Molly was a 15 year old high school freshman when she was diagnosed with a rare sub-type (hypodiploidy) of ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) in February of 2014. She started a 2 and ½ year course of chemotherapy. After 28 days, her cancer was in “remission” and she had a MRD (minimum residual disease) of ZERO. Researchers are finding that risk of relapse is generally proportional to the level of MRD. This was good news for Molly, but because she had hypodiploid ALL, we had to make an agonizing decision of whether she should undergo a bone marrow transplant (indicated with HALL) or continue aggressive chemotherapy only (because of her MRD=0). After consulting many sources, it was decided she would continue with chemo.
So, Molly spent a lot of her high school career undergoing chemo, hospital stays and spinal taps. She did this while also trying to juggle school work and friends. Molly finished her treatment in June of 2016, the summer before her senior year. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way. She developed steroid induced AVN (avascular necrosis) in her hips and knees. She received several surgeries at CHOP to help correct the damage, but eventually had a right hip replacement in July of 2016. In May of 2019 due to the AVN Molly had her left hip replaced. We are hoping that she will now be free of any pain and her knees will be spared.
Although it was a rough road, Molly was fortunate to have many positive things come her way in those 2 and ½ years as well. We all had a great vacation with extended family to Justin’s Beach House (a respite for cancer patients and their families- www.justinjennings.org ) in Bethany Beach, DE. She had a huge Sweet Sixteen party, a helicopter ride, Taylor Swift and OneDirection concerts, a hot air balloon ride and even a trip to LA to see a taping of "Dancing with the Stars" ( www.dreamcometrue.org )! All of the fun times with family and friends got her through the bad days.
In October of 2014, Trinity Pharmacy employees (the pharmacy that Rusty is a part of) planned the 1st annual MollySTRONG golf tournament to support and honor Molly. It was a fantastic, successful event and turned out to be the beginning of the MollySTRONG Foundation! It was a great idea to come together in support of Molly and use it to do good things!! See below about our 5 MollySTRONG golf tournaments and what they have gone on to do!
Click here for a video that Molly's sister, Maddy, made in June 2016 after Molly finished chemo.
Well, we couldn’t make the golf tournament work in 2020, and we missed seeing everyone so thought we would do something different! We hosted the MollySTRONG 2 Miler- a virtual walk/run you could complete any time over Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday November 26 to Sunday November 30)!! It was awesome to connect again (in a little different way), raise funds for research for leukemia at St.Jude’s AND get a little post- turkey day exercise in too! 💛 #mollystrong @mollystrongfoundation
Molly is living life to its fullest! Molly finished her chemo in June of 2016 and went on to enjoy her senior year at Emmaus High School and graduate with her class of 2017. She just finished her fourth year at Lebanon Valley College in their 6 year doctorate of Physical Therapy program. She is having fun and working hard. We feel blessed that she has remained in remission and on June 4th, 2021 she was officially considered "cured"!.
The 5th Annual MollySTRONG Golf Tournament was held on August 3rd, 2019 and it was another huge success. It was a fantastic day filled with great weather, friends, family, and of course golf.
There are very exciting things happening in terms of leukemia treatment options! We hope to continue to support the researchers at St. Jude's in their developments! Click below to read more...
Thank you to Dream Come True of the Lehigh Valley for granting Molly a wish after she completed her chemotherapy in 2016. Her wish was to attend Dancing with the Stars in Los Angeles.
We are so thankful for any donation givent to the MollySTRONG Foundation. All donations will be acknowledged and are tax deductible. See below to donate.
We are a small nonprofit organization focused on helping finding a cure for hypodiploid ALL and helping other teens that have gone through a cancer diagnosis like Molly.We have found ways of doing this by supporting researchers at St. Jude's and establishing a college scholarship at Emmaus High School. We continue to look for ways to help and are always open to your ideas/suggestions.
Monetary donations are great, but sometimes the donation of your time can be more rewarding! If you or your group would like to help in some way, we would greatly appreciate your help at the 6th annual golf tournament! See the link above to sign up now! We will be in need of gift baskets, cookie donations and volunteers the day of the event. Your time and talent is welcome and always appreciated.
The support for Molly and our family as she was going through treatment for hypodiploid ALL was amazing. So many friends and family and acquaintances from all over were there for us and we will never, ever forget it! We truly believe all the love and support helped her get where she is today. We don't want anyone not to have a support system as they go through this difficult time. If you know of a family that has a child/teen diagnosed with cancer and could use some help, please contact us.
MollySTRONG Foundation has been working in collaboration with the Henry Schueler 41 and 9 Foundation to give to St. Jude's Hospital. Henry Schueler also had hypodipoid ALL. Click below to read Henry's brave story and about their Foundation's mission.
We are proud to announce that we awarded two $500 college scholarships to two very deserving students of the graduating class of 2021 at Emmaus High School. There were dozens of applicants and the scholarship winners were notified at graduation! Congratulations to MANDIE SALOMON and ROWAN MILNE. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors!
It was a great turn out for a first time event! None of us knew what to expect and our family was blown away by all the support! Susan Ticson coordinated everything and made it a wonderful day for everyone. There were laughs and tears and a lot of fun. All funds ($20,000!) from the event were donated to the National Bone Marrow Registry ( bethematch.org ) and a bone marrow donor drive was held at the event. Molly was still in frontline treatment which was very difficult, but she handled it very well. We felt strongly about giving to the Bone Marrow Registry because we had just gone through the process of trying to find a donor for Molly if she was to have a bone marrow transplant. Their mission is crucial in saving the lives of both children and adults!
Another successful event and just a beautiful day! This year, we had some special guests- 2 former Steelers- Yancey Thigpen and Barry Foster! They were available all day for signatures, golf and pictures. They even stayed until Sunday and attended the Emmaus High School Women’s Volleyball breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s! This group is near and dear to Molly’s heart so all funds from their day was given to the Emmaus Volleyball Booster club. We were thankful to have the guys there for the weekend to help raise funds for research for hypodiploid leukemia. All profits were given to the Henry Schueler 41 and 9 Foundation which has a similar mission and a connection with Dr. Charles Mullighan, a researcher at St. Jude’s in Tennessee. We were thrilled to see this money be put to important research for hypodiploid ALL specifically.
Repeat special guests along with a few more! Retired Steelers Yancey Thigpen, Barry Foster and Ernie Mills were able to join us for the day along with Ickey Woods (of the famous “Ickey shuffle”!)
It was a fun day of golf and a fantastic dinner. We were more relaxed this year and so thrilled that we could celebrate Molly finishing treatment. She really enjoyed the day and seeing friends and family from all over! Profits were again given to Dr. Charles Mullighan and his research team at St. Jude’s. they are doing some amazing work- it is very exciting!
This year we were extremely grateful to have a very special guest attend the Golf Outing- Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Shazier! Ryan has been facing his own challenges after a football injury last season. We admire his strength and tenacity- he is a perfect example of what MollySTRONG Foundation stands for. We had some rain at the end of the day, but that was far superseded by the well spoken words given by Molly and a few words from Dr. Mullighan himself describing how our support has helped their leukemia research. Friends, family and even strangers continue to amaze us with their unwavering support. We love you! Our goal was surpassed and the event raised $55, 000!
The MollySTRONG Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your generous financial donation.
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