Guiding with Grace

Megan's journey through cancer and giving back

The decision for Megan to become a Girl Guide Leader was an easy one.

At the time she joined Girl Guides in 2020, Megan was on a medical trial for a rare cancer that prior to then, had her in and out of hospitals, waiting rooms, and MRI machines with little to no certainty over what her future would hold.

After months of failed chemotherapy and finally, the hope of a medical trial, Megan started seeing results from her treatment. She was becoming stronger and very soon, she was stable.

Megan, who’s also a Mum of 3, then decided it was time to do something for herself.

While collecting her daughter, Noelle, from a Junior Guide Meeting at North Rocks, Megan mentioned to the Leader, Jeanette Druce, that she’d love to lend a hand.

Moments later, Megan was handed a Girl Guide Uniform and along with an incredible amount of support and encouragement from Leaders Anne and Annaliese, was welcomed to into the North Rocks Unit as a Unit Leader.

Megan and daughter, Noelle, at her Leader Induction Night

“It gave me joy during an uncertain time. A lot of that came from watching Noelle [Megan’s only daughter] and feeling purposeful. But Girl Guides also just makes you get out there in the world and outdoors. There’s no other time when you’re going through something like cancer, that you’re so appreciative of everything you see.”

“And what better way to experience that than in the presence of children.” 

“I got to do all the leadership training, kayaking, and canoeing. I love adventure and when you’re older with three kids, you’re not doing as much stuff anymore. I loved how Guides pushed me out of my comfort zone.” 

“I was scared to death of heights and now I’m rock climbing all the time with my family”. 


Megan and daughter, Noelle at their North Rocks District ANZAC event

Megan’s Girl Guide journey was also marked by the pride she felt as both a Qualified Unit Leader, and a parent. Megan watched as her daughter, Noelle achieved her Junior Baden-Powell Award, the first Youth Peak Achievement Award, whilst savouring precious mother-daughter time when the future still seemed uncertain for her.

“The District Manager’s daughter was awarded [her Junior Baden-Powell Award] on the same night! The number one thing I got back was spending time with my daughter and savouring special time with her.”

Volunteering at Girl Guides also became a platform for Megan’s passionate advocacy work. Having developed girl empowerment programs in her professional life, and being a former Girl Scout herself, Megan embodied the Girl Guide spirit. As a Leader, her Unit Meetings naturally became a safe space for girls to thrive through education, awareness, and connection through conversation.

Megan and Noelle, at the Great Guide Sleepover, Taronga Zoo – Virtual event

“For the first time, parents were talking to their daughters about periods – some had their first at 9, some at 17. Some have periods that last a day, and others 14 days. We played trivia, ‘pin the pad on the undies’ and packed dignity bags for other women.”

Megan’s Unit were even donated pre-period undies by Knicked, an Australian small business that aligned with their mission and connected to their cause.

“Advocacy and awareness are why I started Girl Guides in the first place! Everyone has their gifts in their Unit, and this was my gift that I brought. Getting the girls thinking and talking about things important to them (and me), is so rewarding.”

Girl Guides became a place for Megan to break down barriers – including those that come with experiencing cancer, illness, or chronic disease which she knew all too well.

“If you’re at a place where you’re stable and willing to give back – especially to children, then I urge you to consider it. It’s so important to show another face to illness.”

“When it comes to cancer awareness days, you have a choice not to talk to the girls about it. There’s also a wonderful opportunity to be like, hey I’ve gone through this. It was so important to me to show the girls there are so many people these days living with cancer. If I’m not serving, I’m not fulfilled. Girl Guides was also the only way that I’ve been able to connect to people in my community. Those connections are still there, and still so strong, even when I’m not volunteering.”

Megan has since taken a break from volunteering with Girl Guides, and knows she will always be welcomed back with open arms. Megan’s condition is now stable with no signs of cancer and with good self-care and physiotherapy, she is as healthy as the average person. Megan believes gene profiling for precision cancer treatment is key and urges anyone needing support, guidance and/or information to do with a rare or less common cancer diagnosis to visit Rare Cancers Australia.   

Girl Guides across Australia meet at a Unit near you! Reach out to to learn more about how you can make an impact with Girl Guides. Our volunteers are passionate, purposeful, and dedicated women ready for YOU to join them! Be part of our global movement as we continue to empower girls and young women to discover their potential as leaders of their world.

Volunteer At Girl Guides    


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