"Despite the best care and management, complications hang over her like a dark could," Mr. Cason said. "Every day is a battle of diet, exercise and countless finger pricks, insulin shots and carefully measured meals.
"She has taught me many valuable lessons, like not taking life for granted and to enjoy every moment of good health. I am truly amazed at Molly's bravery and tenacity."
Mr. Cason said he is working to help raise funds and awareness "to make sure the issues that affect diabetes research are clearly understood.
"I'm participating in this year's Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ride to Cure Diabetes," he said, that will take place in Monterey, California from May 29 through June 1.
"I will bike the 62-mile route," he explained, while other bicycle riders can choose routes of shorter or longer lengths.
Mr. Cason has put together a team of three riders from New England.
"We will be riding in Molly's honor," he said, and the goal of each rider is to raise at least $3,000 in sponsorships for diabetes research that aims to find a cure.
"The real cure is when people are no longer insulin-dependent," said Mr. Cason, who is legislative chairman of the board of the Central Connecticut and Western Massachusetts chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. "Insulin is just an interim step," he said.
His participation in the race "isn't just for Molly," he emphasized. "It's for everyone. We're hoping that with this work the JDRF is doing, there will be a cure in Molly's lifetime."
In people with diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin. "Until there's a way of rejuvenating islet cells in the pancreas," he said, a cure will be beyond reach.
Diabetes is an immune deficiency disease that effects 17 million people, and juvenile diabetes is surfacing at younger and younger ages, and can affect children as young as 18 months-old, he said.
The disease has the potential to slowly damage the heart, kidneys, nerves, eyesight and circulatory system and shorten life expectancy, according information from the JDRF.
The cause may be hereditary, he said, or may have possible bacterial origins. In Molly's case, she spiked a high fever in the weeks before her diagnosis was made.
Mr. Cason's efforts continue to maintain his daughter's health.
"Although she looks healthy, it's that battle with the numbers that's occurring on the inside," he said. Presently, her blood sugar levels are down.
"If she gets too low, she would go into a diabetic coma," he explained. "If they're too high, we're in the 'trouble zone.'
Mr. Cason, whose wife Tara died this past October, looks to children Kate, 11, and Nicholas, 4, for support as well as to Molly's school, St. Mary Magdalen in Oakville.
"The support at St. Mary Magdalen School has been fantastic," he said, and Molly keeps medical supplies at school and is monitored by the school nurse.
At the present time, Mr. Cason can better manage his daughter's blood sugar levels by means of injections, rather than by using the newly developed pump system that requires constant 24-hour monitoring.
Bringing their yellow Labrador Abby into the family has helped reduce stress levels, Mr. Cason said, and allow Molly to exercise more.
The little girl also does her part to encourage research efforts. This past year, she participated in the JDRF International Conference in Washington, D.C., telling her story on Capitol Hill and asking for continued federal support.
And she is busy raising sponsorship for the upcoming bicycle race in Monterey.
"My friends and I took all the flyers and went door to door on a few streets in our neighborhood," Molly said. "We raised $100."
"We've had a great response," her father agreed.
Those who wish to make a pledge to the Ride to Cure Diabetes can mail checks payable to JDRF to Rich Cason, P.O. Box 701 Watertown 06795 or email him at email@example.com.