There’s nothing more terrifying for a toddler parent than waiting to hear if their young child is going to live or not.
That’s exactly what the parents of 21-month-old Molly Hughes had to live with for a grueling 15 months, though.
Molly was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma when she was just 4 months old, leaving her family reeling with the very real likelihood that she wouldn’t live to see age 2. They would watch as their smiling, cuddly tot spent a combined 130 days in hospital rooms, undergoing round after round of chemotherapy in an attempt to curb the devastating disease.
OH HAPPY DAY!!!! Molly has some BIG news to share!!! Her scans were clear & showed no evidence of disease!! (NED!!!)…
Just this month, though, Molly’s mom, Chelsea, got a call from her doctor—and although she fell to the ground weeping when she heard what the doctor had to say, these weren’t tears of sadness.
Instead, they were in reaction to the incredible news that Molly was in remission.
Neuroblastoma is an incredibly rare form of cancer, typically affecting the nerve cells of adrenal glands in children aged 5 and younger. And although the survival rates for low-risk and early-stage neuroblastoma are as high as 90 to 95 percent for the children diagnosed, those odds drop to just 40 to 50 percent in high-risk cases.
Molly’s mom said that despite the terrifying year and change their family went through, the toddler almost always had a smile on her face.
“She would just bounce back after every treatment. I mean she would knock her down for few days and then she would be at playing again,” she said.
Month after month, they had to watch as the treatments exhausted Molly in her fight to live. They rallied around her with the phrase #MollyStrong, drawing support from friends, family, and prayer.
Celebrating our little wonder woman’s last day of treatment!! Molly finishes her oral medicine tonight & that is the end…
“I believe that’s what helped her get through all this. With all the prayers she’s heard and which I can’t thank everyone enough for,” her mom said.
Then, after those 15 months of treatment, the doctors finally had good news. Although the cancer had spread to nearly her entire body by the time doctors found it, the treatments—which included chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplants, immunotherapy, and radiation—had worked. Her final set of tests showed no sign of the disease left in her body, enabling the doctors to officially declare that she was in remission.
As a way to celebrate, Molly’s mom took a series of adorable and uplifting photos. They’re similar to the birthday-stages photos that moms take of their little ones—but these ones don’t just mark age milestones. They show how a tiny warrior managed to overcome the odds and live to grow up with her 4-year-old brother.
Thanks to constant IVs, Molly has never been swimming—so this summer will be a tremendous adventure for her. And although her treatments left her needing hearing aids, damaging her hearing as they worked miracles, her family remains optimistic about her future.
“We were just so relieved,” Molly’s mother told CNN in an interview. “She’s happy and playful and just doing normal things again, but we still have to keep our guard up.”