Girl who fought for life headed to Hawaii

BAY, AR (KAIT) - A 9-year-old girl who received a Make-a-Wish Thursday in Bay said she has seen a lot of struggles in her young life.

Now, she and her family will be heading to Hawaii due to the work of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

"Third grade was all about chemo, fourth grade is all about living," Abi Blankenship said.

The Marion girl, who was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in Oct. 2016, went to Bay Thursday, thinking that she was asking students to give money to St. Jude and Make a Wish.

Instead, the students wanted to help her by already raising the money and granting her wish.

The disease is a rare bone and soft tissue cancer and she started chemotherapy days after her diagnosis. She had tumors on her pelvis, skull and five lower vertebrae, not to mention in her neck, shoulder tissue and bone marrow.

Her parents said the ordeal was difficult.

"So she had a whole lot of cancer," her mother, Jamie Swain, said.

"Although the doctors were very optimistic, they were already preparing us to be without her," her stepfather, Gary Swain, said.

After seven months of chemotherapy and radiation, doctors said that recent tests showed that all of the tumors were stable.

Abi then saw a routine done by the Bay cheerleaders.

"I've been staring at the edge of the water," the cheerleaders said in a cheer.

Then, Abi saw a banner that read she was going to Hawaii.

Abi and her family head to the 50th State next week.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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