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

Abby Furco and Sarah Rostock.jpg
Posted at 3:31 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 18:45:46-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Family and friends of Virginia Beach teen Abby Furco are speaking out to raise awareness about cancer during September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

September 24 is Furco’s 15th birthday, and she’s currently sedated at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. 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 help gain awareness and funds for research.

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

A longtime family friend, Tiffany Catlin, said Abby truly is a miracle.

“This family has been through so much, yet they take it all in stride and with so much grace, and I think Abby has taken that cue from them,” Catlin said.

Abby is a student at Kellam High School, and in February, she celebrated 10 years since her cancer diagnosis. Her mother, Patty, said they celebrated the “cancerversary.”

Patty and Joe Furco are with Abby, praying and waiting. Meanwhile, they are asking if anyone would like to donate to a cause for Abby's birthday, a camp called Special Love that caters to childhood cancer survivors.

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

"Special Love is near and 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 beautiful way to honor her.”

Click here for more information on Special Love.