Katie’s Story

Site created on August 7, 2009

THE CLIMB - The Katie Hawley story available on Amazon.

Venmo ~ Mary-KayHawley (white visor)

This page hasn’t been updated for almost 13 years! Crazy that our youngest has lived with cancer longer then she has hasn’t.

During her short almost 22 years here on this planet Katie has battled cancer SIX times. Each relapse the disease showed up in a different location; right adrenal gland, through out her bones, back of her skull, thyroid, lungs, chest cavity and now a benign tumor intertwined around a nerve in her spine. If I hadn’t of personally walked this journey with her - this would all sound made up.

Despite her difficult journey, Katie has faced these trials with faith, grace and courage. Throughout the past 13 years, she has consistently given back to the community ~ paying all your generosity forward, if you will. My daughter helped found S.O.S, Stuff Our Slippers and over the years has passed out hundreds of fuzzy footwear to the pediatric cancer ward. Rallied friends to run for Pediatric Cancer Research. Along side of me Katie has volunteered at the Motel Church, passing out breakfast and hope to the working homeless. She has served Crossline Church, both in the nursery and co-leading a small group of junior high girls in Bible Study. Katie still works on Sunday with the littles when she’s home from college.

Finding her voice, Katie has spoken and shared her story dozens of times with local charities; NEGU, Soccer for Hope and Goldrush Cure Foundation. As well as speaking in front of thousands of college students at UCLA and Oregon State for Relay for Life. As a Tri-Delt, Katie has assisted her sorority in raising millions for Saint Jude’s. Her legacy she is building will have a ripple effect for generations to come.

Life, though full of chaos and uncertainty has not slowed my daughter down from living life to the fullest! She has swam with the dolphins, interviewed hockey professionals, pursued her Hollywood crush and not only got to meet Ansel Elgort, she sat in a Teen Vogue photo shoot. She had one line in a Netflix’s series, had chatted with Michael Buble’, showing him off to her college dorm friends. Katie played video games with Justin Bieber and has his guitar propped up in her room. She’s jumped Blackrock in Maui, snorkeled the deep seas, skied the slopes in Utah and California. Yep, despite a life full of chaos and uncertainty- by the grace of GOD our Father she has LIVED!

Early on Katie was told she might have learning disabilities because of all the chemo. Yet this young women is months away from graduation. She transferred into the business program at Baylor University in Waco Texas, because she wanted to challenge herself. She may even end her four years with honors! She makes no excuses - but tackles all obstacles with faith, Hope and perseverance!

The most beautiful part of her story is the young man Andrew who I believe Jesus brought to her. He is a gift! Andrew has embraced my girl and loves her unconditionally. Planning their wedding is one of the highlights of my life.

We will continue to pray for someone, somewhere to find a cure!

We will continue to pray our precious Katie will live a full lifespan and someday see her children’s children!

May the Lord bless you and keep you - May His face shine upon you and give you Peace! Amen!

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Katie Hawley Fund - gofundme

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.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Mary Kay Hawley

Thank you all for the prayers, cards and sweet messages! 

Katie meets with Doctor Araz tomorrow to book scans. 🙏🏼

Here’s some fun graduation pics! 

It was a perfect day 🥳🍾🎉

…. now it’s time to plan a wedding!


Love ya all,
MK
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