Published in the September 20, 2017 edition

LYNNFIELD HIGH SCHOOL senior Molly Malone brought the house down while skating in the 47th annual An Evening with Champions last weekend. Malone skated to Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” during the show. (Steve Gilbert Photo)


LYNNFIELD — What a difference a year makes.

Last year, Lynnfield High School senior Molly Malone watched the ice skating show An Evening with Champions as a spectator in a wheelchair while recovering from chemotherapy treatment that was needed following her diagnosis with Ewing’s Sarcoma in January 2016. Last weekend, Malone strapped on her ice skates and participated in the show in order to raise money for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“It was overwhelming in a great way,” said Malone in an interview with the Villager. “It felt great to be out on the ice and performing in front of an audience once again, especially for the Jimmy Fund.”

Nukhet Malone, Molly’s mother, agreed.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said Nukhet. “She did a great job and got the most applause out of all of the skaters. She brought the house down.”

An Evening with Champions is a public charity non-profit committee that raises money for the Jimmy Fund as part of an effort to fight cancer. Founded at Harvard University in 1970, An Evening with Champions presents an annual world-class figure skating exhibition at the Bright Hockey Center in Allston. The exhibition features national and Olympic figure skaters, and has raised $2.8 million over the past 47 years.

Malone, who has been ice skating since she was four, was asked about participating in the event by one of the committee members who organize the show. She was the only cancer survivor to participate in the 47th annual An Evening with Champions.

“I said of course because it’s such a great show,” said Malone.

Malone skated to Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” during An Evening with Champions.

“I always liked that song, but after last year it developed a new meaning for me and I decided to skate to it,” said Malone.

Malone had to tailor her skating routine during the show because she is still dealing with the effects of a broken ankle she suffered in the spring.

“I wasn’t able to jump, but I was able to spin,” said Malone. “It was a lot of fun.”

Malone said it felt great performing on the ice again.

“I want to inspire people to live boldly,” said Malone. “I have seen up close from meeting kids involved with the Jimmy Fund that life is short, and that you should spend every day doing what you love.”

Malone’s oncologist attended the event. At the end of the performance, Malone took the microphone and said to him, “thank you for saving my life.”

“It was such a powerful moment,” said Nukhet.

Malone was pleased to report she is still in remission. “I feel great,” she said.

“We are so proud of how far Molly has come in this past year,” said Nukhet. “And we are so proud of her for using her passion for figure skating to give back to the Jimmy Fund.”

Malone’s participation in An Evening with Champions wasn’t the only time she has been involved with helping raise money for Dana-Farber recently. Last month, she shared her story on the WEEI/Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. She talked of how she loved playing the ukulele and attending spring training with the Boston Red Sox. A poster of Malone was also displayed in area cinemas in order to raise awareness about the Jimmy Fund.

When asked by WEEI what changed since she was diagnosed with cancer, Malone said, “there is obviously a physical change, but there is an emotional change of me having ownership of my life again and returning back to my normal life to what it was before I got sick.”

After missing the first day of school last year, Malone is back at Lynnfield High School for her last hurrah as a senior.

“It’s been good,” said Malone. “I am starting to look at colleges.”

While Malone is gearing up for the college search process, she said she wants to work in the fashion industry.

“I have always loved fashion,” said Malone. “When I was sitting in my hospital bed, I would watch fashion shows and I would come up with sketches of my own designs. It was my outlet while I was in the hospital, and I just found a lot of comfort in it while I was able to escape to that world.”