Abbie Superhero Mum Fighting Cancer

This is Abbie. You may know her as a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I know her as a super hero.
Abbie is my big sister.

Even though I am the little sister, I have always been fiercely protective of her. When my parents told me the news in July last year that she had been diagnosed with bowel cancer, I have never felt so helpless. This isn't supposed to happen to a young mother in her mid-thirties. I couldn't protect her from this.

Abbie, a young mother of two (Lucy- now 4 and Cameron- now 2) was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer, meaning that by the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had spread from her bowel to her liver. If untreated, she was given a timeframe of 6 months to live. That was shocking and terrifying to us, particularly to a fiercely protective little sister that couldn't take on this fight for her.

But my sister the superhero just got on with it. Abbie was still breast feeding her baby Cameron at the time of her diagnosis, so surgery meant that she had to stop feeding him before either of them were ready. With an immense bravery she had surgery right away to remove the bowel cancer. She was so poised and stoic. The bowel surgery was successful, which gave us great hope. The surgeons removed half of her bowel, a portion of her small intestine and her appendix, along with the cancer. The recovery was long and hard but we were there for her every step of the way. I know that all she wanted to do was to pick up her baby and hold him, but physically, she couldn't. Sometimes I wonder whether that hurt her more than the surgery.

Although the bowel surgery was successful, the cancer had already spread to Abbie's liver. Surgery on her liver was not an option as the tumours were too extensive. Chemotherapy was now Abbie's only treatment option. It was a precarious time, waiting for her to recover from surgery and to be strong enough to deal with chemo, while all we could think about was that the tumours in her liver were still growing. By this point, the Oncologist told us that Abbie would have to be on chemo for the rest of her life. Maintenance chemo they call it.

The reason why I call her a superhero is because apart from being my big sister, her super power is being able to have regular chemo and fight cancer, while having two young children at home. Lucy is 4 years old and her brother Cameron is only 2. I honestly don't know how she does it. Some days it's a fight just to get Lucy to have a sleep and well, Cameron just turned 2, need I say more? Imagine battling a 4 year old and a 2 year old while fighting cancer everyday. Nutso. Abbie is a superhero Mum. She fights. She fights everyday.

Recently, her chemo treatments have not been working. We are trying to get her into a clinical trial for experimental treatment in Melbourne, but her liver is not cooperating. We are hopeful that this remains an option for a little while longer. And still she fights. She fights everyday.

As things are getting harder, Abbie and Oliver have decided to move their beautiful young family from Launceston Tasmania, to Albury NSW, so that Abbie can be closer to her family home and have better access to clinical trials in Melbourne. This is why we are asking for your help. Having her home will mean that we can carry some of her burden.

How can you help?

You can help Abbie continue to be a superhero and fight by donating to this fund. Your donations will help Abbie move interstate to be closer to us, her family and hopefully the clinical trial in Melbourne. Although I would trade places with her in a heart beat and take on this fight for her, I can't. But I can help to make her fight easier. And so can you.

It is actually really expensive to have cancer. Some of the costs associated with fighting this cancer include doctors appointments, exercise physiologist appointments, psychologist appointments, prescription medications, hospital parking fees, childcare for days that Abbie is hooked up to a chemo drip and Oliver has to work. The financial costs are starting to take their toll.

On top of all of this, they will need to find enough money to keep Abbie's treatment going, pay their mortgage and pay for the expensive travel costs associated with moving interstate. Let's not forget they will also need to look after their family while Oliver finds a new job in Albury. We all take for granted our daily living costs, but when all of a sudden you have the extra costs associated with trying to fight for your life, it gets real tough. We have been helping where we can, but regular trips from Albury to Launceston are starting to add up and we will be able to help her so much more when she is home here with us.

Contributing to this fund will help take some pressure off Abbie's husband Oliver and allow him to spend more quality time with Abbie and the kidlets. Your donations will mean that Oliver's main focus can be on his superhero wife and kids, and not on work. I know that would go a long way to making her smile. I want to give her everything I can to show her that she is doing an amazing job. She needs to be able to continue to fight without the added financial stresses of battling cancer. I want her to have the money to be able to keep making memories for her children and visit wonderous places.

But most of all I want her to be able to fight. To fight everyday.

Please help me bring my sister home. Please help me relieve some of the financial burden. Please help me give her hope.

This is for Abbie. She is my superhero.
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Rachel Clancy 
New South Wales
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