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Brightening Her Last Days / Nick Ehrhardt

Brightening Her Last Days

Molly Dunne (Delaware Online)We love hearing about people coming together to help a stranger out. So we were both delighted and saddened to hear the story of Flat Molly: saddened because the story ends in the death of a little girl, Molly Dunne, who died last week at just seven years old from pulmonary hypertension… but delighted by the hundreds who helped make her last days bright.

As Molly's illness worsened, a family friend came up with an idea, based on the popular Flat Stanley game, based on a popular children’s book series. A Flat Stanley is a paper cutout mailed around the globe, to be photographed in exotic locations and sent back, with photos, to an eager child who will learn a lot about the world and be tickled by all the places his Stanley visited.

Flat Molly is the Web 2.0 version, driven by the Miracles for Molly Facebook page rather than by snail mail. Friends and fans took Molly's photo with them – whether in a printout or on a smartphone or iPad – as they visited Mickey Mouse, graduated college, got dressed up for a school dance, went to Girl Scout camp, and more. Molly Dunne won't be able to do those things, but she was able to vicariously enjoy them through the many photos taken with her likeness in them and sent back for posting on her Facebook page. Even Miley Cyrus participated – a dream come true for a little girl.

Molly's family and friends were overwhelmed by the response, and they said some of Molly's happiest moments in her last days were when she was looking at all the photos in which she made appearances. The family hopes that as more people hear Molly's story, they'll raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension and encourage early diagnosis, making it easier to treat.

Even after Molly's death, the Facebook page continues to receive a flood of photos – now, from friends and strangers alike who are blowing bubbles to heaven for Molly.