Meet Molly – Cancer Warrior
"She has a personality that is larger than life," said Julie. "She is carefree, outgoing and has a smile that lights up a room."
Going through childhood cancer as a family turns your world upside down. Imagine facing that news not once, but twice, which is what the Williams family has endured. They had already battled Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)/Monosomy 7 with older son, Luke, when his mother, Julie, started noticing bruises on two-year-old daughter, Molly. At Molly’s upcoming check-up appointment, Julie insisted on getting blood work done. Her fears were confirmed when Molly was diagnosed with the same rare disease that her brother had faced only a few years earlier. MDS involves various blood-related conditions for which the only cure for children is a bone marrow transplant.
Molly immediately underwent a 10-day protocol of chemotherapy and radiation after which she received a bone marrow transplant. After 70 days in the hospital and enduring the trans-plant, pneumonia and several more complications, the Williams family could finally take Molly home with renewed strength. “What we learned throughout Luke’s journey and reinforced during this past year with Molly’s journey is that support is crucial,” said Julie. “Whether it be family, friends or community, support and prayer have gotten us through both of our children’s diagnosis and journey with cancer.”
A key means of support was through the blog Julie started after Molly’s diagnosis. Their blog enabled the Williams’ to keep their community updated on Molly’s progress and also served as a way for family, friends and strangers to reach out and offer much needed support. The family continues to post updates on their children, such as when Luke reached the 5-year cancer free mark this spring. “We can’t wait until Molly meets this milestone, too!” said Julie.
Molly is in her final month of weekly and monthly check-ups and then will continue annual check-ups for the rest of her life. Her experience with cancer has not slowed her down a bit. “She has a personality that is larger than life,” said Julie. “She is carefree, outgoing and has a smile that lights up a room.”
Now with two childhood cancer survivors in the family, the family wants to help shed light on the possibility of a hereditary link with MDS/Monosomy 7. They recognize the unique position they are in to help other families with more than one child with cancer and want to be a source of support.