Cancer Didn’t Keep Abby Down
Abby is 11 years old. She loves to play soccer. And she is fighting Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
We’ve related lots of stories from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over the years. Why do we keep introducing you to patients and their stories? Because even when our annual radiothon is over, children continue to battle catastrophic pediatric diseases when they should be enjoying life.
Abby is one of those children. She started playing soccer when she was four years old. As a goalie, she works hard to keep the other team from scoring.
She embraces the action in the game because when she’s on the field she doesn’t have to think about her cancer at all. “It made me feel very strong to be out there and play,” she says.
The cancer Abby has is by her lungs, squeezing them so it is difficult for her to breathe. “I kept playing because my team needed me and I didn’t want to let them down,” Abby says.
When she found out that she had the disease, she was scared. It feels like life is going on without me, she says.
Before she lost her pretty brown hair, it was shoulder length with blond streaks going through it. But after she found out she had cancer, she went to the barber and had her head shaved.
The barber thought she was crazy at first and everyone else thought it would be devastating for her to lose her hair. But optimist that she is, Abby was very excited to lose her hair. She wanted it to come out right away so she could sport a black wig.
Before being taken to St. Jude, Abby had always seen the hospital’s commercials and never dreamed she would be part of the St. Jude family. Once there, however, Abby was happy to be there and her fear slipped away.
Initially, no one knew if Abby would survive. But St. Jude meant a cure for her cancer. The hospital’s dedicated staff gave her hope and now she is so grateful for all the help she received at St. Jude.
Today, Abby is doing well and looks forward to playing soccer for many years to come. She’s involved in the drama program at school and is learning Spanish. But she is also serving as a spokesperson for the hospital so she can help other children overcome the scary diseases that threaten their lives too.
Won’t you join the St. Jude family? Become a Partner In Hope and with only $20 a month, you can help save the lives of children like Abby, providing them hope during their darkest moments.