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Child cancer awareness crusader passes away

A young lady from Delta who touched people worldwide with her personal story and selfless promotion of child cancer awareness lost her battle with cancer last week.

Megan McNeil passed away Friday (Jan. 28). She was 20 years old.

After being diagnosed with adrenalcortical carcinoma, a rare type of adrenal cancer, at age 16, Megan underwent years of treatments and endured countless hospital stays.

But she also met many other cancer-fighting kids. And she became determined to bring awareness of childhood cancer and its challenges to the forefront.

Her self-penned song, The Will To Survive, was picked up by music producer Garth Richardson and the inspirational tune hit the radio waves last fall. An accompanying video – featuring other young people with cancer – is on YouTube.

"It's tough to be a kid battling cancer," Megan told The Leader in a feature story last September. "I wrote the song to give them hope in the dark moments. And when you are fighting childhood cancer, there are many dark moments."

A self-professed "science nerd," Megan graduated from Seaquam Secondary in North Delta in 2008 and had been studying sciences at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey.

She had beaten cancer three times, but succumbed during her fourth bout.

Messages of condolence were quick to appear on the The Will To Survive Facebook page.

"She inspired so many, to live our lives to the fullest never take it for granted and fight for what you believe in," wrote one follower.

"I am so saddened by the loss of this precious girl, who was so brave in her fight and so giving in the midst of her battle," said another.

"May you rest in peace sweet angel!" said a third. "Thank you for being such an inspiration during your brief time with us."

The Will To Survive is still available for purchase on iTunes (check http://bit.ly/hNJaZY), with proceeds benefiting child cancer research.

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