Abby Furco, now 10, can no longer remember a time in her life not ravaged by horrific illness. She was diagnosed with leukemia aged just 4.
According to doctors, the severity of the illness was little cause for optimism – Abby probably had a 20% chance of survival. With little hope, her parents were devastated.
For the next six years, Abby valiantly fought on through a number of different treatments, including bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
“We kept her surrounded by love because we knew at any moment we could lose her,” said Abby’s mother Patty. “There were moments we didn’t know if she’d pull through, she has so many infections that could have ended her life. All we could do was watch her fight.”
By the fall of 2013, she seemed to have overcome the worst of it. Abby was able to go back to school, play soccer, join the scouts, and basically live her life as any child would.
However, the cancer returned the following year and was worse than ever. “She became completely immobile, any movement hurt her and she hardly spoke,” said Patty.
Though she received another bone marrow transplant, her body rejected the foreign tissue and she became even more ill. Her kidneys then began to fail. As her parents prepared themselves for the worst, Abby could only stay awake for about an hour a day. The doctors told them that it was time to say goodbye, so they prepared Abby’s sisters for the inevitable. Her grandparents flew out to see their young granddaughter one last time.
Abby’s parents turned their attention to the heartbreaking task of preparing a funeral – for their own child. They picked out a coffin and thought about which music to play.
Abby was taken off the dialysis machines and brought home. The doctors estimated that she would only survive another 48 hours without external aid.
Then suddenly, in the depths of despair, something miraculous happened: Abby woke up and said these inspirational words to her parents: “I have so much living to do.”
Nobody could imagine what then happened. Abby’s family, friends, and doctors watched on in joyful disbelief as she grew stronger, began walking again, and bravely fought for her life over the following months. Doctors admit there is no medical explanation for her recovery. “She’s had ups and downs, but if she continues on this path, she is going to make us all look like fools,” said Abby’s oncologist Dr. Jacob Wessler. “She’s defied every single odd.”
Abby is now in remission. Her prognosis remains uncertain, but her family is full of hope.
“We watched her die and come back to life,” said Patty. “Now we’re looking to the future.”
You can watch the story behind her incredible recovery here:
What a truly remarkable story. This young girl has more inner strength and willpower than you’d believe possible. You can do it, Abby!