Victoria community rallies for Molly, family

Silent auction planned to help defray costs of living in Memphis during toddler’s treatment

Dave and Rebekah Campbell are used to the daily routine that goes along with having five kids.

The couple scramble to get nine-year-old twins Owen and Emma, Kate, 6, Sara, 4, and Molly, 2, ready for bed each night. It’s a production line of showers and brushing teeth and tucking them into bed. except on days when Molly is undergoing chemotherapy. Or blood transfusions. Or a bone marrow transplant in a foreign city.

Those are the routines the Campbells wish they never knew.

The family has spent the majority of Molly’s life battling her acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Victoria, at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and now in Memphis, Tenn.

For the past month they’ve been living in a rented apartment near world-renowned St. Jude’s Hospital.

Molly underwent a second stem cell transplant there Jan. 30, with doctors harvesting her mother’s bone marrow as part of an experimental treatment protocol.

The return of the disease last November, following Molly’s first transplant in 2011 at B.C. Children’s, devastated the Campbells. But it has helped their youngest child to have the entire family together, Dave said.

“The (three oldest) kids go to school from nine to three every day, so they get a bit of an escape,” he said.

“But it’s hard to focus on the day-to-day when you’re always – in the back of your mind – waiting for the other shoe to drop. Our lives change in an instant, depending on the results we get on these tests.”

The Campbells will find out in the coming days if this latest treatment is showing signs of success.

In the meantime, friends back home are organizing a silent auction for tomorrow (March 2) to ease some of the financial strain of living in the U.S.

“The family said they needed prayers, but it’s a couple of months down the road now,” said auction organizer Amanda Turner. “There just wasn’t anything else we could do except raise money.”

Turner has collected more than 80 auction items, including beauty products, gift certificates, Rifflandia music festival passes and even a box suite from the Victoria Royals.

While the Campbells won’t be back in Victoria for at least the next eight months, they said the many messages of support they receive are what keep them sustained.

“This is a huge undertaking and we never thought we’d be in this situation,” Dave said.

“For people to step up again, so that we can stay together as a family, is just incredible.”

Molly’s fundraiser takes place at Koffi café, 1441 Haultain St., from 2 to 5 p.m., March 2.

To read regular updates from the Campbells, visit mollycampbell.ca.

dpalmer@vicnews.com