Meghan was an in-patient in N.C. Children’s Hospital for four months, so the Laniers came to know the nourishment room well. Patrick explains, “The nourishment room was a gathering place where the parents bonded, heard each other’s stories and offered support to each other.”
Jamie adds, “When your child is being treated for cancer, you’re concerned with counting how many bites of food your child is eating, if any. And for parents who are sitting with their child, they can grab a granola or power bar. That’s why we chose this way to remember Meghan.”
When Meghan was diagnosed, the Laniers made numerous calls around the U.S. and overseas, but chose UNC for its expertise and care. Patrick says, “ We were struck when Meghan was an in-patient and in the clinic that everyone was treated the same, no matter your financial situation. Everyone was equally important and treated with compassion and love.”
He notes, “If you can have a positive experience going through something like this, it was as positive as it could have been. The staff at UNC is amazing and Dr. Gold is beyond belief.”
Meghan’s younger sister, Daisy, was only 18 months old when Meghan died. Meghan was concerned that Daisy wouldn’t remember her. After thinking about it for a couple of weeks, she told her parents, “I’ve got my symbol for Daisy so she’ll remember I’ve been here.”
“What is it?” they asked. “A ladybug,” she replied.
Jamie says that “whenever Daisy sees a ladybug she calls it Meghan.” The ladybug idea has taken on new significance. Jamie explains, “I arrived home one night after attending a fundraiser for UNC Lineberger. Daisy asked me where I had been and I told her that it was to raise money for research. As a five-year old, she didn’t understand that concept so I said, ’They’re looking for new medicines to treat cancer so that no one else has to lose their Meghan.’ Daisy replied to me, ‘Well I can raise money for that.’”
Daisy and younger sister, Lillian, with help from Jamie and Patrick and donations from area businesses for supplies, are making ladybug coasters to sell to raise money for UNC pediatric oncology.
The Laniers say, “Our involvement with Lineberger is rewarding and helping us to heal. We know what the families are going through and this is how we can help because we’ve been there. This involvement is a long-term commitment for us because the battle is long term. We want our children, Daisy and Lillian, to carry this on. We want this to be Meghan’s legacy.”