Meghan’s Beads – a daughter’s story told by an aching mother

Angela Rush 

Meghan’s Beads, a true story, told from my heart, the aching heart of her mother as I journeyed with my daughter through something so difficult, and yet so inspiring that the words were almost impossible for me to put together. 

At the young age of 15 Meghan became very ill. 

We took her to so many doctors and finally after weeks of being tested for so many things, she was referred to McMaster Children’s Hospital Hamilton. On April 7, 2005 Meghan was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening illness called HLH. 

She needed to be put into a drug induced coma and was in critical condition. She had to fight for her life now. I never thought I would ever in my life have to face anything like this with my child. 

Our whole family gathered at the hospital as did friends and extended family. Prayers were being sent out by the hundreds that she would pull through this terrible illness. 

HLH is a very rare blood disorder. White cells are released from the bone marrow called histio cells. They are supposed to fight infections, but hers somehow became reprogramed and began to act like Pacman and attack her body’s organs. 

When I was about to give up, Meghan showed me just how amazing God can be when you are open to His love. She became the perfect picture of His grace. 

After conquering HLH and being prepared to return to high school we were summoned back into McMaster due to findings on a routine scan. 

She was now given the horrific news that she now had cancer — ALCL, a type of lymphoma. 

How does one tear hold so much pain? The same way a puddle holds so much rain, one drop at a time. 

Faith was tried and tested over and over through this two-year journey. Meghan inspired everyone who met her. She became a lighthouse to many who faced the storm called cancer. 

Children who are ill and receive treatments collect beads which become strands as a necklace. Each bead represents something. A red bead represents bloodwork. Chemo is a green bead. There is a bead for everything. 

Meghan's Beads

Meghan collected 13 strands of beads. One day while stringing up a strand she said to me, “Mom you gotta write my story.” Meghan’s Beads is her story but belongs to all of us. God transformed her on her journey and with Him we faced each and every moment with love and grace. 

I thank God for taking us all into His loving arms and for carrying us through this journey and teaching us through Meghan, that love is love is love. 

After 10 years of writing and re-writing, and sometimes giving up, I managed, with God, to write her story, Meghan’s Beads. In her own words she states, “It’s not about how long you live, it’s about how you live your life”. 

To purchase your copy, email missmeghansbeads@gmail.com Additionally, visit amazon.ca and search Meghan’s Beads for an eBook. It is also available outside Canada on amazon.com for those loved ones far away to more easily order a printed copy. 

Angela Rush is the Advertising Agent for the Niagara Anglican.