GALIEN — Santa Claus and a literal procession of supporters including first-responders from Galien, Buchanan, Three Oaks and Bertrand Township paraded past Lily Mullen’s home in Galien on Dec. 5.
Magen Mullen said her daughter Lily, 7, was diagnosed on Aug. 26 with a kidney cancer called Wilms and admitted into Bronson Methodist Children’s Hospital in Kalamazoo.
On Aug. 28 she underwent a radical nephrectomy during which the tumor along with her kidney was removed and a port was put in.
On Aug. 31 Lily received her first chemo treatment while still admitted.
But Magen said her diagnosis, and treatment, changed on Sept. 21 when Lily was re-diagnosed with a very rare kidney cancer called renal clear cell sarcoma stage 2.
“After the new diagnoses Lily started her new chemotherapy schedule which added seven straight days of radiation and 28 weeks of a chemotherapy.”
It’s a rigorous treatment regimen.
“One week we’re there every single day for seven hours a day. Then the next week she has one day. Then the next week she has three days, seven hours. Then the next week one day, and then five days, then one day, then three days, and it goes on so forth for the next 28 weeks,” Magen said.
All told they spend about 20 full days a month at Bronson.
“We are praying that Lily will be in remission at the end of April,” Magen said.
Lily ended up spending two days in the hospital after the Dec. 5 drive-by parade (which included a front-yard visit by Old St. Nick), and Magen said it “was an awesome thing because it kind of held her over while she was in the hospital – she had something to talk about.”
Magen said Lily participated in the August Berrien County Showcase at the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds about two weeks before she was diagnosed, noting that it was the last “normal family thing” they did.
Lily would be in the second grade at Ottawa Elementary in Buchanan (and has a virtual teacher). Magen said some of her teachers have visited her and done some testing showing that she’s holding “right where she was.”
She said the community has been beyond awesome in their support.
“I hear so many times,’You don’t know me, but I heard Lily’s story and I just want to say that we’re praying for her.’ It means the world to me just to know that … because I think the more people that are praying for her, it can’t hurt.”
Abigail Smith and Kaci Lund are organizers of a Go Fund Me page for Lily (https://www.gofundme.com/f/lily-mullen).
On Dec. 15 Abigail Smith reported a positive report from Lily’s doctor that indicated the chemo is doing its job. Smith also noted that Lily had received a “super cute giraffe” Stuffys as a gift.
In an earlier post on the page, she wrote: “Thank you ALL for the continuing prayers and support for the family. Magen and Jason are going through a lot right now, if you have any questions please reach out to me, let’s give them some time to digest this. The doctors did tell them that their lives are going to be flipped upside down for the time, BUT life will resume as it once was. They need to focus on Lily and the doctors/surgeons. Please pray for The Mullen Family during this very difficult time.”