Little Abby’s life has been dominated by one relentless adversary – cancer. The unfortunate child was diagnosed with leukemia at the tender age of four, and her chances of survival were initially estimated at a mere 20 percent. Abby’s mother, Patty, recalled the devastating moment, saying, “We were essentially told that she had no hope and that she would not survive.”
Over the following six years, Abby’s family spared no effort to support her and provide the best possible life amidst the challenging circumstances. She underwent a bone marrow transplant, endured rigorous chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and participated in experimental treatment programs.
“We surrounded her with love, fully aware that at any moment we could lose her,” shared Patty. “There were moments when we didn’t know if she would make it. She battled numerous life-threatening infections. All we could do was witness her fight and strive for recovery.”
Yet, one day, a glimmer of hope emerged in the family’s lives. Abby completed her treatments and enjoyed a beautiful year, relishing the experiences of a typical child. She attended school, joined football practice, and even became a member of the Girl Scouts. However, the following September brought a devastating blow – the cancer returned, more aggressive than ever.
“As difficult as the initial diagnosis was, this one tested every fiber of our being,” Patty expressed. “She became completely immobilized, experiencing excruciating pain with the slightest movement, and her speech dwindled.”
Desperate to save their daughter, Abby underwent another bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, just 15 days later, she was diagnosed with graft-versus-host disease, a condition where the transplanted bone marrow attacks the recipient’s tissues, causing harm. In the following month, Abby’s kidneys began to fail, necessitating intensive care.
Doctors informed her parents that if she did not receive dialysis within 48 hours, she would succumb to her condition. It was a heart-wrenching moment of farewell. “Doctors advised us to let her go. She was barely conscious for an hour each day,” Patty recounted. “We started preparing our other daughters for her imminent passing.”
Abby was transferred to an End-of-Life Care department, where her grandparents flew to bid their beloved grandchild a final farewell. Her parents found themselves facing the agonizing task of arranging their daughter’s funeral. Miraculously, after this ordeal, Abby entered remission and began receiving medication twice a day. Although her future and prognosis remain uncertain, her family maintains hope. They cherish each day as it comes, relishing every precious moment spent with their little girl.