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Sarcoma survivor pushes for greater awareness

Posted at 3:35 PM, Jul 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-28 19:08:34-04

TEMPLE, TX — A Temple teen who fought an aggressive cancer is speaking out to help spread awareness about sarcoma. Abigail Skinner was diagnosed with ewing’s-like sarcoma. It is a rare form of the disease that is found in less than 225 children per year.

“I never heard it until they actually said it,” said Skinner. It started when she found a hard mass on her body.

“It just didn’t register with her. She’s heard cancer, but never knew exactly what it was,” said Tiffany Spivey, Abigail’s mother. “Months went by, and she was kind of like, why me? Why is this going on?” she continued.

The family turned to Baylor Scott and White McLane Children’s Medical Center for care.

She is now in remission, but still has to follow up with doctors regularly.

“By far, the most common symptom is pain. You begin to complain of pain in one area,” said Dr. Javier Kane, of Baylor Scott and White McLane Children’s Medical Center.

Sarcoma is an umbrella term for several different forms of the cancer.

“It’s basically a disease that appears from connective tissue. You have sarcomas of the bone, sarcomas of the muscle,” said Kane.

July is sarcoma awareness month. While many other forms of cancer get a lot of attention, sometimes rarer forms may not get as much notice. But childhood cancer research as a whole has made great strides.

“Anything that the community can do to support cancer research is hugely important,” said Kane. There is still 20 percent of patients that cannot be cured, and those patients and their families suffer tremendously,” he continued.

As for Abigail, it was a long fight to remission. But she had a lot of people in her corner. Now, she can get back to being a teenager.

“It does help you change your life and think about other things that you haven’t done before. Just be out there, be courageous,” said Skinner.

For more information on sarcoma, click here.