September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. At PCFLV, we are committed to spreading the GOLD all year long. However, in September, we truly make it our mission. 30 Days, 30 Stories celebrates the children we know and love and the brave battles they fight and have fought, with their families by their sides. In celebrating these beautiful children and their stories, we hope to inspire you to join us in our mission to SPREAD THE GOLD in September and all year long!
The last words any parent wants to hear is "your child has cancer." Abriana was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in 2009. She had just celebrated her 2nd birthday and a week later was receiving her first treatment of chemotherapy.
My name is Jarad, and I am Abriana's uncle. I am here to tell her story. I met Abriana 6 months before she was diagnosed, and there were zero signs that anything was wrong. She was a typical 2 year-old little girl, but she soon became the strongest little girl I had ever met. Three trips a week to St. Christopher's Hospital in Philadelphia for chemo was just the beginning.
Over the next twelve months, Abriana would undergo chemo, radiation, and ultimately lose all of her hair. Her Pappy, Uncle Scott, and I wanted Abriana to feel comfortable with losing her hair, so we all shaved our heads. She thought this was hilarious! On her third birthday, we all received the best birthday present anyone could ask forâ€¦Abriana was finally in remission!
Cancer, in and of itself, is horrible, but we can all agree that it has a way of bringing family, friends and even strangers together. We had 300 purple bracelets made that said "Abriana" on one side and "Strength" on the other. Family, friends, and complete strangers bought and wore these. That bracelet helped me get through some rough days because it reminded me that nothing I was going through could ever compare to what Abriana was going through. It was truly amazing to see so many people come together to support her.
Fast forward to the present. I am looking at a strong, independent, courageous 10 year-old girl, who is living life to the fullest. She does everything a typical 10 year-old girl does. She plays softball, she's in a bowling league, she plays violin, and is in chorus. She's also a bit of a daredevil and enjoys big rollercoasters and riding on the back of my motorcycle! Thanks to PCFLV, she also gets to do a lot of things other kids don't typically get to do!
On behalf of Abriana, her family, and myself we would like to thank you for taking the time to read Abriana's story. Keep an eye out for her because I know she is destined for great things!
-written by Jarad, Abriana's uncle