On December 10, 2015, two days before Holly’s 14th birthday, an MRI uncovered a tumor resting in the thalamus section of her brain. Holly was in surgery the next day to remove it, however, a biopsy revealed the devastating diagnosis - Grade 4 Gliosarcoma; a very rare, and very aggressive form of cancer. Holly exited surgery unable to speak and paralyzed on her right side. And so, her battle began with a two-month initial hospital stay, extensive rehabilitation, chemotherapy, radiation, an out-of-state experimental trial, nutrition regime and supplement program, additional hospitalizations, hospice and more.
It was during Holly’s treatments that her parents, Bill and Christine Wade, learned of the profound financial needs of families caring for sick and injured children. Parents were losing all they had worked so hard to obtain - jobs, homes, utilities, transportation. The financial costs and time required to care for a child in need is staggering. They spoke with parents who had to decide whether to pay a medical bill or the mortgage, or to stay with their hospitalized child or to go to work. The burden of making these decisions on top of the news that a child is critically ill is too much for anyone.
Fortunately for the Wade family, their friends and family offered tremendous support, and the logo and phrase “Hands for Holly” was developed to help them during their crisis; however, not all families are afforded the same help. This is where Hands for Holly Fund plays a critical role. We believe that families caring for their child should focus their energy on their loved one, and less on where to find the money to keep the lights on. We would like to pay forward the initial hands intended for Holly and offer assistance to others in need.
Unfortunately Holly lost her battle on July 1, 2016, but not before she worked with her mother to define the mission of the Hands for Holly Fund. She was proud to be able to help others through her illness. She was a remarkable girl who will be continually honored through this endeavor.