Molly Hughes was only 5 months old when her parents received the devastating news that their baby girl had stage four neuroblastoma.
This rare type of cancer usually occurs in the adrenal glands on top of the kidneys, according to the American Cancer Society. Neuroblastoma makes up half of all cancers in infants.
Little Molly had to endure 15 months of grueling treatments, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. After over a year of battling the disease, the now 1-year-old is officially in remission.
To celebrate her recovery, Molly posed for some adorable photos. Her mom, Chelsea Hughes of Warren County, Kentucky, took to Facebook to share the good news and included one of those photos.
Her heartwarming post has since gone viral:
In the photo, Molly poses next to a framed sign that reads, “Oh, happy day.” Alongside the image, Hughes shared that her daughter’s scans were completely clear and showed no evidence of disease.
“Molly has some BIG news to share!!! Her scans were clear & shared no evidence of disease!! (NED!!!) There is NO active cancer left in her little body!!” she wrote.
She went on to thank everyone for their prayers and support and explained that Molly would begin taking difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), a promising new medication that has been shown to increase survival rates for children with neuroblastoma.
“By using DFMO for two years after finishing conventional therapy, we’ve seen an overall two-year survival rate for these children of 97 percent,” Dr. Giselle Sholler, director of pediatric oncology research at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and principal investigator of a study of the drug, said in a press release. “This is a large increase in survival.”
She continued, “Previously it was believed that children with refractory and relapsed neuroblastoma were considered incurable. This study shows more than 50 percent of patients remaining in remission up to four years.”
According to her mom’s Facebook post, little Molly will also have scans every three months to check for signs of relapse.
The post has more than 3,400 reactions, more than 1,000 comments and more than 700 shares. People everywhere chimed in with messages of support for the resilient little girl, many using Hughes’ preferred hashtag, #mollystrong.
“What a beautiful day and you are adorable, little Molly! May this be the beginning of the best, happiest and healthiest long life for you. Best to you and your family!” one commenter wrote.
“You Beautiful little Girl You! #MOLLYSTRONG You are an Amazing little Girl!!” another responded
Molly’s story has also inspired others to share their own, with one Facebook user revealing her own battle with childhood cancer. “I saw Molly’s story and I just wanted to say it’s wonderful she has a mother so strong and faithful! I was born with a neuroblastoma on my spine the size of a grapefruit,” she wrote. “At three years old I was cancer free and it never returned! I’m 41 now! Live a long and blessed life little Molly and always believe in miracles!”
Of her own reaction, Hughes told Fox News, “I kinda just fell to the ground after I got off the phone and I just hugged for her like five minutes.”
The fantastic news comes a little over a month after Hughes shared an update on Molly’s last day of treatment. “Celebrating our little wonder woman’s last day of treatment,” she wrote alongside an image of Molly smiling under a celebratory banner.
She also added, “The past 15 months were tough, but she was tougher!”
Since learning news of Molly’s remission, Hughes has also posted images of Molly and her friend, Caroline, who is also now thankfully cancer-free.
“These sweet girls have come so far & both have clear scans and no evidence of disease!” she wrote alongside the sweet image of the little girls. “The top picture was 1 year ago today when they were both going through chemo & the bottom picture was today. #byebyecancer #mollystrong#carolinestrong #neuroblastoma”
That post has also received dozens of congratulatory comments, with many sending their best wishes and continued prayers to both Molly and Caroline. “Yay, way to go girls,” one commenter wrote.
Another admired their resilience, saying “Thier [sic] story and friendship is so sweet and amazing.”
Molly’s parents could not be more grateful for the overwhelming show of support.
“I believe that’s what’s helped her get through is all the prayers she’s had and we just can’t thank everybody enough for praying for her and supporting us through all of this,” Hughes told WBKO.
Though Molly has lost her hearing, Hughes says she and the rest of the family feel thrilled about returning to life as normal.
“She loves being outside from the time she gets up ’til she goes to bed, she’s just wild,” she described of Molly’s personality. “So full of energy and just loves doing what a baby should be doing.”
Congratulations to the entire family on this amazing news!
Additional reporting by Simplemost staff.