Community | Megan's Wings
By: Ashley Solis
Every year, over 15,000 children are diagnosed with a form of cancer in the United States. The average age of child diagnosed is six years old. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family and support system is affected. Fortunately, there are several programs that assist the family with emotional and financial support.
One of these organizations is an Upland based non-profit, Megan’s Wings. Megan’s Wings provides that provide financial support to families who have a child receiving cancer treatments in Southern California hospitals or cancer centers. Megan’s Wings assists about 200 families each year through their numerous programs. We had the opportunity to speak with co-founder, Kim Savage about the organization that she holds close to her heart.
Q. What led you to create Megan's Wings?
Kim Savage: We started Megan's Wings after we lost our nine-year-old daughter, Megan, to Leukemia in 2003. In 2005, we started with much grief in our hearts, looking for away to keep her memory alive and trying to heal from our loss, and we knew there was a need not being met for families of kids with cancer.
Q. What type of support is offered to the parents on behalf of your organization?
Savage: Through our Patient Aid Program, which is our largest program, we offer bill pay support such as help with rent, gas, groceries, utilities, housing near the hospital, travel expenses, etc. We help over 120 families each year through our Patient Aid program and 70 families through our Adopt a Family Program. Also, multiple families are assisted through our Special Hospital Events.
Q. What are the best ways that people can help support your mission statement?
Savage: Come out and support our events. Our 11th Annual Megan Savage Memorial Run/Walk for a Cure is this Saturday, Sept 26 at 8a.m., McCarthy Park, Upland. Arrive by 7a.m. for walk-up registration. Another way to support our work is to volunteer. We have our Adopt a Family Program during the holidays. Starting in November and December, we will need shoppers and delivery people to help this year. Also, consider making a tax deductible donation to Megan's Wings. We are a 501c3 charity and your donation is tax deductible and can help a local oncology family with bills as they care for their sick child.
Q. What are your upcoming events?
Savage: Our 11th Annual Megan Savage Memorial Run/Walk for a Cure is this Saturday, Sept 26 at 8a.m., McCarthy Park, Upland. The event features a 1K Kids Fun Run, 5K Family Friendly Run/Walk, Live Band, Raffle Opportunities, Kiwanis hosted Pancake Breakfast, and Live Butterfly Release in memory/honor of loved ones touched by cancer. Also, City of Hope has a Halloween Special Event.
Pictured above is little Sedona. She is a local cancer survivor who is this year's 5K Race Starter.