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Katie’s Story

Prayers are being answered! Above all...continue to pray!Catherine (Katie) Hawley is a happy, outgoing, athletic and very spiritual 9 year old girl. She has always been able to comfortably walk into a room of strangers and ask the first person she sees if they would like to play. At a very young age she led our family in prayer at the dinner table.

At age 4 she started playing AYSO soccer with me (her dad) coaching her. Coaching my daughters was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had as a father. Katie excelled, so at age 6 we decided to enroll her in a competitive club soccer program with the Southern California Blues.

In Jan/Feb of 09 during the Blues run for the California State Championship, we noticed a slight difference in her energy level but dismissed it as her just needing a break for a few weeks. During that time I also noticed her struggling to keep her feet under her. She appeared to labor to get up to speed and she seemed to have lost some of her quickness. Again, I dismissed it due to her recent growth spurt.

In the spring of 09 her club team took a much needed 2+ month break after they lost in the GU9 State Championship game. In this "off-season" period for the Blues, she continued to play soccer for the Ladera Ranch AYSO GU10 Plus team. That team won the championship for south Orange County and the end of season Area Tournament. At the same time, Katie worked out at an indoor conditioning facility.

During the early summer months her club team played in several soccer tournaments. Before the first Surf Cup tournament game on Saturday morning July 25th Katie threw up. About 2 days prior, Katie had complained about some minor but persistent abdomen pain. We thought she might have the flu, but she felt better after throwing up so we let her play. She was just not herself. She sat out during the 2nd game Saturday afternoon only to wake up on Sunday morning feeling better and wanting to play again.

Then the following Monday, July 27th, I decided to take her in to the local Urgent Care facility to get examined. Thank God for the perceptive Physicians Assistant that saw Katie named Michelle B. She just didn't think things seemed right and ordered an abdominal x-ray and ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a "mass" near Katie's stomach area so a CT scan was ordered for the next day. The result was further confirmation of the existence of the tumor.

This was the most shocking and devastating news MaryKay and I had ever heard. We cried during and in between making the calls to our family to tell them. At this point we did not know if the tumor was cancerous.

Another parent on Katie's soccer team had connections into the medical community.  That parent's name is Curt Wasserman and I will forever be in debt to him. Through his actions, and those of our new friend Len Shulman, we were immediately connected to Dr. Cairo in NY. Dr. Cairo is a world renowned leader in Oncology. He was on a speaking engagement in
Texas but offered his contact information to us, perfect strangers to him, so he could assist. He guided us to Dr. Marcio at CHLA, who is also a widely recognized "world expert" in Pediatric solid tumors. Dr. Marcio agreed to see Katie the next day, Friday, July 31st. That day, we were introduced to Dr. Stein, the leading pediatric surgeon at CHLA.

On August 5th, 2009, she underwent surgery to remove the tumor that was causing her abdominal pain. During surgery, it was determined that the tumor was malignant. Katie was diagnosed with Stage 3, High Risk, GanglioNeuroblastoma, nodular cancer. The egg-sized tumor growing from her right adrenal gland and the adrenal gland itself were removed as were 2 of Katie's lymph nodes. Cancer remained in her abdomen and she began chemotherapy treatments at CHLA on August 11th under the care of Dr. Araz Marachelian who we have the utmost confidence in.

In all, Katie has had 4 surgeries, 6 cycles of Chemotherapy, Stem Cell Chemotherapy, 12 rounds of Radiation, 5 rounds of ch14.18 and high doses of Accutane. She was declared N.E.D. (no evidence of disease) in December of 2009 and remains that way today.

Life has dealt us this unexpected and incredible challenge.  With your prayers, and God's Good Grace, we will continue to overcome this.  Please keep Katie in your prayers.

Latest Journal Update

Very Thankful

Katie finished her last dose of drugs last night. She has had a few sick days :( but only one bloody nose, though her counts will continue to drop this upcoming week, I pray the worst is over.
I was just spending time with Jesus ~ as I wrote in Katie's prayer journal, I felt overjoyed!!!

In nine days (March 10th) 'our' girl will be FIFTEEN!!

How blessed I am!! How blessed I am to have such amazing daughters. How blessed I am to be so close with this little miracle. She is the joy of my life...  How very thankful I am that the Lord has given me this time with her!! How very thankful I am to have had the privilege to me her mom. Sappy?? Perhaps ~ but filled to the brim with Peace and Happiness this morning.
Katie has a appointment this Friday. They will be checking hormone levels and seeing what can be done to assist with her delay in growth. Please pray our God will once again perform a miracle in this child's life! She wants SIX children!! I believe all things are possible in Christ!! - and when she sees her 'children's children' - Genesis 17indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore

The week of March 17th thru the 21st, Katie is scheduled for all her scans. Praying all will be clear.

Once they ARE, she will be admitted for her first of two 1418 treatments.  

 After those two months are completed, we will fly back to New York to be scanned there and hopefully get on the path for the vaccine.
Yesterday afternoon, Katie and I took a drive to the beach to watch the sun set.

I asked her "Why do you want to know God? Why do you want to serve Him and seek Him?" She was quiet for quite awhile... staring at the clouds, the sea, the sun setting off the horizon... "Because He loves ME so much. I really shouldn't still be here. I could have died so many times these past years. But I'm still here, He must really care about me"  I teared up, how our perceptions on the creator of the universe can be so  different. You all know Katie's journey, for the past half of dozen years, she has lost many things she has loved, she has suffered physically, emotionally, and sometimes spiritually. But she chooses to see God, Jesus, her faith as good and loving! I am humbled. 

Thank you all who have inputted in this child's life!!

God's word does NOT return void.
Isaiah 55:11

11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it

Thank you for your prayers, for her, her sister Melanie and my family!!
One last prayer request. Katie wants to serve in Haiti next summer. She came up with a cute idea for bracelets to sell "Send Katie to Haiti" - for every ten she sells, she will do ONE hour of community service. This is a huge long shot, that she will be able to go. Pray if this is God's will that He will direct her path and open the doors. We will be discussing with Doctor Araz in a couple of weeks.
Love you all!!
PS.. pic of Katie and Teagan (a GOD SENT)  at Katie's 10th birthday.. will have to duplicate with this sweet friend at Katie's upcoming party

14 people hearted this



susan beall
By Susan Beall
Well, you know who will wear one! :). Sign Robert up! ❤️💛
1 person hearted this
Kim Sprague
By kim
I've been criticized for giving my kids birthday parties every year....but every year is a reminder that God has granted us a full year w them!! Praise God for the work he is doing in Katie's life....continue to heal her, strengthen her! May Melanie, you and Bob be carried and encouraged on this journey. Xoxo
2 people hearted this
Thank you so much for the updates. It is a blessing to be able to read what God is doing in your life and your daughters. I hope Katie has the best birthday ever. Prays to your family and this time of peace for all of you.
1 person hearted this