Just a few days after her wedding, when most people are on their honeymoon, Morgan Alamo was told that she may have cancer. Who would have thought that the wedding would only be the second most earth shattering thing to happen to her that week?
That was when she was diagnosed with Castleman disease, a rare disease that frequently leads to cancer.
Morgan was working as a part-time producer for a local news channel in Kansas. She decided she needed another part-time job to help make ends meet, especially now that she was to be married. As part of the recruitment at a daycare center where she applied, she was required to have a physical. At that time, she’d have guessed that Castleman was someone who lived in a medieval fortress.
She was still planning her wedding when she went in for that appointment. At first, she was told that she had anemia. She had further tests, most of which came back inconclusive. Her anxiety continued to rise as the months ticked by not knowing what was wrong. Not to mention her wedding was coming up.
She was finally diagnosed with Castleman disease just days after the ceremony. Because this disease causes an overabundance of cells to grow on the lymph nodes, it frequently leads to lymphoma. She and her doctors kept a close eye on her condition. In the fall of 2014, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin disease, a form of lymphoma.
Knowing what would happen during the treatment, Morgan took charge of what little she could and shaved her head. Her hair had been growing for the better part of a decade, and she could not bear to watch it thin over the next few months and fall out. Picking up each long strand would be a reminder of what was happening to her.
Her husband was there to support her every step of the way. He would do everything possible to make sure Morgan only had to worry about getting better. Some of her co-workers at the news station shaved their own heads in a show of solidarity for Morgan.
Rather than feel like a victim, Morgan has used this experience to empower herself and find new ways to get involved with her community.
What a lesson we can learn from his young lady? We can all take the opportunity to face down something that scares us and find new ways to get involved.
Read more about Morgan’s experiences by clicking here.