Friends and family raise awareness of childhood cancer as Virginia Beach teen fights for her life

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Family and friends of Virginia Beach teen Abby Furco speak out to raise cancer awareness in September, the month for childhood cancer awareness.

September 24 is Furco’s 15th birthday and she is currently anesthetized at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. Nearly three weeks ago, she underwent surgery to install a pump in her failing heart.

Her friend and fellow cancer survivor, Sarah Rostock, is speaking out to raise awareness and funds for research.

“Everything Abby is going through is because of her treatment. She is cancer free since her transplant. It’s the heart failure, the kidney failure; those things are directly related to her cancer treatment, and that’s unacceptable,” Rostock said. “We need treatments that protect our bodies.”

An old family friend, Tiffany Catlin, said that Abby really is a miracle.

“This family has been through so much, but they’re all taking it with great strides and with such grace, and I think Abby took that signal from them,” Catlin said.

Abby attends Kellam High School, and in February, she celebrated 10 years since her cancer diagnosis. Her mother, Patty, said they were celebrating the “cancer disease.”

Patty and Joe Furco are with Abby, praying and waiting. Meanwhile, they ask someone to donate to a charity for Abby’s birthday, a camp called Special Love that focuses on childhood cancer survivors.

Related: Friends of Virginia Beach leukemia survivor set up lemonade stand to raise money for CHKD

“Special Love is dear to her because she loves camp,” Catlin said. “And for her birthday, they’re asking donations to Special Love in her honor, and I think it’s a beautiful tribute and a great way to honor her.”

Click here for more information about Special Love.

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