Cool Kid Molly Ondich sends care packages globally to kids battling illnesses

UPLAND, Calif. (KABC) -- This week's Cool Kid is Molly Ondich, who brings comfort to those coping with chronic illnesses by sending them personal care packages.

Exactly one year ago, Molly started sending out personal gifts to patients to help them get through difficult times. And now, she's closing in on 200 packages being mailed out worldwide.

One package Molly put together was for a young Pennsylvania girl battling a chronic illness. Molly took the time to include items that the girl can use for her feeding tube.

Every item is handpicked all the way down to a crocheted hair bow. The 14-year-old then mails them out through her non-profit, Molly's Mail.

"When you're born with something that you know isn't going to go away, it feels very isolating. It feels like no one understands you," Molly said.

Molly knows this feeling firsthand. She was diagnosed with EDS, a rare genetic illness affecting her connective tissue which has led to countless doctor visits and physical therapy sessions.

"We have constant joint dislocations, which as you can imagine is very painful. So we have to do physical therapy to strengthen our joints," she said.

"It's been difficult, and our journey is not always easy," said Molly's mother Heidi Ondich. "So when Molly came up with the idea to start Molly's Mail, I couldn't think of a better way to take the lemons that she's been given and turn it into lemonade."

She makes each care package personal for anyone of any age dealing with a serious illness or disability who contacts her through the Molly's Mail Facebook or Instagram pages.

"So we get everything from childhood cancer, people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome to people with cystic fibrosis," she said. "And we try to include items that bring comfort and don't take a lot of energy to use."

The Upland teen has tracked all 192 deliveries so far around the world. All are sent with a handwritten card from the heart.

"I want you to know that you are never alone in your fight," Molly writes to her recipients she calls "chronic illness warriors."
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