SYLACAUGA, Ala. – As of Wednesday morning, five-year old Mollie Ford has a clean bill of health after a six-month battle with kidney cancer.
In July 2016, Mollie was spending a hot July day like most kids do, in the front yard on a slip ‘n slide. After that long day in the sun Mollie came inside, but she was not acting like Mollie. Her mother, Amy Ford, said Mollie did not want to play or eat, and she did not feel well. Amy knew something was wrong.
The next day Mollie was running a fever and had an upset stomach. She was taken to the emergency room in Sylacauga for what her parents believed to be appendicitis after feeling a knot on her right side. Unfortunately for Mollie it was not appendicitis.
Doctors in the emergency room did a CT scan on Mollie’s stomach that showed she had a large mass on her kidney. Mollie was quickly transferred to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. Her family then met with surgical teams and other doctors to discuss treatment plans to treat Mollie from the most common type of kidney cancer in children, a Wilms Tumor.
In less than three hours Mollie and her family’s lives were completely turned upside down.
“We went from thinking she had appendicitis to making a cancer treatment plan,” said Amy Ford. “It was just overwhelming and scary. My first reaction was thinking there was a chance I was going to lose my child.”
Over the next six months Mollie traveled the road to recovery. Her mother said she has been very strong throughout the chemo-therapy treatments and handled them wonderfully, but the chemotherapy did come with the expected side effects of weight and hair loss.
Mollie stayed strong through the battle, and today is 100 percent cancer free. “I am incredibly grateful,” said Amy Ford. We can breathe again. We can all finally relax.”
Although Mollie stayed strong, the side effects understandably gave Mollie a sense of insecurity, but those insecurities were replaced with comfort and safety when her family finally got a room at the Ronald McDonald House.
“The Ronald McDonald House was a place Mollie was able to come together with other kids that don’t have hair, or they have different bandages,” said Amy Ford. “She doesn’t feel different there, and it was a safe place for her.”
So the cancer is gone, but Mollie and her family refuse to forget what the Ronald McDonald House did for them. To help with the cost of building more rooms for families to stay in, Mollie’s family has set up a team to participate in the largest yearly fundraiser for the house, the Red Shoe Run. Mollie’s team is called “Mollie’s Squad”. Her family hopes everyone in the community will participate or donate to help the Ronald McDonald House.
“It would mean the world to me,” stated Ford. “My husband and I both grew up in Sylacauga, and to have our community backing us would be so great.”
You can sign up to participate, donate money, and learn more by visiting the Mollie’s Squad website.
Wednesday night Mollie and her family celebrated with Disney Princesses that visit the Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Hospital.
Even though Mollie is cancer free, she still has many check-ups and doctors visits left to go. Her follow up appointments will start in three weeks, and after that appointments will take place every three months. Mollie will continue this process for the next five years to help make sure she stays cancer free.
Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.