ROOMS TO THRIVE™ INSTALL DATE: APRIL 25, 2019 - MAY 1, 2019
Not more than just three months ago, Abbie was working on earning her bronze metal with her Girl Scout Troop. With a gentle spirit, and a big heart to help others, Abbie made contact with Rady Children’s Hospital, where she was planning out her initiative to help other children who needed it. Little did Abbie know that she would soon become one of those children.
Abbie was recovering from a horse-back riding accident when she began to experience dizzy spells. She had battled Periodic Fever Syndrome all of her life, which had caused her to spike frequent high fevers lasting several days. She had been tested for Leukemia when she was younger; However, results were always negative. On December 20, 2018, a visit to her pediatrician returned bloodwork results that would grip her world: Abbie was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Abbie’s mother was at home when she received the call from Abbie’s pediatrician. The information hit her like a blow to her chest. All Abbie remembers from that day was being told that she needed to go to the hospital to be checked. Since then, she has blocked out the memories of the moment that her parents tearfully broke the news to her in the hospital waiting room. When Abbie was taken back to the exam room, she was immediately given medication to help calm her while the medical team ran tests and collected x-rays and ultrasounds of her tiny body. Abbie had an adverse reaction to the medication, and began to panic. Several hours had gone by before Abbie was herself again. That same night, Abbie underwent a blood transfusion and the family would begin a 26-day stay at Rady Children’s Hospital. Later that week, Abbie would receive a bone marrow aspiration, a central line, and her first round of chemotherapy in her spine.
Abbie spent Christmas in the hospital lobby with her parents, her brother and sister, and her grandparents. She visited her family for 45 minutes before she was too tired to continue. During her stay at the hospital, Abbie experienced anger, confusion, and sadness over her complete loss of her independence. During that time, she kept in contact with her siblings and her friends in times of loneliness by making phone calls and writing letters. After a few consecutive rounds of chemotherapy, Abbie began to lose her hair, and was empowered to shave her head after her sister, Zoey, and a friend shaved theirs in support of the journey that was ahead. Abbie completed 7 rounds of chemotherapy before she was released from Rady Children’s, and she returned later that week for her 8th.
Currently, Abbie is home and thriving. She is looking forward to swimming this summer and going back to school where she can be with her friends again. Her battle is not quite over yet, as she will have two years of ongoing treatment; However, Abbie is incredibly courageous, and her family is optimistic. Throughout her journey to recovery, Abbie has learned to trust her treatment team and to "focus on the good things."
A Rooms to Thrive™ would give Abbie not only an opportunity to start a new life, but to design one. Abbie loves fashion and design and is looking forward to working alongside Carsyn Neille Foundation to build her dream space - a space where she can begin to work her way back to normalcy. A place where Abbie and her friends can pick up right where they left off and continue working on ways to bring a little hope to other children at Rady Children’s Hospital. Help us give Abbie a Rooms to Thrive™ by donating here today.