Hello all! My name is Shannon McDonough. I am 33 years old and have one son, Kyler, who is my miracle child. Through life’s challenges I’ve witnessed the realness of God and his miraculous miracles. My story started at the age of 22 when my life felt like it came to a halt. I’ve endured much more than I myself could ever imagine, but God is faithful and his grace and mercy endure forever.
I was 7 months pregnant with my son Kyler when I was diagnosed with the most fast and aggressive leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At the time, I didn’t know what leukemia was but I quickly found out. I was 98 percent blast at the time of diagnosis. I had to make many life altering decisions and quick, putting my unborn son at risk. I would have to say, stepping out in faith was the only option I had. After seeking treatment and further testing, I was then diagnosed with a rare blood disease called Philadelphia chromosome positive (PH+). The odds were stacking up, but God is faithful.
My miracle baby was brought into the world after a month long round of chemotherapy. He was in complete health, but his mother was weak and facing a deadly disease. God is my strength! Through many challenges, treatments, medical trials, procedures, and faith I was able to persevere. I had one chance, a bone marrow transplant. I found a 10/10 match donor! God is faithful! My hematologist prepped me for transplant with high doses of chemotherapy, but couldn’t get me into remission due to my diagnosis of PH+. Scary!
In order for the transplant to be successful I needed to be in remission or close to remission; however, the doctor made the decision to proceed with the transplant after trying many rounds of chemotherapy. The day before transplant, my donor decided to back out. Who would do that? Why would someone do that? God is faithful! The doctor then told me, we will give you the heaviest dose of chemotherapy we have and if it does not get you to remission there is nothing more we can do. All I wanted was to be a mother to my newborn son.
I felt as if the odds were stacked against me. This was the first time I broke down and cried for life. God is faithful! As I went through this last round of chemotherapy, my liver and kidneys failed. I was weak. I was tired. I was hanging on by a thread. God is faithful! I got to remission! My hematologist were able to locate another 10/10 match donor. I went in for transplant and it was a success.
After beating the odds of cancer, I then battled trying to cope with being a first time mother who spend the first year of her sons life battling cancer. I wanted to have that experience that other mothers had with their newborn child. I wanted to forget about this experience all together. I became dependent on the drugs I was being fed throughout my cancer experience. I became numb. God is faithful! Addiction is real. After fighting for my life with cancer, I was now fighting an addiction. I hit rock bottom after rock bottom. God is faithful, even when running from him after he has proven his ability to move mountains.
Throughout my addiction, I had overdosed multiple times, got in trouble with the law, hurt my family, and push anyone and everyone away. I lived a dark life. My faith was limited but God is faithful. I tried everything on my own to get through. It wasn’t until years later when I turned my life over to the Lord that I was able to break ever chain, rid addiction, rid shame, rid guilt, rid bondage, and learn to cope and process my past. I believe everything we endure serves a greater purpose. While we go through our tribulations, God is behind the scene working out every detail. I am so thankful for his love, grace, and mercy that I can use my story to build his kingdom. God is faithful!