Molly and Lucy McCabe would pretend to shop together, just a six year old and her three-year-old sister looking for the clothes and toys they wanted and finding joy even though they didn't own those things. It was the first thing Molly thought of when Philadelphia Union asked her what she did for fun.
Both Molly and Lucy were part of the Fearless 43, a group of children fighting childhood cancer that Philadelphia Union has been working with to raise awareness during Kick Childhood Cancer month. On Tuesday morning, Lucy passed away, and as word of the news has traveled throughout the Union organization, from the Community Relations team that worked with her to find out what she wanted to draw on athlete's cleats, to the entire front office, and then to the players and coaches, all have reacted with shock and sadness that Lucy is no longer with us.
Union players have chosen to honor Lucy by wearing her initials on their pre-match warm-up tops when they travel to face New York Red Bulls this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Alejandro Bedoya also requested that his armband bear Lucy's initials.
Lucy's art, a star that she and Molly created together, was featured on both Alejandro Bedoya's and Marco Fabian's cleats. Bedoya risked a league fine by wearing the cleats during the Union's match against LAFC on September 14, one of the biggest regular season games in Union history. Afterward, he wrote on Twitter, "This past weekend I wore these custom cleats in support of Pediatric Cancer. They were designed by kids who are impacted by Childhood Cancer. These kids are such an inspiration through the actual adversity that they and their families face."
The sisters chose to draw a star because everybody that has cancer is a star.
Lucy's love of soccer was that of a three-year-old. It was about the joy of kicking a ball and watching it roll away, only to have someone else return it so she could do it again. Her love of the Union was also that of a young child. She adored Phang, though as Molly emphasized earlier this year, "She likes him from a far distance." Lucy smiled in agreement.
When the Union met with Lucy, Molly, and their mother Mandy, Lucy felt shy, but when she locked eyes with her sister a smile suddenly rose to her lips. Molly's attachment to her sister was strong and beautiful, and whenever she spoke of her favorite activities they involved Lucy. When they weren't shopping, Molly found joy in Lucy's renditions of Baby Shark and Let It Go, the breakout hit song from the movie Frozen.
We put Lucy on the spot and asked her to sing for us, but she offered a giggling refusal. Instead, from her mother's lap, she leaned over and joyfully shushed Molly with her finger.
Molly leaned forward and asked again, "Sing Let It Go!"
Lucy, eyes bright, reached out again and booped her sister on the nose.
"She cracks me up when she sings them," Molly shrugged.
Along with helping Lucy draw a star, Molly herself drew a heart. We asked why.
"Lucy likes to answer this question," she said. Lucy became excited but didn't speak. "Because we have a lot of love for our friends," her mother smiled.
Then Lucy spoke up: "Mini Mouse kissed my nose!"
We loved working with Lucy, Molly, and Mandy, and everyone at the Union is heartbroken that Lucy is gone. The brief time we shared with her was wonderful and memorable, and we send all our love and thoughts to the entire family.