Tennessee Warrior: Molly Claire, age 11

DETERMINED, happy, energetic


Video by Tate Kennedy

Congratulations, Molly Claire!

Tennessee Recipient - Molly.jpg

Molly Claire isn’t waiting on anyone to give her a nudge toward pursuing her dreams. At age 11, she’s working hard in pursuit of her dreams of being a University of Tennessee cheerleader and cupcake bakery owner. She takes three different dance plus cheer tumbling classes every week. Fitness is fun for Molly Claire. Water skiing, tubing, swimming, softball, soccer, basketball - she’s tried it all and loves to be active.

Because Molly Claire is oldest of four children, she is a leader, a helper and refuses to let cystic fibrosis slow her down. However, she doesn’t miss treatments, so there have been times that being tethered to her vest has limited her mobility and social life. “Her heavy equipment is difficult for a slumber party and it would be especially difficult to attend cheer and sports camps as she grows older,” said Molly’s nominator.

Molly Claire’s family makes space at home for her treatment equipment and lugs it along to go to the river when time allows. Treatment is a priority, but so is family time. “The AffloVest would improve not only her quality of life, but that of her entire family.”

After her selection for the AffloVest, and a couple of calls to the University of Tennessee, magic for Molly Claire was in the making. The Tennessee Vols spirit of giving kicked in and they began planning a day that she and her entire family would remember for the rest of their lives!

When Molly Claire learned that she would be a Legacy Project recipient AND she would be an honorary member of the University of Tennessee Spirit Team for a day, she said “it was like being on a sugar high!”

Molly Claire’s Legacy Day - Vols honorary cheer team member

The Legacy Foundation, AffloVest, American Airlines and the Joyce Family Foundation teamed up with the University of Tennessee to make a memorable day for Molly Claire and her family. The whole family loves the University, so being on campus was special in itself. But, UTK didn’t stop there. They decked Molly Claire out in her own cheer uniform, taught her a cheer, and the cheer team performed with her at a baseball game that night. Throughout the day the family spent time on the football field, met Coach Phillip Fulmer in the Peyton Manning room, visited the specially decorated rock and toured the campus. The whole family went home with all kinds of gear, professional photos and unending smiles.

On the baseball field, Colton presented Molly Claire her AffloVest and the crowd cheered while she performed with the cheer team.

Special thanks to our friend Cindy Joyce, both an alum of the University and a Legacy Project sponsor, for helping us ensure a very special day. Thanks to the University team of amazing staff and students who paid attention to every single detail to ensure Molly Claire and her family felt welcome and special. We are all fans for life - Go Vols!