Hot air balloon ride raises spirits for sick teenager

Abigail Fleming from Maltby in South Yorkshire is a normal teenager, looking forward excitedly to her 16th birthday party next weekend. Normal in every way other than the fact that Abigail is still only 14 and has had to come to terms with living with terminal cancer and accepting that she is unlikely to reach 16.

Abigail will not be 15 until November but her family have decided to celebrate the time she has left by fulfilling as many items on her wish list as they can, while she is still well enough to participate.

Top of Abigail’s wish list is a birthday party with all her friends and family, a hot air balloon ride, a visit to Alton Towers and watching singer Ed Sheeran performing live on stage.

Abigail began to limp during the summer holidays in 2008 and was diagnosed in September that year with bone cancer in the left leg. Chemotherapy failed to shrink the growth and she had surgery in January 2009 to remove the tumour.

Despite continuing with the chemotherapy, a scan in December 2010 revealed cancerous growths in the left lung, leading to surgery to remove the diseased part of the lung. Although that surgery was successful, a further scan in October 2011 showed that the cancer had spread to her heart, making more surgery impossible.

Abigail’s family will be raising funds at her party with a tombola and raffle, with some of the proceeds going towards fulfilling Abigail’s wish list, and the rest being donated to the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

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