Walking for a cause

Eight-year-old Molly is taking part in Camp Quality's Big Walk for Little Kids to raise money to help support children and their families battling cancer. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 215491_01

By Jessica Micallef

By Jessica Micallef

Molly had no ordinary start to life.

In 2013, at just two-years-old, Molly was diagnosed with childhood cancer rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that is rare among children according to her mum Kristen Johnson.

“In that particular year, I think she was only the seventh case that was diagnosed with that cancer so there aren’t many cases of that particular cancer,” she said.

“It was like I was hit by truck, when I heard the news. I was very naive to it all.

“Unless you go through it, you don’t really know what to expect.”

Following her diagnosis, Molly endured nearly a year of chemotherapy and had to undergo surgery to remove one of her ribs where the tumor was.

“The tumor came through between her ninth and tenth rib so the ninth rib was removed and the eight rib was separated to make that support,” Ms Johnson said.

“She hated chemotherapy. It was the most traumatic thing for her and us as well.

“It was quite hard to take.”

Now eight-years-old, Molly has been in remission for six years, and Ms Johnson says her daughter is “as good as gold”.

“There is always going to be that risk that the cancer could return, but she’s doing really well,” she said.

This year, the Riddells Creek family are taking part in Camp Quality’s Big Walk for Little Kids event, a walking challenge to help raise money to support children with cancer.

Ms Johnson said she wanted to give back to the charity that supported her family during Molly’s 12-month cancer battle.

“They host functions to let the kids forget about the treatment and when you go to these functions, every kid is the same,” she said.

“It was good for Molly. Being only two-years-old at the time, she had no hair and other kids, being so innocent, would always ask her why didn’t have any hair.

“So when she went to the functions, everyone was like her and she really appreciated it.

“She can still go to the functions and she often tells the kids ‘I survived, so can you'”.

To donate: bit.ly/33yNL4o