought unimaginable pain to the Northview High School junior honors student—pain so intense that the slender teenager was given morphine, Demerol and other strong drugs in doses high enough for a grown man twice her size. But the pain grew worse.
Her only option for recovery was a bone marrow transplant. Megan endured two weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, with all their unpleasant side effects, before the transplant was performed in February, 2007. Her older brother – a perfect match – was her donor.
Months later, Megan’s feeling much better, although she must still be careful to avoid infection. She takes 20 pills a day and makes regular trips from Dothan to Birmingham for all-important check-ups and lab work. But her optimistic attitude and the support she receives from her family, friends and health care team keep her upbeat. “I’m still blessed because there are some worse off than me.”