Lily Walker: A Story of Resilience and Hope

After being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2019, Lily Walker, a 17 year-old student at Haverford High School, hopes to make a difference in the lives of others by sharing her story.


Ryan McLaughlin, Contributor

On January 26, after a weekly school mass, Lily Walker courageously shared the lessons she learned from her ongoing battle with cancer with the entire Malvern community.

“I know I have an important message to tell people…I hope [sharing my story] can make a difference in people’s lives,” Walker said. 

Mrs. Catania, Director of Christian Service, explains that so many in the Malvern community, herself included, were extremely touched by Lily’s story of strength and perseverance. 

“In beautiful ways, Lily has touched so many lives of the seven hundred boys here. I have received numerous emails, text messages, and phone calls from students and parents saying that they were truly inspired by her story,” Catania said. 

Catania further explains the personal impact that Lily’s story has had on her.

“As a mom, we all want to raise faith-filled kids…I believe that [faith] journey with my own kids is important and [her journey] has really touched my heart,” Catania said. 

Another parent faculty member, Mr. Koenig, shares how he was touched by Lily’s story. 

“[As a parent], when you witness another kid going through something and you think of your own kids, it’s really upsetting,” Koenig said. 

As the cross country and track coach, Koenig also shares his thoughts in regard to Lily mentioning her athletic career as a runner being interrupted by treatment.

“We have a responsibility as a community of runners…[we will] support and encourage her in any way that we can.”

Speaking at Malvern was the first time that Lily has shared her story on a large scale; however, she was never intimidated by the size of the crowd because she knows that she has an important message for the world. 

“I was proud to show Malvern what strength can look like,” Walker said. 

Next Month, Lily will be sharing her story with the Villa Maria Academy community. While her audience may be different than that of Malvern, her message remains consistent. 

“One thing I want people to take away is to be kind to everyone. You never know what people are going through. I look like a typical 17-year-old. No one would know that I am battling brain cancer. Just be nice. It should be that simple,” Walker said. 

The Malvern community will continue to support and pray for Lily as she shares her inspiring story with the world and perseveres to fight hard on her cancer journey.