Raising vital funds for life saving research.
In June 2018, 12 months prior to Abigail’s diagnosis, I took Abigail to see her GP because she was having a lot of pain in her legs. Sometimes the pain would make her cry. The GP dismissed it as growing pains and waved us out of the room.
Abigail was a really sporty, active little girl. She absolutely loved going to school, church, Brownies and enjoyed playing football, piano, clarinet and going swimming. The weekend before Abigail became unwell, she was playing in a football tournament.
In early May 2019, Abigail started having awful leg pain and was initially discharged from A&E with an irritable hip. That night despite being on regular pain relief, Abigail was in horrendous pain and unable to weight bear. The following day we received the dreaded phone call from A&E that Abigail needed to return to the hospital immediately, as they had seen something on her x-ray. At that time, we were told it was either a lesion or bone cancer. Our hearts sank. We then had the long 6 1/2 week wait for diagnosis, which included two biopsies. The first biopsy only got necrotic tissue (dead cells), so she had to have a second one. Both biopsies were done at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham.
Abigail was diagnosed at 9 years old with metastatic Ewing sarcoma in her right pelvis on the 18th June 2019. The tumour was approximately 7-10cms. Our world literally came crashing down around us and when we thought it couldn't get any worse, we were told that the cancer had metastasised under her clavicle (Collar bone) to her left supraclavicular node, but it was too dangerous to take a biopsy. Abigail had 14 rounds of 5 different types of chemotherapy at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH).
Abigail also had 58 sessions of radiotherapy at The Christie in Manchester. Due to receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time, Abigail was very poorly and spent most of the Summer in hospital.
In November 2019, Abigail had major surgery which was carried out at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, London. The surgery involved removing the right side of her pelvis which had been taken over by the tumour.
When she returned to Manchester she continued with chemotherapy, as she had 5 rounds to complete and started physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.
Abigail's treatment was very aggressive, but we were told at the start that it needed to be because so is Ewing sarcoma. Her chemotherapy was given over 5 days and 3 days every two weeks. Abigail had up and down days and became very frustrated at times. It was particularly hard for her, as in between treatment she often returned to hospital with a temperature and due to the side effects of the chemotherapy, she required blood and platelet transfusions.
On the 5th March 2020, Abigail rang the end of treatment bell.
Abigail decided that she would like to set up a Special Fund with the Bone Cancer Research Trust called ‘Abigail’s Ambition’ to help find kinder treatments. She really wants to help fund research into all types of bone cancer, as she feels it wouldn’t be fair to just support one. She would very much like to get rid of Doxorubicin having really struggled with it. It was this chemotherapy that made her the most poorly.
As a family we wish we had known about the Bone Cancer Research Trust especially when we were going through diagnosis, as it was such a stressful time. It would have made such a difference to be able to call them. We are very grateful for the support we have received since we reached out to them.
Bone Cancer Statistics
Another child, teenager or adult is diagnosed with primary bone cancer every 10 minutes somewhere in the world.
UK cancer research charities have reduced their direct bone cancer research investment for the third year in a row. It declined by 17% to a mere £198,575. All together these charities spent £700million on cancer research, yet despite having some of the most brutal treatment regimes and poorest outcomes, just 0.028% was spent on bone cancer! To hear this is heart breaking to us as a family.
Please help us to make Abigail’s Ambition a success and let’s make Abigail’s wish come true and find kinder treatments.
We thank you and appreciate your time to read Abigail's Story
Ellie, Leo, Abigail and Annabel
Text BCRT ABBIE to 70800 to donate £5
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Get in touch if you would like to create your own special fund.