Last July, we learned that popular natural hair blogger, Tameka “Meechy” Monroe was diagnosed with brain cancer. The news shocked the natual hair community, but Meechy handled the diagnosis with grace and strength, keeping fans updated on her road to recovery via her blog. The efforts were so recognized that People Magazine caught wind of her journey! The feature covers the timeline from Meechy’s discovery of her illness to the present, referencing the overwhelming support the Monroe family received including $60,000 towards medical expenses. Check out these clips from the feature;
How Meechy discovered she had brain cancer
Then, one day last April, shortly before her 29th birthday, Monroe looked in the mirror and noticed one side of her face was drooping. She was also having trouble with her speech. A trip to the doctor revealed that she had suffered three strokes.
Even worse news came when doctors discovered during exploratory surgery that Monroe had a tumor – called a sarcoma – that rarely forms in the brain.
“It came as horrible news to my family,” Monroe says. “I was calm, but worried. These thoughts kept going through my head: ‘Will I make it? I have to keep faith!’ ”
The prognosis today
In June, Monroe underwent a three-hour surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, to have the tumor removed from the left side of her brain.
The surgery was successful in removing about 95 percent of the tumor. Chemotherapy and radiation, says Monroe, have shrunk the rest to the point that “it seems to be non-existent.”
While the cancer’s rarity makes a clear prognosis difficult, Monroe’s doctors are optimistic. “She’s doing remarkably well,” Schaffer says. “She’s an amazing woman, as beautiful on the inside as on the outside.”
After several months of physical, speech and occupational therapy to recover from the strokes, Monroe still speaks slowly and at times struggles for words. But she’s determined to make a full recovery.
On the support she’s received
When Monroe posted photos showing herself bald and with a 40-pound weight gain from her treatments, her fans rallied to hold fundraisers on her behalf: They raised nearly $60,000 to help pay medical bills for Monroe, who doesn’t have health insurance.
“It’s overwhelming,” she says. “They tell me, ‘I love you, I’m praying for you.’ It makes me cry every day, I’m so grateful.”
Meechy’s current outlook on life
“I lost all my hair, I had the worst year of my life, but you know what? I’m still the same person, still the same soul,” she says. “I’ve learned not to take my health for granted and to live in the moment. I’m grateful for every second of living on this earth.”
Read more on People.