When Marley was just 6 years old, an MRI revealed a baseball-sized tumor in her brain. After two major surgeries, she received Proton Therapy, the most advanced radiation therapy available. It delivers highly precise proton beams that can reach the most difficult tumors, while protecting healthy tissue around it. Marley’s story is one of courage and perseverance, but also one of community. From her family and care providers to the donors like you who make advanced treatments possible, it takes all of us to bring hope and healing to the families counting on us.
Teresa (Marley's mom): Marley is the type of kid that everybody is attracted to.
Marley: You want to hear a joke about pizza? ...But it's too cheesy.
Billy (Marley's dad): She's very funny. I don't know, I guess I'm goofy like that. So Marley's like my goofy little kid.
Teresa: May of 2020, she pretty much lost the ability to walk.
Natasha Pillay-Smiley, MD: Marley was definitely not well when she was first presented to us.
Billy: An absolute sense of powerlessness. You know, when you see your child struggling with something and, you know, there's not always something you can do.
Dr. Pillay Smiley: When families first face the news that their children have a brain tumor, it's the worst thing you can ever hear.
Billy: Teresa and I just kind of looked at each other and, you know, it was just very scary, very shocking.
Marley: It's pretty scary at first. But all the doctors were really supportive.
Dr. Pillay Smiley: Pediatric brain tumors are very rare. Proton therapy is one of the biggest improvements in quality of life for our patients. One of the biggest pushes to create proton therapy is minimizing long term effects from therapy.
Teresa: We know it's a lifelong thing, but I totally trust her medical team. The fact that they could devise a plan and revise a plan so quickly was pretty amazing.
Dr. Pillay Smiley: Much of what we do is philanthropy based. And without it, there is no proton therapy. There is nothing new for our patients.
Billy: Please donate to Cincinnati Children's. Your donations help families like mine.
Marley: Thanks for helping kids like me.