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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

We are home safe

Proverbs 14: 30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy and jealousy rots the bones.

As some of you may know, Katie just spent the past five days in New York, receiving vaccine number 6, to help keep the cancer from returning. This injection's medicine was increased quite a bit and made my girl pretty sick.

Our last night in NY, hours after Katie had fallen asleep, I started to browse thru her instagram. Jealousy and thoughts of "why my daughter" started to spin out of control, once again!. Blah.. I was so envious of the girls who were enjoying their high school experience, seeing kids at parties, concerts, going to dances, laughing and just having fun, while my girl laid in bed anxious about the cancer returning, because she was having excruciating pain in her neck, popping her 10+ Zofran so she wouldn't throw up or have to feel like the room was spinning... holding on to a box of tissue, because her nose would just start bleeding out of no where.

As my self pity deepen, the tears once again just started pouring. I began to feel sick. My jealousy was rotting my bones!! Anger attached to the jealousy and I was actually MAD that other teenagers were having normal lives!! It sounds crazy, but the sin grabbed a hold of me and wasn't letting go!! I allowed my thoughts to wallow in, dwell on and consume me. My 'prayer' was full of complaining, frustration and pure raw contempt.

 In the middle of my whining, laying in my dark, quiet hotel room, I rolled over to see what time it was. I actually took a second to wipe away the tears so I could clearly see the clock said 3:33. That has been the Lord's number with me, that is a time I have woke up to many times to go spend time with Him. I actually took a picture of it and posted it on facebook, crying out for help. I knew I couldn't stay in this jealous state of mind much longer.. it would ROT my bones!! ...and Katie would see how it was affecting me and leak into her. Three people from two different coast happened to see my post.. Thank you Bev, Georgia and my sister in law Lisa. They spoke TRUTH back into my heart. One scripture they shared was... tears come at night and joy in the morning.
Months ago, I heard a sermon, it is impossible to be thankful and jealous at the same time. So once again.. in faith, because I still FELT very jealous and pissed off. I started to thank God for all Katie did have. She IS alive!  Katie LOVES Jesus, and purity and righteousness!!  We have an amazing relationship!! She has some faithful friends (of all ages - who were snap chatting her and texting her the entire time she felt sick) thank you: Melanie!!, Dawn, Lanie Hargraves, Gigi, Taylor, the sweet Mormon group, Jamie and many, many more!!!!!! She IS seriously HAPPY 98.4 percent of the time. She has an Aunt Shelly!!! hahahahaha - who tells great stories of dark bathrooms! The more I focused what I was grateful for, mixed with the prayers of a few faithful warriors, the more I crawled out the pity quick sand, I had allowed myself to be swallowed up the time I fell asleep, I was once again at PEACE!
Around 7am, while Katie was still sleeping, I opened my One Year Bible and this is the verse that popped out to me. It was ALREADY highlighted in yellow. 
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."-Psalm 30:5
I am NOT trying to write a 'self help' post. But the faithfulness of my God... in the middle of me rebelling and running in the opposite direction of what He wants for me is truly humbling and gives me hope. I don't have to be perfect, I just have to put my trust in HIM and HIS perfect WORD!!
We are home, Katie just walked in the office, tired but wants to go to school!? I need to run.
Pray for her continual health. The same morning I read Psalm 30. I found this!! Another PROMISE to hold on too.
Exodus 23: …25"But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. 26"There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27"I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.…
I love you all so much!!
Thank you for everything!

15 people hearted this



michelle lacy
By michelle lacy
A Beautiful Post Mary-Kay - you have touched my Heart and Soul - God Bless you and Katie - There will be more dances and Katie will go again, there will be more laughter and she will smile again!! I love you all so much!! BIG BIG HUGS - Aunt Shelly XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
2 people hearted this
Sally Biggs
By Sally
Please know that although I rarely post, Katie and your entire family are in my prayers daily. Blessings to you all.....
2 people hearted this
Joyce Lingren
By Joyce Lingren
I love your honesty. I have learned a great deal from your journey. You may never truly know the impact katie and you have had on others. God will use all of this in a mighty way! God Bless.
1 person hearted this
Debbie Meumann
By Debbie Meumann
Oh Mary Kay, how I pray you woke up joyful this morning!! Katie wanting to go to school is inspiring too! Our God is awesome indeed and He heard your cries. Katie and all of the family remain faithfully in my prayers. May Katie continue to bounce back from this latest series of treatment, Xoxo😚
2 people hearted this