When Claire and Nick Mracek’s 3-year-old daughter, Millie, had unresolved swelling on one side of her face, doctors ordered an MRI. The diagnosis was an embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue childhood cancer at the base of her skull that wrapped around nerves controlling her facial features.
The news was not all grim. Although there is no cure, treatment options include aggressive chemotherapy and proton radiation for the 46 children who are diagnosed every day in the U.S.
Millie proved to be a warrior and wore her tutu and Mighty Millie cape to every treatment. The only thing she craved was in short supply: popsicles.
The Mraceks immediately began filling the freezers on the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Scottish Rite in Millie’s honor. “We wanted to have something for kids to look forward to when they came for treatment.” says Claire.
To raise funds and get kids involved, the Mraceks established the Mighty Millie Popsicle Project where kids set up stands. To date, they’ve donated more than 21,000 popsicles to 16 pediatric hospitals in the Southeast, including CHOA. They also established The Mighty Millie Foundation to raise money for research, and scores of businesses have donated a portion of their proceeds to the nonprofit.
Although Millie’s treatments were going well, she died Feb. 8, 2021.
MIGHTY MILLIE POPSICLE PROJECT
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