By Alina Croft (Instagram: lina_gail, Twitter: alina_croft)
Megan Dwyer is a fifteen-year-old sophomore at Elko High School. She does all the normal things a teen her age would, AP classes, sports, clubs, the works. But what I want to highlight about Megan is the massive impact she has had on the world that sets her apart from most people her age and older.
How It Started
Megan has always had a love and passion for helping those in need, especially pediatric cancer patients. She has been working in multiple ways for those who have cancer for the last seven years.
“I started when I was eight years old, raising money for Children’s Miracle Network. Ever since I was little, I have felt really bad for children in the hospital; St. Jude’s commercials on TV used to make me burst into tears,” said Megan. “That’s what started me raising money for children in the hospital and their families. As I grew older, I decided that I wanted to focus on pediatric cancer patients. They don’t get enough awareness around them.”
Megan has done a lot of research to know her cause and feels like children need more help than they are receiving.
“Most of the drugs used to treat childhood cancer patients are actually meant for adults. These kids who have cancer and are getting these treatments are having a bunch of long-term side effects because they don’t have enough treatment,” said Megan.
“What keeps me going is just knowing that there’s always more to be done to help these patients and their families, and there’s always something I can do to help people who aren’t as healthy or fortunate as I am,” said Megan.
So what exactly is Megan doing right now to help? A long list of things.
“The biggest thing that I am involved with right now community service-wise, is I was nominated to be a Student of the Year candidate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It’s a seven-week philanthropic challenge for high achieving high school students to raise the most money they can for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. That money will go to research, support, and advocacy for the cause,” said Megan.
But that is not nearly all she is doing.
“I am also Miss Ruby Mountain’s Outstanding Teen this year. The state pageant for that is in June, and for now, I have just been doing a lot of platform work because my platform is Be Bold Go Gold, Raising Childhood Cancer Awareness,” said Megan. “It’s really cool that I am a student of the year candidate because Leukemia is actually the number one most diagnosed cancer in children. I get to work for my platform while also doing community service.
It still doesn’t end there.
“I am the Northern Nevada Youth Chair for the Youth American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network as well as I am on the Nevada leadership team for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and that is a cancer advocacy group,” said Megan. “Coming up very soon is going to be Cancer Action Week where I am going to be speaking with policy-makers on different policies to help cancer patients in Nevada.”
The “Normal” Things and Inspirations
Of course, Megan can’t dedicate every moment of her time to the causes she is so passionate about, though, because she is also a student at Elko High School.
“Today, I actually got my Academic Letter as well as staying involved with school through the speech and debate team. I am also in key Club and am an officer as of today,” said Megan. “Right now, sports are kind of delayed. I’m thinking of getting started in women’s golf possibly or just continuing with cheer and then doing trach like I did last year.”
What inspires Megan to do all that she has accomplished?
“My biggest inspiration is the Butterfly Effect. Ever since I was little, I’ve just believed that one small thing you do has the chance to change the course of everything. Even if I only raise one dollar, or if I’m just a little girl, or now I’m a teenager, or just one person out of seven billion people, what I am doing has the chance to change so much,” said Megan.
Megan’s Advice to the World
“The biggest advice that I have, tying into the Butterfly Effect, if you’re passionate about something and you really want something to change, then go and do it. It may not seem like you are making a big impact, but you have the chance to change everything. Every little bit makes a difference.”
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Until next time, we’ll see you around, Elko!