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Toddler beats stage 4 cancer after more than a year of grueling treatments

Every child deserves to live a carefree, blissful life. But for 21-month-old Molly Hughes, the first few months of her infant years completely painted a different picture – one filled with huge amounts of distress and heartbreak.

Molly was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2017. But now, after five rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, and a dozen rounds of radiation, things are finally starting to look up for the Kentucky toddler.

21-month-old Molly Hughes is now cancer-free


Last week, Chelsea Hughes, Molly’s mother, received the best news ever: her daughter’s test results came back showing that there was no sign of cancer in her body.

She told CNN: “We were just so relieved. She’s happy and playful and just doing normal things again, but we still have to keep our guard up.”

Molly Hughes

Chelsea Hughes

Molly was just four months old when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that develops in certain types of nerve tissue. The disease almost always manifests in young children.

By the time it was detected by doctors, Molly’s cancer was “pretty much throughout her whole body,” Chelsea shared.

Molly Hughes


The whole duration of her treatment lasted for 15 months, which included chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, surgery, radiation, and immunotherapy. One of the rounds of chemotherapy caused hearing loss, so Molly now had to wear hearing aids.

“We’re just thankful that she made it through all that treatment. It was tough. She got really, really sick. The treatments are just so harsh on (children’s) bodies,” Chelsea said.

The long course of treatment had the family stay in the hospital for 130 nights. It proved to be difficult not just for Molly, but especially to her 4-year-old brother, who is now staying with Chelsea’s grandmother.

At such a young age, Molly has endured so many difficulties in her life. But she proved to everyone around her that she was one tough cookie.

“She would just bounce back after every treatment. I mean it would knock her down for a few days, but then she’d be up playing,” the mom said.

For two years, Molly will be taking a trial drug that will help prevent a relapse.


Molly had an IV in her chest that couldn’t get wet, so bathing became difficult. Despite that, Chelsea shared that her daughter loved playing in the water. But now that she is in remission, she can do so without worrying anymore.

In fact, to celebrate Molly’s healing, the whole family will be going on a beach trip soon. It will be Molly’s first swimming experience.

But until then, Molly is back home enjoying every moment of her restored health.

“She loves being outside from the time she gets up ’til she goes to bed,” Chelsea said. “She’s just wild, so full of energy and just loves doing what a baby should be doing.”


Indeed, it is a brand new life for Molly. Now that she is free of cancer, she can begin to live the regular, happy life of a toddler.

Watch the video below to learn more about this brave little girl.

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