Sentara Lake Ridge drug take back signals a new beginning for one family
The annual event helps properly dispose of prescription drugs, but it also served as a milestone for one teen
*As shared by the Barcalow family
When Sentara team members volunteered for the annual Drug Enforcement Agency’s Take Back event at Sentara Lake Ridge, they couldn’t have imagined the moving, emotional experience they would witness that day.
Residents had been dropping off unused and expired prescriptions throughout the morning. It had been a typical day for volunteers, that is, until the Barcalow family pulled into the parking lot.
For the Barcalows, this simple event was monumental. It marked the ending, and the beginning of something larger, than all of them.
You see, the Barcalows’ daughter, Molly, had been diagnosed with hypodiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia, an extremely rare form of childhood cancer, in August 2014. Instead of starting her freshman year of high school, Molly started cancer treatments. Doctors told the family, her only chance of survival was a bone marrow transplant. After the entire family was tested, doctors found her older brother was a perfect match. After four months of intense chemotherapy, numerous spinal taps & biopsies, and eight rounds of full body radiation, Molly had her bone marrow transplant in December 2014.
Molly missed her entire freshman year, but was determined to get caught up by taking summer classes the past three years. Currently, she’s a senior and will proudly graduate on time with the first graduating class of Colgan High School.
Saturday, Molly took what was left of her drugs from that period and triumphantly threw them in the bin, stopping to take pictures of her victory!
As the Barcalows’ pulled out of the parking lot, Molly declared, “Now, it’s officially over!”
The family says she knows that it will never be "officially" over. Childhood cancer treatments often times carry long term effects, but for now "it's officially over," and that’s enough to bring them hope and continue looking to the future.