11-year-old’s fight against brain cancer inspires Baylor running back to greatness
Jen Martinsen, BBA ’88, MSEd ’90, played volleyball at Baylor from 1985-88. Her daughter, Molly, was the program’s biggest fan until she succumbed to brain cancer in May 2012 at age 11 after a yearlong battle. While Molly was fighting the disease, the volleyball team became her biggest fans, visiting her in the hospital, including her in team activities, even dedicating a match to her.
Molly’s courageous story continues to inspire those who hear it. Last week, Baylor running back and Heisman Trophy candidate Lache Seastrunk described to 1660 ESPN how her fight has become motivation and inspiration for him (note his wristband in the picture above):
“[Mrs. Martinsen] told me her story in Death and Dying [a class at Baylor], and ever since then, I’ve re-evaluated my entire life. … I know now that I can get through anything. When people tell me I can’t achieve my goals, I laugh and think of Molly, because Molly’s spirit is always gonna be with me. … They told Molly she would never walk again, talk again, eat again. She was in a wheelchair for a day, and she told her mom, ‘Mom. I can’t be in this wheelchair no more.’ So she learned how to walk again, talk again, eat again. She did that after people told her she could not do it.
“So when people tell me I can’t achieve my goals, when people tell me I can’t win the Heisman, that’s funny to me, because Molly never said no, so why should I say no? It’s funny when they tell me Baylor can’t win the Big 12 Championship. Why not? Molly never said no. Why should we? It’s funny when people say we can’t go to the national championship, and people laugh at us, but I know in my mind that Molly’s like, ‘Y’all can. You can. I never said no; why should you?’ So every single day, I wake up with that conviction. … I know every single time I step on the field that I’m gonna do great things for my team. … I go on the field every single time with the swagger in my heart that nobody can stop me, and I mean that. Because I’ve got the power of Molly on my side.”
Sic ’em, Molly; may your story ever inspire!