When Faith Abbey was just 18 months old, her parents, Dave and Tracy, received the kind of news that could have shattered their world: their daughter had liver cancer, a four-inch tumour that would require surgery if she were to survive.
Thankfully, today Faith is 10 years old and “cancer free” after having chemotherapy treatments that initially shrank the tumour by half, then the life-saving surgery that eventually occurred after one surgeon declined, saying it was too risky.
“The surgeon who ended up doing it happened to be in London on the same day the surgery had been scheduled,” said Dave Abbey, who was born in London but grew up in Sarnia. “It was the ‘best scariest’ news we could have received.”
That surgery was a success and now Faith and her parents are planning a walk to raise funds for Childcan, a childhood cancer research organization. They will start at Emily Carr Public School in London on Sept. 9, 2014 and finish at King George VI Public School in Sarnia on Sept. 11, 2014.
That school was chosen because of its connection to former astronaut Chris Hadfield who the Abbeys have met.
“Faith has been asking us for two years to be able to do a walk like this,” said Dave Abbey. “We finally agreed, knowing that she’ll have a lot of support along the way.”
A website to help with donations has been set up and Abbey has secured several sponsors to help. More information is available at www.faithsfootsteps.com.
Faith’s father is also hoping both schools will communicate as the event nears.