Meghan Schexnayder Greco refused to be defined by cancer and even onto her death on Jan. 15 remained an inspiring figure of courage and passion.
A mass was held Saturday in her honor at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church with “colorful attire requested” to reflect Greco’s style. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel fund at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 234 Angus Dr., Luling LA 70070.
Fighting through the pain, Greco lived with heart.
In March of 2017, calling herself a “bald-headed fighting ninja,” Greco shaved her head in a live Facebook event in preparation for her third round of treatment for a rare form of bone cancer.
“I want to hopefully inspire someone – anyone – and show that beauty is confidence and it purely shines from the inside,” said the Hahnville native at the time.
As a licensed esthetician and makeup artist, she invited the world to watch her shave her head to promote donations to her GoFundMe account to help her with medical bills, as well as offer inspiration to anyone who felt alone in their struggles.
“I think my friends would say I’m a free spirit,” Greco said. “I’m a gal with a helping heart that loves to see the best in everyone. “(Cancer) is something I have to deal with every day, but it is not my ruler.”
Her family shared in recounting her life.
“Meghan was a strong and passionate woman who had an undeniable love for her husband and family, her laugh was contagious and her faith inspired many. She had a love for cooking, traveling, music, art, fashion and spending time with her loved ones and beloved pets,” states her obituary.
She is survived by her husband, Devin, and parents Angie and Todd Schexnayder.
Greco’s fight with cancer began at age 24.
She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare pediatric type of bone cancer and endured several bouts with cancer.
In November of 2014, Greco, then 27, bonded with then 11-year-old Bailey Leon, who also was fighting her own five-year battle against incurable neuroblastoma. Greco met her during her own treatments for bone cancer.
The community embraced her, too.
“I want to hopefully inspire someone … anyone and show that beauty is confidence and it purely shines from the inside.” – Meghan Schexnayder Greco
In her GofundMe account started in March of 2017, Greco set a $5,000 goal and received $17,000. She also recounted her heartbreaking challenges with her illness.
“I underwent grueling chemotherapy for about a year and a half in which most of that time was spent in the hospital,” Greco said. “I had a total knee, femur, hip replacement surgery and also my first thoracotomy (lung surgery).”
She was cancer free, but only for nine months. A relapse with cancer in her lung required a second thoracotomy. It was successful and she was cancer free a second time for 2-1/2 years.
This time the cancer affected both her lungs and required she return to New Orleans.
In October of 2018, Greco tearfully announced doctors had given her six months to a year to live in a video about a Medjugorie trip with St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Luling. She went there with her mother.
“The sense in the air there is just so beautifully calming to your heart … to your soul,” she said in the video. “And I knew this was the most amazing moment of my life.”
Remembering Meghan Schexnayder Greco
November of 2014: Meghan meets then 11-year-old Bailey Leon and befriends her. The two have similar fights with cancer. By this time, Meghan, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 24, had an artificial knee, femur and partial hip as a result of her bone cancer.
October of 2016: Meghan is again diagnosed with cancer in her lungs that requires her to return to New Orleans.
March of 2017: Calling herself “a bald-headed fighting ninja,” Meghan is facing her third round of cancer and demonstrated her ninja powers by holding a live Facebook event where she shaved her head to raise funds and awareness about her fight.
September of 2017: A Fishing for Frankie fundraiser is held for Meghan, drawing its highest turnout at the time and raising more than $18,000 for the Hahnville native for medical expenses.
October of 2018: Meghan goes to Medjugorje with her mother and prays with visionary Mirjana Soldo.
Jan. 15: Meghan loses her fight with cancer, but her inspiration lives on with her dedication to having “a helping heart.”