She continues to laugh and spread her joy!

In Abbigail’s mind, there is always laughter to be had and smiles to be shared.

Today she beamed down the halls of the hospital, waving to the many staff she has come to know and cherish; the cafeteria cook and cashier, the pharmacy assistant, the coffee shop ladies who keep mama awake and the ultrasound techs who took care of her baby cousin. She was such a proud big girl today, showing off her baby cousin and ensuring he knows his way around CHEO. While he was meeting his new doctors and having his first CHEO experience, she was doing routine central line maintenance, having her lines “unclogged” and blood work drawn for her weekly virology tests.

She doesn’t understand the details behind her diagnosis, she doesn’t know anything different than the multiple weekly visits to CHEO, treatments, surgeries, “sleepy time” (anaesthetic) and clinics. Abbigail is blessed with the naivety of a baby, not understanding why strangers are intruding in their personal space, but knowing their parents will keep them safe. Abbigail is still very much like her 4 month old baby cousin today, even at the beautiful age of almost five. She doesn’t know that she has a rare and incurable disease for which she has battled for three years and continues to. She doesn’t realize that the “medicine” that saved her life twice already, received through her central lines, aka “tubies,” is in fact chemotherapy and that it could cause future, secondary cancers, and life long, sometimes detrimental side effects. Abbigail is graced with a certain ignorance despite having her innocence robbed from her three years ago.

Tomorrow she will walk back into CHEO to have her liver scanned. It shouldn’t be long before we have more information and before we have a plan forward…something to cling onto and pray for.

Please keep her in your prayers tomorrow morning and envision a “healthier” liver for our princess. She deserves to register for kindergarten and not have to withdraw again this year.

Thank you everyone for all of the support!

Walls, Frustrations & Fears

We are so blessed; so thankful for all of your support, prayers, kind words and generosity!!!

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/relief-for-abbigail-s-brave-journey-through-cancer-oms/211166/update/222890

This part of our journey is proving harder emotionally and financially than I could have ever imagined…it’s only the beginning.

Barely even a week has gone by here in Toronto and already Abbigail has been through so much…too much. Upon admission, her UTI was discovered to be resistant to her current antibiotics, a change was made to her meds but that didn’t change the fact that her OMS was already running rampage in her body and to her brain. She was experiencing coordination and balance challenges as well as ataxia. These symptoms were somewhat alleviated as the days passed on IV antibiotics and Abbigail was able to play with her new friend and fellow transplant buddy! On top of her OMS, Abbigail’s CVL (implanted line for IV) was not working and had to be x-rayed before fate decided she required a new line and it was pulled out during a fall on our routine morning walk through the halls.

On top of these issues, we were told we were being discharged to Ronald McDonald with oral antibiotics until her UTI is dealt with. Sounds great right!?! Not really. This means that Abbigail has just “forfeited” her transplant spot at SickKids, the very place where the one and only phisician who accepted Abbigail’s case practices. For Abbigail this could be life altering. We have not only uprooted and made huge changes to our family’s life, but Abbigail has no more options. This is experimental however it is all we’ve got and Matthew and I pushed through and fought long and hard to find someone who would help us! Now we may lose this opportunity right now. This is a tough thing to swallow after all that she has been through and all that she will face if she does not get this chance.

I am trying to enjoy this time alone with Abbigail, make her happy and do things she loves while we can but we both miss Matthew and the boys and our family and I have a hard time not running scenarios through my mind constantly as we walk past all of the cancer hospitals, research bulletins and buildings downtown.
Today we had special visitors from home; her oncologist and interlink nurse paid us a visit at Ronald McDonald. This visit may have been short but it meant the world to me and Abbigail enjoyed the familiar faces! Thank you ❤️

We have some appointments scheduled this week and hope to hear from her doctor tomorrow regarding surgery, but in the meantime we will keep our blessings in sight and focus on them.

Please help me pray. Please help me beg! Our baby girl needs this and she needs this now.

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Abundant hope, faith restored & prayers answered

Abbigail is being honoured, supported and ultimately blessed in some of the most amazing and inspiring ways lately! There have been countless amazing people who have offered their support to our family and who have followed along with us as we go through this journey.  There have also been several generous and kind hearts that have gone above and beyond just support, they have taken time out of their lives to fundraise and help our family in big ways and for that we are eternally grateful.  There are also those rare few that truly have changed our lives.

For those of you who do not know, an 11-year old local girl, who was a stranger to our family just a few short months ago, took it upon herself to raise money for Kisses for Abbigail by holding her own fundraisers. She decided that she wanted to shave her head to recognize Abbigail’s fight, honour the children past, present and future who follow similar journey’s with Childhood Cancer and to help us raise much needed awareness. Her goal was to raise $1,000 before she braved the shave, and let me share with you that she has already surpassed that goal and we couldn’t be any more proud of her!

Chanelle’s Brave Shave started out as a huge idea in such a young but immense heart of a kind generous young lady, and now it has become so much more!

She and her family held a bake sale two weeks ago and it was far beyond anyone’s expectations. Everyone who helped went above and beyond and the overwhelming support of those who went out to the event was humbling. Because of the enormous hearts and generous supporters that helped the bake sale be a success, Chanelle and her family were inspired and wanted to do more. They held their annual Snowshoeing Evening at their property this past weekend and invited anyone who wanted to help their cause to join them and make a donation to Chanelle’s Brave Shave and they again fundraised for Kisses For Abbigail with heartwarming success. We can not thank this family enough and have no words to express our gratitude towards this amazing young lady! Chanelle really is a truly wonderful girl with so much heart to share!

Now with her impending big sacrificial head shave fast approaching, I can not help but feel nervous for her! I will be honest, I am not only floored that someone would go such lengths for OUR daughter, but that this is a young lady, of only 11-years old! We can’t imagine how difficult this would be for any woman, let alone a young lady! As Abbigail’s mother, someone who sees children fighting for their lives daily, who has grieved the loss of too many young fighters, this young lady’s sacrifice of her own long locks has not only inspired me, but has touched my broken heart in such a way, that I truly now believe in the power of prayers and the goodness of man kind. Chanelle you have changed me and I think you are going to change the world someday with your inspirational heart.

I hope as you read this, that you too are affected by her humble but immense gesture and that you feel compelled to show your support and make her feel as wonderful, beautiful and amazing as she truly is! On March 7th Chanelle will be shaving her head in front of family, friends and strangers to show her support for Abbigail and her fellow fighters.  She will be doing this I am sure with angst and fear but with strength and love.  Help me show her that she is doing something greater than she even knows or understands.  Please show her your support just as you have all these months for Abbigail because she truly deserves it for what she has done for our family and what she is doing for Abbigail and so many others.  Her brave shave is more than just a fundraiser for Abbigail, it is a true testament of the kindness and selflessness of humanity.  I have never felt comfortable with asking for support, let alone directly asking for financial help but to our family this fundraiser is more than that and we truly want to make Chanelle feel great about her decision and know what a huge impact she is having on our family and our daughter’s medical care.  This is no small feat for a young 11-year old, please help us show her that her sacrifice is priceless.  Donations need not be large, a small donation with a message of encouragement will help her see what an amazing person she is.

By following this link you will not only help Abbigail on her Brave Journey through Childhood Cancer and OMS but you will be showing Chanelle that she isn’t doing this alone!

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We understand that everyone has their own battles and their own financial burdens and we do not expect you to donate, your love, prayers and compassionate support is more than generous and abundantly appreciated, so if you feel you can’t make a contribution to Chanelle’s fundraising efforts, do not feel bad, instead please show her your support for her efforts and grand gesture by leaving her a message of encouragement or if you are local and can, please attend her Brave Shave on March 7th at 3:30pm at the Miramichi Lodge in Pembroke! Imagine her face and her fears melting away when she sees so many supporters.  My dream is to fill the place to capacity to let her know how much we absolutely appreciate what she has done and what she is sacrificing.

Abbigail’s supporters give our family hope with each new comment, message, prayer and donation that we do not necessary wake up with each morning.  Our faith in our community, our friends and our family has become clearer than ever when we see how much love people have for our daughter and with each new compassionate supporter we meet, our prayers for a better future for Abbigail are answered.  You may not come with a cure but you offer Abbigail something just as precious in her life; you offer her courage and strength in knowing that she has never fought a single day alone and that no matter how long her battle may be, she will never be fighting this on her own.  For that eternal gift, we will never have enough words or praise that would do our gratitude justice.