Meet Molly: Daughter, netballer and cancer survivor. Here's her incredible story

Now 17, Molly from Dubbo, NSW, is many things: a cancer survivor, a passionate advocate and fundraiser, and a teenager with dreams of netball coaching and university.

As an 11-year-old, Molly from Dubbo NSW was an all-star athlete, competing at a state level in netball and enjoying a competitive level of basketball and hockey. Sport was her entire life, so after a three-day netball carnival and dozens of games, a sore calf was nothing out of the ordinary.

Within weeks and on her twelfth birthday, Molly’s sporting injury was diagnosed as osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that is responsible for the deaths of more under 24-year-olds than any other type of cancer. Talking of when she found out she had cancer, Molly says:

“When I first hurt my leg, I had no idea it was cancer. I remember going for an MRI after my netball carnival and the doctor sent me outside to sit with my sister. Then I just heard Dad crying from the doctor’s office. And my dad, maybe like yours when you were younger, was a superhero − he could fix everything. I’d never heard him cry, so that was the moment I knew it was bad. I looked over at my sister Maddy and just said: “Mads, I’ve got cancer.”

“I went back in, and Mum and Dad just looked at me with this look I’ll never forget, one of ‘how can this be our little girl… how can this be happening to us?’ And my cancer journey started from there – just like that I was ‘the girl with cancer’.

“I went from thinking ‘I might miss a few weeks of netball’, ‘I might miss a season’, ‘I might never get to play again’, ‘I might lose my leg’, to ‘I might lose my life.' "

Molly in a wheelchair during her cancer treatment

Thankfully Molly didn’t lose her leg or her life, but her intense multi-year treatment of chemo and over 20 surgeries stole years of her childhood and changed her life forever, leaving her unable to play sport or even run again. Today, at 17, she’s a passionate childhood cancer advocate, fundraiser, public speaker, and budding netball coach.

Despite the life-changing side-effects of the treatments that saved her life, Molly’s positivity and desire to change kids’ cancer treatments for the better is relentless. She’s helped raise millions of dollars to support vital research into better and more effective treatments for other kids like her. Molly says:

“The only way I could get through my treatment was to find a little ‘rainbow’ in every day. Something positive, something that I was grateful for. You’ll always find one if you look for it. But now, I know I have to help support research for other kids like me.

“Pretty much all of my friends who I went through treatment with aren’t here anymore.  So, what I do now with my life and my fundraising, it’s not for me. I know that the things that I fundraise for now aren’t going to help me if I were to get sick tomorrow. But it will help to make sure kids in the future get the best treatment possible.

“It’s for my friends who aren’t here anymore, the friends that have passed away… I’m doing it in their memory, I’m doing it for their legacy. Because it’s people like them that give me so much motivation to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other kid.”

Molly today after recovering from cancer

By making a gift, you can help support vital kids' cancer research for other children with cancer like Molly. Make a donation today to help fund the development of lifesaving new childhood cancer treatments.