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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


First ~ Thank you Jesus for giving me more time with Katie!!  

Thank you all for your faithfulness!!

Her MIBG came back NED!!! We are waiting for her bone marrow results, but Dr. Araz doesn't seem concerned.
Second ~ I am going to promise to TRY to post less. I have a problem... (admitting it is the first step of healing) :) perhaps it's just a habit after six years, that I have to post every. single. issue, Katie can't sneeze without me rushing to the computer to tell you... perhaps It's I'm addicted to the attention, I'm embarrassed to confess that, but sometimes all this consumes my every waking thought and I think you all want it to consume yours. I have a problem whining about silly 'normal problems' ~ especially when I'm up at 3 am and have a 'manic' moment. So, for one, I'm sorry.. and as long as Katie doesn't catch a cold - ha... you won't be hearing from me until November!! We go back to NY on the third, and then scans on the 20th.
Third ~ I really do love you all. I love that you have stuck with us. I love that there are times you've cried with us, laughed with us, rolled your eyes and complained to your spouse that I just rambled on for 20 minutes with no 'real' news. I love you for taking time to comment, to like and especially to PRAY.
I love you for loving her. :)

Looking forward to a 'normal' three months.
One last song for awhile..... …

and a verse or two, to keep you close to the one who created you, the one who created you to have a relationship with HIM!!
God’s Love Shown Through Jesus Christ

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

1 John 4:9-11 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

God Loves and Cares For Us

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 John 4:7-8  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Job 34:19 who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor,  for they are all the work of his hands?

He loves you and so do the Hawley's!!

20 people hearted this



Grethe Holby Elgort
By Grethe
Dear Mary Kay and Katie,
This is such great news!!! I know Ansel will be overjoyed as well. Sending love to the whole family - what an ordeal for all of you. Enjoy this new "freedom" together. and do stay in touch.
1 person hearted this
Sandy Barker
By Sandy Barker
I have been thinking of you guys since I read that Katie is NED again! I know this journey is one of constant peaks and valleys, but I am so thankful to God for giving you looootttsss of NED's in the past, present, and future! I deeply understand that each and every one is a priceless gift, and I know you guys know that.
Praise God for his mercy and love for not only Katie, but your family.
Sandy Barker
1 person hearted this
karen labbett
By Karen
Awe don't stop posting. I look forward to reading your posts. Congrats on the great news. Enjoy the next few months of normal life!!
1 person hearted this
Lauren Irving
By Irving Family
So HAPPY to hear such great news!! You have been nothing short of amazing throughout this entire journey. You're willingness to be real and raw and faithful has changed lives, changed hearts. Katie is living breathing proof of all things working for the good for all those who love God and who have been called according to his purpose. It had been a blessing an an honor to read every single word of every single post. May God continue to bless you and keep you safe in the grip of his grace.
1 person hearted this
Marian Moffett
woohoo! i am thriled for katie's clear scans! what a gift it is to hear those precious words..NED. Bask in the day to day nrmal life that you all will have for the next three months. Soak in every minute.
With gratitude for NED!
1 person hearted this
Janice Spillan
By Janice Donohue Spillan
I'm happy and thankful for today's good news about Katie. God bless all of you! And, for the record, I think I'm addicted to your writing, so keep it up! I see a book in your future!
1 person hearted this
Madison Soto
By Madddie Soto, Legends FC 00
Praise God! So happy for you! Keep the fight! It is just such good news.
1 person hearted this
Alisa Bower
By Alisa
Good News!!! I have never met you or Katie but you both have a special place in my heart. Post and rant as often as you need to and know that you are loved💕
1 person hearted this
Cathy Babiak
By Cathy Babiak
Keep posting. Your posts have helped me through my brothers passing resently at 63to prostrate cancer. I have prayed with you and your family since the beginning. Think of you daily. Blessings to you and yours, Soccer Gma
1 person hearted this