Miracle Molly’s road to recovery after childhood of operations
An inspirational young woman has told of her journey from hospital patient to Cambridge medical student following support from a unique charity.
Molly Hunt, now 21, of Harpenden, was 10 when she was diagnosed with bone cancer, and spent the rest of her childhood in and out of hospital.
Her secondary school years at St Albans Girls School were combined with home schooling and extra tutoring following a series of operations.
After having an hip replacement to remove the bone with the tumour in 2004, Molly suffered several complications after the hip kept dislocating.
Between 2004 and 2009 Molly endured five operations, during which time she took her Year 6, Year 9 SATS, and her GCSEs, scoring top grades.
She said: “The good thing is that I’ve always been academic. I occupied myself with teaching myself stuff. I read books and I did my Year 6 SATS in hospital and my Year 9 SATS at home. That’s how I dealt with it, keeping my mind active. It’s interesting how different people cope with thing.”
Now in her third year studying medicine at the esteemed Cambridge University, she hopes to specialise in paediatrics.
Molly said: “Following the amount of time in hospital, I saw all the important work that medics do. I had always thought about following in their footsteps, from about Year 7 or 8 I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I thought the doctors were incredible people.”
Despite being an active member of her school community, it was Molly’s trips to ‘Over The Wall’ that gave her the confidence she needed to pursue her dreams.
Over The Wall is a charity that has free of charge ‘therapeutic recreation’ camps over the UK to help children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
Molly said: “I think it helped me a huge amount. It was an opportunity to meet other people who are going through the same thing. Even though I had absolutely great friends at school you can’t have conversations with them about hospital.
“You have a mutual understanding, but don’t necessarily talk about it, it’s an unspoken bond between each other.
“It allowed me to me to do activities and stretch myself in a way I hadn’t done before. It’s an environment where people are telling you how good you are all the time; even if you just had a go, every achievement is celebrated.”
The confidence Molly gained from her summers at ‘Over The Wall’ saw her return year on year before she became one of the many volunteers who work at the camps.
“I think it’s such an important charity. As I grew up I realised I wanted to go back and volunteer because I know how much it helped me. It’s so important to have the opportunities and it’s completely free, they fund it.”
Molly will be returning to ‘Over The Wall’ this summer to volunteer following completion of her exams.