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Although Abby loves unicorns and My Little Pony, that doesn’t stop her from hunting for bugs or playing with legos. She can be shy, but her compassionate spirit has helped her gain the support of people like her best friend, Mattie. She is an incredibly strong and brave 9-year-old who, despite battling cancer, often smiles and tells her mom about how she loves her life.
In the fall of 2017, Abby was having trouble focusing at school. Her parents suspected she had ADHD, but by March, she was experiencing headaches so severe she would vomit. Their pediatrician referred them to a neurologist who was hardly concerned. The pediatrician sent them to the emergency room for a CT scan, just to be safe, and the results were life changing. Abby was diagnosed with medulloblastoma.
Doctors removed Abby’s brain tumor immediately. Unfortunately, surgery cost her control over her right hand and caused worsened balance and coordination. Abby gained a spirit of perseverance though, and learned to write with her left hand. Her treatment has been a long and exhausting road, filled with 31 rounds of brain and spinal radiation, 16 rounds of vincristine chemo, eight rounds of inpatient chemotherapy, losing her hair five times, and nearly a full year without school. Still, Abby’s bravery and strength never failed her.
Abby’s mom, Deborah, dreams of seeing her daughter cancer-free and leading a more normal life. She hopes that Abby will always have caring friends by her side and that one day she will get to fulfill her dreams of owning an animal rescue sanctuary. Abby is her family’s hero because she has shown them a strength they never knew they had. Deborah believes her daughter is the embodiment of everything beautiful in the world. Her heart of gold and love for all living things has allowed her to be a candle in some very dark times.
Deborah wants other cancer families to know that they are never alone. There are plenty of resources out there, and it’s okay to ask for that help. She believes that reaching out to other childhood cancer parents and standing by one another can make a big difference. “We need to be the voice for change,” she says.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has given Abby’s family hope for safer treatments and a future cure. They have drawn strength from ALSF in the past and now take comfort in the fact ALSF’s funding is changing the research game. They continue to dream that, one day, no parent will have to suffer the loss of their child to cancer. In the words of Abby’s brother, Zach, “I know she will be okay because that is the only outcome I will accept.”
Hero Quote: “I love my life. Cancer sucks, but my life is beautiful.” – Abby
Information provided by Deborah Sieb, Abby’s mom
Updated July 2020
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