The Mary Elizabeth “Molly” English Fund  |  Established 2015

Sandra English does not want her daughter Molly to be forgotten.

Mary Elizabeth English, nicknamed Molly, was born in 1967. As a child she had a head of dark curls, large eyes, and a doll’s face that drew comments from strangers and friends alike. She was their first child, and she was beautiful.

A few weeks after her birth, Molly began having seizures. Despite a litany of tests in the coming weeks and specialist visits in the coming years, no one was able to diagnose her condition or her future.

Molly smiled when someone blew on her face or laughed when she heard certain noises. She learned to roll over and reach up, moments of pure joy for her parents. But she never sat up on her own, talked, crawled, or ate by herself.

Shortly after age 2, she started refusing food, and her health slowly declined. She died when she was 7 years old.

Sandra English wants Molly’s memory to live on and the Fund in her name to inspire hope. The Mary Elizabeth English Fund, administered by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, intends to bring comfort to the families of special needs children through support of nonprofits that provide therapeutic activities, respite care, schools, camps, and adaptive technology.

“I just hope,” Sandra English says, “that [the Fund] will make some parent and child happier. Give them something to look forward to. Ease their suffering a little bit.

“I just don’t want her to be forgotten,” the mother continues. “I want her to live on. And I want the kids and my grandchildren not to forget her … and for other parents to see that bad things happen, but you can pull yourself out of it, over a period of time. It takes time.”

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