Last month, Molly Croft's defence helped guide her under 12s representative team to fourth at the state age titles.
Now the Dubbo community is being called on to defend her in her battle with osteosarcoma, a paediatric bone cancer.
More than $13,000 has already been raised to support the Croft family, who have given so much to Dubbo’s netball, basketball and rugby league communities.
Dubbo Netball Association registrar Kylie McKeown, who is also Molly’s representative team coach, said “everybody is still in a bit of shock”.
“But Molly’s personality, if you speak to her, she is a jokester,” she said.
“She’s loving, she’s kind, and she’s always the one that will put you at ease in any situation and that hasn’t changed.
“The Dubbo community and probably even wider have really gotten behind them … people’s generosity, I can’t thank them enough, and their kindness towards the Croft family, it is really overwhelming and much appreciated.”
Molly and her family – John and Ange and sister Maddie – have already relocated the 370 kilometres to the Ronald McDonald House at Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital, where Molly faces 10 weeks of chemotherapy before an operation, then more chemotherapy.
She is expected to spend at least six months undergoing treatment, with the Crofts leaving behind their jobs, school and, vitally, their support network.
But McKeown said they haven’t felt so far removed, thanks to the “phenomenal” flow of messages of “love, prayers and good thoughts” from back home.
“Netball, basketball and football have really rallied around them and decided we need to support them during this journey,” McKeown said.
“I really want to thank Dubbo,” she said.
“They have really been … supportive of John and Ange in what they need to do for the next 27 weeks.
“And Molly is really positive so that’s a good thing. The messages are getting through to her and she’s loving that.”
To help support the Croft family, click here.
Funds raised will assist in covering the Crofts’ accommodation, medical and household expenses so they can focus their energy on Molly’s health.
Alternatively, people can donate to Ronald McDonald House.