1-Year-Old Girl Who Beat Stage 4 Cancer Poses for Sweet Photos Announcing the News
A 1-year-old girl was the star of an adorable photoshoot after doctors declared her officially in remission from cancer.
Molly Hughes was just 5 months old when she was diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that typically occurs in the adrenal glands on top of the kidneys, but can also spread to other areas of the body, according to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Neuroblastoma accounts for 50 percent of all cancers in infants, and most children are diagnosed with the disease before they reach the age of 5, the hospital reports.
Over the course of 15 months, Molly had to undergo chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and other intensive procedures, according to WBKO. After going through her last chemotherapy session in January, doctors finally informed her family that Molly is officially in remission.
“She is doing really good, you can’t even tell she was ever sick,” mom Chelsea Hughes tells PEOPLE. “She’s playing and is wild just like any other 1 year old.”
To celebrate, the family — from Bowling Green, Kentucky — recently had a photoshoot starring Molly, who announced the news with a sign.
“OH HAPPY DAY!” Chelsea wrote in a Facebook post last month that included Molly’s picture. “Molly has some BIG news to share! Her scans were clear & showed no evidence of disease!! There is NO active cancer left in her little body!”
While the news is positive, Molly still has to participate in further treatment to prevent cancer from recurring.
“Neuroblastoma has a high risk of relapse, so she started a trial drug yesterday that helps prevent relapse, and she will take this for two years and will have scans every three months,” Chelsea explains to PEOPLE. “A lot of people have been saying she’s ‘cancer free’ but she’s not technically cancer free for five years, but she is in remission and her scans showed no evidence of disease.”
While the family is still looking forward to Molly being deemed cancer-free, they’re a step closer to that day — and they hope others in similar situations will find hope in their story.
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“When Molly was first diagnosed, hearing other encouraging stories helped give us hope, so I just hope that others who hear her story can find hope and strength,” Chelsea says. “It is a long and hard journey but staying hopeful and faithful will help you get through.”
She adds, “You have to take it day by day, and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”