Brave Megan home at last after beating cancer
A LITTLE girl who defied a rare form of cancer arrived back from the US to a hero's welcome.
Megan Malone (4) has beaten her rare condition after nine months of treatment in New York and Boston hospitals, despite being given little chance of survival in Ireland.
Accompanied by her parents John and Sheila, and siblings Dylan (5), Chloe (7) and Tristan (1), Megan arrived home at Kilnamartyra outside Macroom, Co Cork, on Saturday.
"We're just so happy to be home -- it is a dream come true," said John. "This is the end of a long road and we are so grateful for all the support, kindness and good wishes people have shown us."
Megan's marathon journey brought her from Boston to Dublin and then to Kerry Airport for the short journey to her Cork home.
More than 50 family members, neighbours and friends were at the airport to greet her. But the most emotional welcome was provided by Megan's grandparents, Sean and Peggy Connell.
"It's too much for words," Peggy said, as Sean cried tears of joy.
Last week, Megan completed her 31st day of proton beam therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital -- the final phase of an intensive-treatment programme that began almost nine months ago.
In October 2010, a brain scan revealed Megan had an exceptionally rare supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumour.
Doctors warned that her prognosis was poor, with her recovery chances rated at less than 10pc.
However, New York's Presbyterian Children's Hospital specialises in the treatment of rare cancers. Megan was accepted for treatment there and within days began to show signs of improvement.
Megan will have an MRI scan in Ireland in November to assess her progress.