Surfers paddle out in honor of lymphoma victim

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WRIGTHSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Dozens of surfers are trying to raise awareness about lymphoma in honor of a young girl who died from the cancer.

Molly Rowlee, 5, was diagnosed with lymphoma in February, but she lost her battle and died in July.

Click here to learn more about Molly

Before moving to New Hampshire with her family in 2007, Molly would spend many days having fun in the sun at Wrightsville Beach.

"I taught Molly how to surf last summer in New Hampshire, and she loved it," said Molly's father Buck.  "We would talk throughout the entire winter when she was dealing with cancer that all she wanted to do was get better so she could play on the beach with me and go surfing this summer."

She never had a chance to visit Wrightsville Beach again, but the memories live on.

Wednesday, surfers gathered on Wrightsville Beach to paddle out  in her memory.  They dropped roses into the water where they shared their memories.

"It's just a really neat, emotional way to remember someone," said surfer Nigel Wilson.  "Of course I'm happy to be a part of it, but at the same time, in a way, I wish we didn't have to do it."

Those closest to Molly believe she wouldn't have wanted her family and friends to mourn over her passing, but to celebrate life.

"She battled for five months," said Buck.  "We knew that when Molly passed away that we wanted to celebrate her life.  We did not want to have a funeral.  We didn't want to be sad.  We wanted to sing and dance and celebrate the way Molly would like to celebrate."

The Little Miss Molly Fund has been set up to provide funding to parents whose children are also dealing with cancer.  Donate to the fund by clicking here.

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