Cancer patient receives a 'sweet 16' surprise

After being robbed of her fifteenth birthday because of a cancer diagnosis, Abby's parents wanted to do something special for her sweet sixteen.

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  • Sixteen-year-old Abby Snider, was diagnosed with leukemia last year. She was unable to celebrate her fifteenth birthday, because of intensive treatements she was going through. For her sixteenth birthday, her parents wanted to do something really special for her, as Abby, like most girls her age, had been dreaming of it for years. However, due to mounting medical bills accruing over the last year, this was more of a wish than a possibility.

  • Then, something amazing happened.

  • Tom Mitchell of The Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation, worked alongside Abby's parents and some local businesses to make Abby's birthday wish come true. Tom told Abby that she would be giving a speech at a fundraising gala as a ruse. To prepare for the fake gala—really her surprise birthday party—Abby wrote a speech, had her makeup professionally done at a salon and got a ride in a limo to the event.

  • Abby arrived at the hotel for the gala and discovered her surprise birthday party complete with friends and family to help celebrate. Screaming and crying in happiness, Abby is overjoyed. It was a beautiful surprise for a girl who had already been through so much.

  • Cancer is difficult emotionally, physically and financially on family, friends and the individual. As friends and community members, we can lend our support financially and emotionally. See how one community rallied around a 4-year-old boy before he passed away from cancer.

  • Dealing with cancer is not easy. So many things are unknown. These can be especially apparent when helping a child or a spouse through their illness. Read "Helping a spouse deal with cancer." Sometimes, the most important things you can do is to love and be there for them. Encourage them with uplifting words and genuine smiles. Even if cancer may be the ultimate end of life, don't let it become the end of your joys.

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Wendy is a regular contributor for and does media reviews. Website: for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: Twitter: @WendyJessen


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