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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

Hugs along the way.

Katie's scans are scheduled for this coming Tuesday 11/25 and Wednesday 11/26. We will know the results on Thanksgiving morning. Thank you again, for all those who have fasted and prayed!!
I posted a picture of a 'hug along the way' ~ while on a walk with a dear friend, we spoke of celebrating Katie's upcoming miracle and how I wanted to do a worship night at the gazebo in Ladera on the Town Green. Just before we sat down, in the very gazebo... I see "KATIE" imprinted in the cement, with a heart. As you all have journeyed with my family, you know I don't believe in coincidences, this was a 'hug along the way'.  
Katie's emotions (the joy of 14) continue to fluctuate, from high/high to low/lows. She has mentioned to some, her desire to 'stop fighting' - I ask if she says that to you, that you would encourage her to continue in this battle... because her work is not yet done here on earth, and because you LOVE HER and would MISS HER terribly!!! 
In Philippians 1 21-28 Paul himself wrestled with his desire to go to heaven and be at peace... but he knew his work here wasn't finished. 
21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. 
Hopefully, this won't even a bridge we need to cross... my next post will be Thanksgiving Day!

Praying for a miracle... praying for an amazing day of thanks!!
I love you all!!

Keep your eyes on HIM... no matter what your circumstances may be.
22 people hearted this



Gail Doyle
By Gail Doyle
Been praying for Kate to feel better and for the results of tests to be clear
YOU GO KATE !!!!!!
1 person hearted this
Sandy Barker
By Sandy Barker
Praying for clear, clear, clear scans next week!
Love you all,
Sandy Barker
1 person hearted this
Teri Seavey
By Teri Seavey
Praying for you everyday Katie. You are the miracle!
1 person hearted this
Joyce Lingren
By Joyce Lingren
(((Hugs))) to you all. Continuing to pray for this miracle. Happy Thanksgiving.
1 person hearted this
Jackie LaCasse
By Jackie LaCasse🙏💞
Prayers and blessings on there way always MK . As you said keep your eyes on him in all circumstances He loves us so very much . XXX
1 person hearted this
Michelle Rhodes
By Micki Rhodes
Hugs to you and Katie especially between now and Thanksgiving...God's blessings on you as you take shelter under His feathers *(((())))*
2 people hearted this
Devon Hogue
By Devon Hogue
Hugs, love & prayers!! When is the worship night??
1 person hearted this