10-year-old Abby Furco was on her deathbed after she had been fighting rare cancer with only a mere 20 percent chance of survival. It devastated her parents, Patty and Joe Furco who were told to prepare to say final goodbye when their daughter may not be able to survive cancer!
Abby Furco was diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare subtype of the most common childhood cancer in February 2011 when she was four years old.
In spite of the heartbreaking news and Abby’s little chance of surviving, the family continued to comfort Abby as she endured the grueling series of treatments including radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
In the fall of 2013, it seemed that miracle and luck were on their side as Abby had finally gotten better and resumed her life — went to school, played with her friends, and joined the scouts.
Unfortunately, her cancer reappeared and became even more aggressive in September 2014. “She became completely immobile, any movement hurt her and she hardly spoke,” said Abby’s mother, Patty Furco.
Abby later underwent a bone marrow transplant in late January 2015 but the doctors discovered that the donated bone marrow was attacking her body just a month later in February 2015.
A year later, Abby’s kidneys began to fail and she was placed in an intensive care unit. She would not survive without a dialysis every 48 hours.
Abby’s pediatrician, Jacob Wessler, revealed in an interview with People magazine that her body was “shutting down.” “Doctors advised it was time to let her go because she was barely awake for one hour a day,” Patty explained. “We started preparing our other daughters for her death,” says the mother.
They returned Abby to their home in June 2016, when the entire family gathered to spend the last few days with her. Abby awoke by herself just as everyone was getting ready for her upcoming burial.
“I have so much living to do,” Abby told her parents and that was when she began to show remarkable progress. “We couldn’t believe it, in a matter of days, weeks, months she started walking and getting stronger,” said her mom.
Abby is no longer taking her medication as long as cancer does not return, but it has taught her to appreciate every moment of her life and to be optimistic with her family.