Abby was diagnosed with Wilm's Tumor on November 13, 2013. Wilm's is a cancer of the kidney that affects approximately 500 kids a year. We took Abby to the hospital thinking she had appendicitis. The CT scan showed a normal appendix but a large mass on her right kidney. It was 2 am on a Sunday morning when we were told she probably had Wilm's Tumor and we should go home and pack our things to be admitted to Kosair Children's Hospital the next morning. It felt like the earth stopped turning at that moment. She was admitted on Monday and on Wednesday her right kidney was removed and the diagnosis confirmed. One week later she had a port placed so she could begin chemotherapy and five days after that she received her first dose which made her very sick. She was readmitted in less than 48 hours for vomiting and dehydration. Even though the treatment for Wilm's Tumor is mild in comparison to other cancers, it turns out Abby is very sensitive and it took us a while to find the right medicines to help with the side effects of her chemo. Treatment will last 28 weeks and her last dose of chemo will be May 13.
Abby has been very healthy her whole life. She is smart, beautiful, funny and a natural leader. She has a big heart and is always available to help anyone who needs it. She loves school and was inducted into the Junior Beta Club just a few weeks prior to her diagnosis. She takes dance and spends her extra time at Sam Russell's Pet Provisions caring for dogs and cats. She wants to be a vet when she grows up. Since November, Abby has been homeschooled and will not return to school for the rest of 5th grade. She is not taking dance and has been unable to see her canine friends at Sam Russell's Pet Provisions. Despite all of this, Abby has a smile on her face most of the time. She is stronger than she ever knew. We all are.
No one is ever prepared for this news. We are so thankful for all of the people who have helped us on this journey and also all of the people who have helped to fund childhood cancer research. Not so many years ago, the news of a cancer diagnosis came with much less hope than it does today. Thank you for supporting Abby and the more than 300,000 kids worldwide who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By sharing the gifts of your time, talent and money with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, you're supporting research to give all kids with cancer a better chance for a cure. A little update for 2015...Abby has been cancer-free since May 2014. She is healthy, strong, beautiful, and my hero!