Katie’s Story

Site created on August 7, 2009

THE CLIMB - The Katie Hawley story available on Amazon.

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

Good morning,

I keep starting a post and then end up deleting it. Katie still has not heard back regarding the ‘new’ maintenance drug. We continue to trust God has her and she continues to do life!

Yesterday Bob and I took a ‘thankful’ walk, not asking Jesus for anything, just thanking Him. We are so grateful Katie’s less then three weeks away from completing her junior year at Baylor! Even more praise worthy, she’s a business major, with HONORS.... and just landed her first (paid) internship with Vita Coconut Water! Praying she can finish her education on campus next year!? 

I woke up a little before 3:00 AM, ya all know how I love the Peace at this time. 

I’m in awe this morning. 

Crazy how we have lived with so much uncertainty - the circumstances in Katie’s health.... yet He’s compassionately led me to the arms of Hope, day after day!

It’s actually a bit insane to think of how many days, weeks, months and years Katie has had physical pain, emotional upheaval and gut wrenching heartache..... yet our Heavenly Father’s grace and mercy usher in Blessings and Joy above and beyond anything we could ever imagine!

Yep... closing into twelve years, which boggles my mind. Thankful for the gift of time, quality time!!

How extremely grateful I am to have had both my daughter’s home the past year. How I appreciate the silver lining of being in quarantine with my small family - getting to know my children as adults. Feeling sappy this morning.

Falling on my knees acknowledging how BIG my God is. Never in my lifetime will I be able to comprehend how much He loves me, how rich  His mercy is, why He’s blessed me and my family so greatly. 

Sitting here with my dogs, the humming of silence - by Faith inviting Jesus to use me today, to guide others to Hope, Peace and Joy ~ even when the dark circumstances of life attempt block the view of the Son! 

I am a living testimony to the power of prayer! Katie is a living testimony to the power of prayer!

Thank you all for allowing me to share this journey with you all these years! 

Thank you for the tears you have shed for my girl, the prayers you have prayed, the support you have provided! YOU have changed my life and that of my family! Forever I am indebted to you. 😍

Psalm 89:1

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations!

Until Katie sees her children’s children- keep praying!! ... for my precious Melanie too!

We celebrated Bob’s birthday the other night and the laughter my daughters shared was shear poetry! Thank you dear, precious Andrew and my loyal Deborah 💕💕💕💕 An evening sketched into my heart for eternity.

Ya - I know, I know... I sound over the top this morning 🤦🏻‍♀️ ~ but sincerely overwhelmed by His love and all the unexpected gifts He generously lavishes on me and my family!! 

All I can do to repay Him is walk in obedience to His written word, by the power of the Holy Spirit...

Psalm 89:8

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

If you haven’t yet - I’d recommend ‘The Climb’, I know the author, she’s quirky but sincere 🤣 - signed copies now available. Email me for details marykayhawley@yahoo.com

Also... download The Chosen! 💕 The series is so good!!

I’ll update you as soon as we hear anything about Katie’s meds! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

Wow - always shocked when you read all of this?! 🤣


Love you so much!! 
MK 
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