Skip to main content
Megan: Going Forward with Faith, Again featured img
Category: Faith

Megan: Going Forward with Faith, Again

December 19, 2023

Some may remember when we featured Megan Gibson in 2017 as she valiantly lobbied to increase resources for children with cancer while her own son, JP, was battling the disease after a relapse. You may recall that the Utah Jazz (local NBA basketball team) signed him for a one-day contract during his initial diagnosis. 

What I sincerely hope you remember is how Megan chose to reach out to serve, comfort, and advocate for other children with cancer, even though her efforts would not immediately benefit JP. Well, his cancer is back and so is his faithful and passionate mama. When I asked her permission to share thoughts and photos from her posts, she said she didn’t feel her faith was particularly strong right now. I beg to differ. 

Megan is my forever young friend, and I follow her on social media. I had recently seen an interview by a local news station checking in on JP, the short-term (and short in stature) Jazz team member. He had celebrated four years of remission, found a passion for baseball and basketball, and reclaimed that full head of blonde hair.  

It felt so utterly unfair to learn that the cancer monster had struck again. She was informed and attentive enough to recognize some scary signals that he may have relapsed. Sadly, she was correct. Here she shares the heart-breaking news on social media:

How quickly life can change – we literally went from pitching lessons to the ER. I can not believe we are here again. With a few minor symptoms that led us to ask for labs, JP was admitted almost immediately for his 3rd fight against his cancer. We don’t know what our immediate needs are, but thank you for being in our corner. #jpstrong #kidsgetcancertoo 

I was touched, but not surprised, to see how she met the enemy head on and invited others to help. ONE DAY after the relapse, Megan was already researching the best options for his treatment, as well as giving all of us specific ways to help. I also noted that she was finding faith to be grateful for little miracles and blessings in this desperate period.   

We have asked for a second opinion … from [an] MD in Houston, and when we brought it up, our doctor said, “Oh, … I know her. I’ll email her right now.” Love that our doctor here “just happens” to know the head of leukemia there and is already reaching out with JP’s history and clinical presentation to see if they have any other ideas for us. 

Megan’s suggestions for us included the expected requests for prayers, blood and platelet donations, and meals for families of the children being treated. I was most touched by the last item: 

•Last but not least, love your people. Be present with them and be intentional with your time. Take the trip. Play the games. Make the memories.  

In my book, that is a powerful example of faith and works. She isn’t wringing her hands or cursing God. She is showing faith to go forward and bravely doing anything humanly possible to find help and hope. As with their last bout with cancer, she is also looking for ways to help and comfort others who are fellow soldiers. She asked for prayers for others who were fighting hard, organized a campaign to donate books in honor of a young victim who finished his short years on earth, and another requesting birthday cards for a girl celebrating her 16th birthday in the hospital. 

Her courage is contagious in a wonderful way. She worries about the effect of this relapse on JP’s siblings. I see her involving them in the fight and finding ways to lighten the mood. And she certainly hasn’t lost her sense of humor. Here’s an example:

Yesterday was a big day for JP. He started the day off with a procedure to remove the shoulder line and place his new port. We joked with the surgeon that we were pretty sure there should be a Buy 4 Get 1 Free special on ports. IHC does not share our enthusiasm for coupons.

My boys have this competition where they try to see who can count the highest before the anesthesia knocks them out. A few weeks ago, Theo claimed the victory with a record of 35… 35… 36… LOL. We had a good laugh when JP came back to his room from surgery to find a note written on his sheet from the anesthesiologist announcing a new champion. 59 is going to be tough to beat!

I see Megan choosing to let her faith be stronger than her fears. Notice the gratitude, honesty, and humor she conveys:

Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The day we found out JP’s cancer had come back was cold, dark and gloomy. The day after relapse was more of the same with added rain. I felt like heaven was heartbroken and mourning with me. Then came the sunsets. Primary Children’s is perched up on a hill overlooking the valley and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a room that looks west. I guess “lucky” is the wrong word since the reason you’re admitted is never fun… but you know what I mean. One beautiful thing about our circumstance is the sunsets. It doesn’t fix anything, but it’s nice to be able to pause and appreciate something. And my favorite part about the sunset pic I’m sharing is the soft glow of JP’s pizza sign reflecting off the window.

Let’s all be like Megan as we pray, work, believe, and love, going forward with faith, again and again.