CREATED Dec. 3, 2013 - UPDATED: Dec. 3, 2013
In this season of joy and "giving thanks" for what we have one Wisconsin woman is cherishing each and every day. Her story and spirit for life continue to inspire others. That has turned into an "army of love."
Molly Fuglestad is a cancer warrior, and she has an army helping in her fight against breast cancer.. It's an army that's constantly growing, because it's hard not to be drawn to how Molly lives.
A mom and her kids enjoying one of our last nice autumn days at the park. A common sight unless you know the back story. Molly cherishes every second of these moments, but this takes a lot of effort and some days sheer will. "I can mask it pretty good. I'm pretty tired. Two-and-a-half years of straight chemo. That's tough. That's tough on your body," Molly told us.
Her life was turned upside down three years ago. "The lump was so huge I noticed it. It was golf ball sized." A flurry of tests and then a diagnosis, breast cancer. Molly was only in her early 30's. "That's less than one percent of the population at my age."
The good news, it was stage 2. Molly and her doctors hit the cancer hard. She had a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation. Six months later it was back and had spread. The cancer is now in Molly's bones. This time it's stage 4, treatable but terminal. "I know the bus is coming. I know the bus is going to hit me. So most people can walk across the street never knowing, but I know."
Living now for Molly is about being in the moment and creating memories. Her latest adventure with friends, creating a cookbook. "Friends with Forks" is a special project. All the money raised goes to Molly and her family. The e-book collection of recipes is a guide for families to get in the kitchen and make healthy meals. Fighting disease with a fork.
Molly's friend, Heather Ferber, calls it fighting disease with a fork. "I don't think people realize the power that they have on their plate."
Heather is a certified holistic health coach . This cookbook is a labor of love. "She has inspired me to eat well, live well, to love deeper to laugh more, spend more time with my family."
Molly also has a knack for inspiring strangers like Heidi Le Hew. This Madison woman crossed paths with Molly and her army at last spring's Kenny Chesney concert at Miller Park. Heidi sat behind Molly's group and heard some of Molly's story. Heidi wrote about the encounter on Facebook. It went viral, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel picked it up. Heidi is now part of Molly's army, another member in the fight against breast cancer.
"Hopefully I'm inspiring, hopefully I'm educating people along the way," Molly said. She's not expecting a miracle. Molly is too busy living in the present not wanting to miss even one moment of life.
Molly leaves nothing to chance and these days is tackling her bucket list. She has crossed off things like learning to shoot a gun and the Kenny Chesney concert. Now she has plans to travel with family and friends.