Abby Furco was only four years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia.

Her devastated parents were told that their beloved daughter had about a 20 percent chance of surviving. It’s a message that no parent wants to hear—and for Abby’s parents, it was almost the same as hearing that their four-year-old had been given a death sentence.

But the brave little girl refused to give up.

Over the next six years, the Furco family spent their time traveling back and forth between various hospitals and their home in Virginia Beach.

”We kept her surrounded by love because we knew at any moment we could lose her. There were moments we didn’t know if she’d pull through; she has so many infections that could have ended her life,” Abby’s mom, Patty, told People, in 2017.  

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In October 2013, Abby had finally finished her treatment. A ray of light and hope seemed to shine on the family – 2013 was a “beautiful” year when she could be just like any other kid and enjoy life.

She was able to go to school, hang out with her friends, play soccer, and join the girl scouts. But as would happen again and again, Abby’s cancer refused to let go.

A year later, the treacherous disease was back—and this time it was worse than ever.

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Soon Abby couldn’t move anymore. Every little movement caused her intense pain, and she could barely open her mouth and talk. Her family decided to move all the way to Chicago to be closer to the hospital.

In February 2015, Abby received a bone marrow transplant, but her body rejected it.

Then in May 2016, her kidneys failed.

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This time, doctors explained that Abby only had 48 hours to live. She was taken out of the intensive care unit to spend her last moments on earth at home with her family.

Abby’s parents started planning for the funeral. They chose her coffin and picked out music for the service. Her grandparents flew in to say goodbye.

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But just when everyone thought it was the end, Abby opened her eyes and whispered, ”I have so much living to do.”

Out of nowhere, when Abby was no longer receiving treatment and her family was saying their final goodbyes, the little girl kept fighting and defied all possible odds.

”We couldn’t believe it, in a matter of days, weeks, months she started walking and getting stronger. It’s an absolute miracle,” Abby’s mom, Patty, told People.

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A year after the miracle, doctors couldn’t been find a proper explanation for Abby’s miraculous recovery. In June 2017, Abby removed her Hickman cathedrals, an inoperative intravenous catheter system that continuously brought in in-carcinogens and for people who often need dialysis. A major progress!

When Abby turned 10, her cancer was finally in remission.

”We watched her die and come back to life. Now, we’re looking to the future,” Abby’s mom, Patty, told People back in 2017.

But after eleven months, her cancer returned.

I just posted an Abby update on Caringbridge. Thank you all for your love, support & prayers…you keep us strong.She is fighting hard. We are blessed. ❤️❤️❤️❤️www.caringbridge.org/visit/abbyfurcoPosted by Patty Furco on Friday, April 23, 2021

Following a life-saving bone marrow transplant, she was able to attend school and the family had hope again. The family knew that the future was uncertain, but always felt blessed for every minute they could have Abby in their life.

Unfortunately, the bone marrow transplant brought about various complications, and Abby’s health took a downturn again in the fall of 2019. Abby was diagnosed with caused acute graft vs. host disease and the damage done to her heart by chemotherapy was severe. The brave little girl faced kidney failure and a stroke from which she never managed to recover.

After fighting against cancer for so many years, it became too much for Abby’s body. Everything that could be done, had been done.

Surrounded by her family, amongst so much love, and in comfort and peace, Abby passed away on October 19, 2021. 

She was 15.

The brave little girl who inspired and touched so many undoubtedly left a significant void. We all had hoped she would make it, those of us who followed her journey for many years. Unfortunately, Abby never got the chance to grow up and fully enjoy life, but her approach to tackling this life challenge continues to be something that inspires us.

”We are thankful for the fifteen beautiful years Abby lived and for all those that loved her. Abby reached far and we are blessed that her journey touched so many for good,” her family wrote in the obituary.

Happy 16th Birthday in heaven to our Abby! Words cannot describe what it feels like to not have her on this earth with…Posted by Patty Furco on Saturday, September 24, 2022

Abby’s mom, Patty, continues to fight in Abby’s memory. Every year, she organizes fundraisers and help the American Red Cross in collecting blood donations. Abby required a significant amount of blood during her various treatments, so Patty understands how crucial this is. In her honor, the family has also established a nonprofit organization called Abby’s Legacy Foundation.

In 2023, the second annual Abby Furco Memorial Color Fun Run commenced, drawing 300 runners and walkers along with 100 volunteers. This 5k event was arranged in Abby’s former neighborhood by three of her closest friends: Carolina, Elizabeth, and Jenna.

”When she walked into a room, she just lit up a room. She had this huge personality with her laugh and her smile was everything. She was just amazing to be around. We thought a color run would encapsulate her colorful personality,” her friends, Elizabeth Castano and Caroline Nelson, told 3WTKR.

Throughout the race, family and friends expressed the belief that Abby was looking down with a smile.

”There was an amazing rainbow at the start, so we know that she’s here with us. We miss her terribly, but we know that Abby is smiling and she’s proud of everyone” Patty Furco said.

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Her family and friends continues to uphold the memory of their precious Abby, and I believe we should do the same by sharing this article on Facebook!

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