Jan 19, 2023
Imagine for just a second back to being a 14-year-old. You are
likely transitioning to high school, worrying about puberty, and
probably a little self-absorbed. Imagine now that you have been in
cancer treatment for almost four years and that you just found out
that there was nothing more that the doctors could really do. You
would continue treatments, but a full cure likely wasn’t possible
anymore. I imagine that young teen would be devastated, and feel
justified in having a little self-pity.
This is what 14-year-old Abbie experienced, but she had the exact opposite emotional reaction to what I wrote above. That day when Abbie’s mum, Tammy, had that difficult conversation with her, Abbie did not go off to hide in her room and cry. She instead asked to go see her best friend, Emma.
What she did then was simply amazing. She and Emma spent the next several hours in Emma’s room writing. Tammy did not know what they had written until months later, the day after Abbie died. On four bits of paper, Abbie and Emma wrote several things including everything she wanted to be included in her celebration of life. More importantly, she wrote that she wanted her parents to start a foundation to help kids with cancer. She even named the foundation - Abbie’s Sparkle Foundation. (Abbiessparkefoundation.org)
During this personally difficult time in her life, all Abbie could think about was the way that she could use her struggles to help other kids. She wanted to help make their lives a little easier, even as her own life was ending. Tammy and the rest of the family have used Abbie’s inspirational words as a guide. Their original first-year goal was to raise £10,000 - they raised £100,000. Over their five-year history, they have raised £500,000 and have been able to help over 1200 children. Tammy knows that helping all of these kids is exactly what Abbie would have dreamed.