September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 23, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Abby Smith. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Abby’s Fund.
Abby Smith’s Story:
Abigail Grace Smith (aka Abby) has been battling cancer for more than half her life. In mid February 2006, Abby developed balance issues which were not allowing her to walk without falling. On March 3, 2006, Abby was diagnosed with a golf ball size medulloblastoma brain tumor at the age of 23 months old. She had a 100% tumor resection on March 6, 2006. Unfortunately, Abby developed posterior fossa syndrome within days after surgery which caused her to lose most of her gross and fine motor skill capability for a period of time. Abby initially underwent 4 cycles of chemotherapy, 30 days of radiation and then 8 maintenance cycles of chemotherapy (21 days on, 7 days off).
She completed her treatment in late May, 2007. Abby began thriving and improving and was a picture of health. After a routine follow-up head and spine MRI on September 28, 2007, Abby was diagnosed with drop metastases in her spine in multiple places. She exhibited no symptoms. All of Abby’s MRI’s and spinal taps had been clear to date with no evidence of cancer since March 6, 2006. From October 2007-March 2008, Abby endured three cycles of high dose ICE chemotherapy and a cord blood and bone marrow stem cell transplant. Abby spent 50% of this time in the hospital. Abby went on to receive 25 cranial/spinal proton beam radiation treatments during late May/June 2008. She completed her relapse treatment on June 30, 2008. Only two small places remained on Abby’s spine which continued to improve or stay stable.
For eleven months, Abby was on a 14 day cycle of Accutane as a drug/maintenance therapy. She continued to get stronger and thrive during this time. Fifty one weeks post relapse treatment, Abby had a routine follow-up MRI. Unfortunately, her scan revealed a grape size tumor in her head and haziness in her spine. Two inconclusive spinal taps raised further concern. Again, Abby showed no symptoms. Abby has started a metronome chemotherapy regimen with four drugs that are currently being administered at home on July 20, 2009 as we battle this second relapse. Abby has mostly recovered from her posterior fossa syndrome. She still has gag reflex issues, speech and processing delays and is still physically impaired with her balance issues and inability to consistently walk unassisted. She has suffered hearing loss from all of her treatments. We are continuing to pray for a complete and total healing and recovery.
Since Abby’s cancer diagnosis, she has lived out the meaning of her middle name. Abby is one of God’s special children and has faced all of her hospitalizations, treatments and pricks and prods with such grace that can only come from above. She is a very determined little girl and a true fighter. Her big blue green eyes and her beautiful heartwarming smile connect you to her immediately. She enjoys playing with her baby dolls, her kitchen, sticker books, painting, arts and crafts, books, and board and card games. She is girly girl from head to toe, loving the color pink, bows, jewelry and painted nails. She loves her family with the most sincere affection and is happiest when we are all with her. Our Christian faith has been our stronghold throughout our journey with Abby.
About September & CURE’S Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time:
September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, CURE Childhood Cancer has committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime and put an end to this terrible disease through a special program CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time!
Please help us in our goal of raising $30,000 in the month of September while honoring special CURE kids each day of the month who have been affected by childhood cancer.
For more information, please click here.
About CURE Childhood Cancer:
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.
The founders, parents and a dedicated pediatric oncologist, joined forces to support laboratory research that would translate into immediate care for children with cancer.
Since that time, CURE has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting edge research at the Aflac Cancer Center Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine.
Through innovative programming, CURE also provides support for stricken families, providing them comfort and support during their time of devastating need.
Donate to Abby’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.