This is the story of Abigail Coeto Juarez:
Abigail Coeto Juarez was only six years old when she was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. “She was such a happy girl, always jumping and playing, so we knew something was wrong when she began to be constantly tired,” said her father, Omar Coeto. “She started to get a lot of bruises all over her body, her fevers never seemed to break,” recalled Omar, “her pediatrician told us it was just an infection.”
On October 11th, 2015, Abigail’s symptoms worsened, and after a three-hour wait in the emergency room, Abigail’s family received the news of their child’s diagnosis. “When I heard that an oncologist would be coming to speak with us, I felt as if the entire world was falling on top of me,” told Omar.
“There is nothing that can prepare you to receive that diagnosis,” recounted Omar, “I just knew that we needed to remain united as a family,” and that is exactly what they did! Soon thereafter, Omar began working two jobs so to allow his wife to be by their daughter through every stage of her treatment. After work, Omar would go home to gather any necessary items needed at the hospital and would then spend the rest of his evening alongside his family. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough,” admitted Omar, when asked about the financial difficulties that come with a cancer journey. “We were so blessed when Jacki from Candlelighters walked through our door, introduced herself, and told us that she was there to help,” said Omar.
For the next four years, Abigail would continue her fight. After years of chemotherapy treatments, time spent in isolation, and at one point, even losing her ability to breathe, Abigail prevailed by being declared officially in remission in the year of 2019! “When she was in isolation, Abigail would dream of being able to enjoy an ice cream at the park,” shared Omar, “so once it was all over, we took her to Disneyland! It was amazing to see her be a happy girl there again.”
To any families that may be beginning their journey, “Never lose faith in your own strength, staying united as a family is everything,” advised Omar.
“When she first got her diagnosis, she was angry, having to miss out on her childhood broke her heart,” told Omar, “but now – she is brave! She knows that because she beat cancer, there isn’t anything that she can’t do.”