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CarMax drives Molly to the Magic Kingdom

By: Amanda Calzada, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Three-year-old Molly Easton didn’t have to see perfectly to see a dream of her family at Disney World. With the support of Make-A-Wish Foundation and CarMax in Roseville, her wish came true. CarMax associates chose to support a local charity in lieu of having the annual holiday party. Funds were allocated accordingly through a monetary donation of $2,500. The decision was mainly influenced by one CarMax associate who visited the Make-A-Wish Northern California chapter in Natomas. “Make-a-Wish struck everyone’s heart, especially when we heard Molly’s story,” said location General Manager John Stokes, who said the decision was “overwhelmingly” unanimous. Patrick Easton of Rocklin remembers Jan. 29, 2010 as the day that forever changed his family’s life. During his daughter’s 2-year-old check-up, the doctor noticed her left eye had a large “mass” in the retina. A specialist diagnosed the condition as retinoblastoma, a malignant tumor that usually affects children under age 5. “It (cancer) can affect anyone regardless of age, sex, race. You think of people getting cancer when they are older, not when they are 2 years old,” said Patrick Easton, who says his daughter should be doing activities like ballet and gymnastics instead of sitting in a hospital for six months. Although Molly is the cancer patient, her entire family faces the challenges of cancer. Her parents have had to take time off of work for Molly to receive costly treatment at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Through laser treatment, Molly had her eye removed. She also underwent surgery for her brain tumor. The stress affects her parents and her brother, Spencer. Shaunna Easton, Molly’s mother, describes her daughter as a girl of strength and also “the sweetest, tiniest, full-of-life little girl.” The Easton family went to Disney World from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, 2010. A region of the park is dedicated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and families. Molly said her favorite part of the trip was getting to meet the Disney princesses and fairies, especially Cinderella. Shaunna Easton said her family was treated like royalty. She described the trip as a family trip of a lifetime that she and her family will never forget. The vacation, however, was not all of the excitement. Molly and her parents were invited to CarMax on a December morning before the dealership opened where Molly was greeted by approximately 100 CarMax employees, Disney balloons, and Disney gifts. Patrick Easton remembers his shy daughter warm up to the people. Molly’s favorite gifts were a Disney suitcase and hat. “Sometimes it’s hard to express in words the gratitude our family feels for the blessings that have come our way,” Shaunna Easton said to CarMax employees. “But please know your kindness and generosity is appreciated beyond words.”