Valley siblings celebrate anniversary of life-saving liver donation

- Twelve years ago, Molly wasn't sure if she'd still be here today.

Molly was a young mom, battling a rare form of liver cancer. At first, she decided on having 85 percent of her liver removed, along with a tumor found by doctors.

"I had never met anyone before that had a transplant before, so I just was totally ignorant to the topic," she said.

"When the whole liver was taken out, (it) was measured very accurately and was 10 centimeters long, so without the transplant... Molly wouldn't be here," said Dr. Esther Little, who's a transplant hepatologist at the Banner-University Medicine Transplant Institute.

Four years and one child later, the cancer returned, putting Molly back into surgery. Then in 2006, Molly's cancer had grown back for a third time.

With her life at risk, Molly and Dr. Little knew a liver transplant was the only way. That's when her younger brother, Zach, stepped in.

Zach was her best match and her last hope.

"I don't think it's anything anyone else wouldn't have done, but we've always been close ever since we were little kids," Zach Lichlyter said. "This was something that came about and it wasn't something that was expected, but it was something that we didn't have to think twice about."

"Molly has a family that she would not have had if it wasn't for him," Dr. Little said. "I think it's significantly more than just that... Molly would not be here if it was not for Zach."

Molly has been cancer-free ever since and on days, especially like this one, Zach is happy to still have her at his side.

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