Megan Hunter was standing in a queue, when she was ridiculed for wearing a mask that was actually saving her life. She wrote a post with a message we should all read.
“I have a name” is an awesome photo series showcasing everyday South Africans in the most phenomenal way. Proudly South African… one story at a time.
The stories are told by the incredible South Africans… raw & unedited. It’s a showcase of humanness, a reminder that behind every face, is a name.
Meet Megan… a South African sharing an important message.
“My name is Megan, being chronically ill is something I would never choose, nor would I wish it onto my worst enemy. Today I was reminded of how little the general public know about those who are fighting an invisible battle, & just how tough things can truly be.”
“I headed down to Randridge Mall to the Dis-Chem Pharmacies there to collect some of my chronic meds. I had finished the last of it this morning, & having just come out of hospital I was feeling strong & needed a change of scenery. Plus I knew it would be a quick 5 minute outing & I knew I could at least cope with that.”
Looking at her, you would never know that there is anything wrong. Megan looks like a “normal” 29 year old – especially after her emergency admission to High Care & 5 days of plasmapheresis.
“For those of you who don’t know, I have Myasthenia Gravis (a neuromuscular autoimmune disease that affects the message between my nerves & muscles).”
“My latest treatment has completely destroyed my immune system, meaning that I cannot fight off a simple cold & have to stay in isolation as much as possible.”
This means she has to wear a medical mask whenever she is around other people. Megan didn’t want to look “sick” & wanted something to make her happy, so she ordered a special mask from overseas that is pink with hearts & rainbows – it makes her smile & reminds her that there is always something good after a storm.
“I also sometimes have to use a cane/walking stick (a beautiful floral one that belonged to my Gogo that makes me feel bolder to go out into the world) to help me get around.”
Everyone at Dischem knows Megan by now as she goes there so often, & she is always greeted with a smile & questions about how I am feeling.
Today was different. Today was tough.
As Megan was waiting in the queue at the pharmacy, a young girl in front of her turned around, looked at her & started to laugh. She then turned to her mother/older sister & said, “you have to see the girl behind us wearing a crazy mask. What does she think this is?” The older lady very turned around as well, gave Megan big eyes & immediately burst out laughing.
For the rest of the time that they were being served, they kept turning to look at Megan & discussing her – they didn’t even try to hide the fact!
“They seemed to think that the mask meant I was deaf & blind as well.”
“I wanted to cry.”
Usually Megan would have taken the opportunity to try to educate them about why she was wearing a mask, & that it is not simply to look “cool” or try create a statement. It is not to draw attention to herself. It is to save her life.
Megan wrote a post instead, to raise even more awareness.
“Please, be aware of those fighting a battle that you know nothing about. Ask questions before you judge. And take the time to teach your children about people that are “different”. We all have hearts & souls, & it is moments like this that can truly break someone.”
“So next time you see me, please smile at me. Ask questions if you want to. And know that I appreciate each of you who takes the time to learn more about Rare Diseases”
Megan’s contact details are: email@example.com and you can follow her blog here: https://mgsnowflake.blogspot.co.za/
**Update: Megan needs a stem cell transplant to live. Her body has become immune to the treatments and without the transplant, she might not survive.
Just this year alone, Megan has had to have uterine cancer and an ovary removed, along with a tough battle with PCP Pneumomia which resulted in an open lung biopsy, following her Rituximab treatment last year. She has also been admitted into ICU on a monthly basis for roughly 5 days at a time to have plasmapheresis.
And now her only hope at any “normality” or even a guarantee at making it to the end of the year lies in having a stem cell transplant. Her medical aid has denied this twice saying that this is seen as an “experimental treatment”. This has not yet been done in South Africa, but there have been fantastic results overseas.
They need to raise R250,000 to allow Megan to have this Treatment (and have already raised more that R40 000) & her family and friends need your help to make this a reality! Megan’s doctor has already minimized all costs possible & is advocating for this treatment as she truly believes this will be life-saving.
Click here if you can assist in any way.