LOCKPORT, N.Y. — A 9-year-old girl from Lockport in the midst of a tough cancer battle needed something to lift her spirits, and it comes as no surprise, but some "Good Neighbors" gladly hopped in to help.
Stacie and Lou McNett say their daughter Abbie who has Down syndrome had been relatively healthy her whole life. But that changed in January when a painful lump in her leg turned out to be very serious.
"It's Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma," said Stacie.
That's a rare type of cancer, typically not seen in children with Down syndrome. Abbie was diagnosed with stage four cancer, with tumors in her leg and stomach. She's undergoing chemotherapy and will soon undergo five to seven weeks of radiation at a hospital in New York City, but sadly there really is no cure.
"It's very aggressive and it can be very terminal," Stacie said.
The family is hoping for a miracle, but in the meantime the charity Sweet Buffalo teamed up with Niagara Down Under in Sanborn to give Abbie a little surprise. They brought a baby kangaroo to Abbie's home over the weekend for a visit. For a few moments she forgot about the cancer, and the pain.
"It's nice to see kids get a smile on their face especially when they're going through rough time," said Ben Reynolds of Niagara Down Under, a petting zoo that brings kangaroos, ponies, and other animals to parties, corporate and school events.
Stacie and Lou became emotional as they soaked in and cherished the precious memories.
"Seeing her happy makes us happy and it makes us forget what we're going through for a little while," Lou said.
A medical benefit will be held for Abby on May 7, 2022 at Rescue Fire Hall in North Tonawanda.
"This sweet beautiful girl and her parents have had their lives flipped upside down. While Abbie goes through these treatments, it is imperative that her parents be by her side," said Kimberly LaRussa of Sweet Buffalo. "Lost time at work coupled with crippling medical expenses have left that family struggling to stay afloat. These costs add up so quickly, and while it is only a small comfort, alleviating some of the financial burden for this family allows them to focus on what matters most, Abbie and her healing process."
If you would like to donate a basket or gift certificate for the benefit, email Jackie at email@example.com.
You can also make a donation to help here: www.gofundme.com/f/uv6pfe-help-for-abbie
Follow Abbie's journey on the "Abbie's Angels" Facebook page.