If Molly does get to play in a game, it's likely that Ben Sudduth will be sitting in the bleachers cheering her on. Sudduth, whose own daughters Mallory and Megan attend WCS with Molly and her sister Emily, donated the kidney that's now working inside Molly.
Sudduth has been a volunteer firefighter and EMT for decades, and is currently captain of the Westport Emergency Squad. He still remembers a call to the Rascoe home when Molly suffered seizures from her illness in August 2009. He said that after years of focusing on just keeping people alive and getting them to the hospital, "I'm grateful that now I've had a real chance to actually fix somebody."
"For the rest of my life, I'm going to feel good about doing this," he continued. "I highly recommend that people think about becoming a donor."
People are born with two kidneys, he pointed out, but only need one. Studies have proven that kidney donors are just as healthy and live just as long as those who keep both kidneys.
"There's thousands of sick young people waiting for kidneys. Most anyone can do this," he said.
He urged those interested to call Kate Devine, Fletcher Allen's pediatric transplant coordinator, at (802) 847-4291.
The day before the transplant, the school and the community gathered in the school gym for an emotional send-off hosted by Molly's fellow seniors. Each elementary class presented Molly with a "Get Well Soon" card, and well-wishers had a chance to express public appreciation for Ben Sudduth's selfless act.
Molly's cause was taken up by a number of local organizations, including the Christopher Emmet Hallowell Fund, the Adirondack Polo Club, the Pull Tabs for Molly campaign, the Westport Education Association, and the Westport Fire Department and Emergency Squad. In Vermont, Molly and her family benefited from the assistance of Ronald McDonald House and Child Life of Vermont Childrens' Hospital.
"First and foremost, we're so grateful to Ben," Brad Rascoe said after Molly was home. "We've had such strong support from the whole community, and he was the icing on the cake. Molly's attitude from the beginning has been that she just did what she needed to do. But with the tremendous amount of support that we've received from people in Westport and neighboring communities, that made it so much easier."