Hartley Plyler continues to inspire those around her

Hartley now has a Facebook page that she uses as a place to encourage and inspire others.
Hartley Plyler
Hartley Plyler(Family photo)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 10:28 PM EDT
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ELLENBORO, N.C. (WBTV) - Hellllllooooooooooooo, Hartley Plyler.

We haven’t had a public update on this now 24-year-old since 2018. Lots has changed since then.

One of the biggest things for this longtime one of our #MollysKids is she graduated from the ClemsonLIFE program in 2018, and started living independently in an apartment near the school.

She and her dad were building a family donut business that was bound to be wildly popular and employ people of all types of abilities. (I say this after taste-testing all their donuts: they were delicious.)

Shortly after the pandemic began however, Hartley moved into a basement apartment in her parent’s home in Ellenboro (Rutherford County) and her parents had to put the donut shop on hold.

“We had no idea that her moving in would be a permanent change for all of us,” her dad, Charles, said. “But in October of 2020, Hartley started taking Erivedge, an oral chemotherapy for her basal cell carcinoma nevus syndrome (BCCNS).”

“Her being with us gave us the chance to care for her needs, as side effects were severe. Every month she’d travel to UNC Dermatology in Chapel Hill to meet with Dr. Jolly (picture below). There were difficult moments Hartley—like she always does—powered through.”

Hartley had to eventually stop that medicine because it was so severe. She has since switched from Erivedge to a topical chemo injected directly into the basal cells as they occur.

“These treatments have been successful, but only treat individual sites and not all of her cancer, as Erivedge did,” her dad said.

Another change since Hartley’s last update is that she had to have multiple teeth removed due to the BCCNS. In place of them, she got dental implants. Due to the pandemic and doctors not seeing patients—combined with Hartley’s history of jaw cysts—this was a long journey.

“Hartley endured many surgeries, bone grafts, and lots of coordination between doctors which paid off eventually,” Charles said. “The end result is a full set of teeth and beautiful smile.”

Beautiful, but expensive. And, medical and dental insurance didn’t cover them. That’s when Charles and his wife, Hartley’s mom, Lucy, made the hard decision to pause the donut business, so Charles could seek full-time employment to pay for Hartley’s needs.

You can see Hartley here on YouTube, as she sees her implants for the first time.

Hartley now has a personal blog on Facebook (find it at Hartley Plyler) that she uses as a place to encourage and inspire others. As sometimes Facebook can do, it has also done that in reverse for her. As she shares her life, she ends up being encouraged.

And who is this gorgeous companion dog you see with her in this photo, you might ask? Why that is Charles. He’s an Aussiedoodle who comforts Hartley and gives affection during the rough days.

“As we look back and reflect on what Hartley has done by sharing her journey, we realize her influence on others, and how others influence her,” her parents said. “One significant person who has helped and inspire Hartley over the years is a woman named Cathy Taylor. She recently retired from the Cleveland County Partnership for Children and has known Hartley for over twenty years.

“After retiring, Cathy started painting and selling intricate barn quilts as a hobby. She made one for Hartley. She used colors to represent the ribbons of her cancer: A Zebra stripe (representing rare disease) to represent basal cell carcinoma skin cancer and Clemson orange as the border.”

“When Cathy offered to make a barn quilt for Hartley, it was yet another example of Hartley touching someone’s life and them showing love and support for our daughter,” Charles said. “I just wanted to take a minute to say that we see this lesson play out all the time: How you treat others matters. We are so thankful for all who have helped through the years.”

Few more photos below in comments.

Looking great, Hartley. Thanks for the update.

#MollysKids

More photos of Hartley Plyler
More photos of Hartley Plyler(Family photo)

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