THE family of a brave little girl struck by an incurable disease that means she may not see past her 14th birthday, want to raise money to fulfill her ultimate dream of swimming with dolphins.
Courageous seven-year-old Abigail Cook is wheelchair-bound after being diagnosed with Batten Disease - a terminal condition which is very rare and that will over time lead to the Warmsworth youngster losing her sight and mobility.
The world of her heartbroken parents Lindsey, 35, and 44-year-old Martin was further torn apart when doctors told them the devastating news that Abigail could die by the time she is 14.
In a bid to make her life the best it can be, her family have launched the Abigail Cook Wish List.
They want to raise £7,000 for Abigail’s dream of swimming with dolphins in Orlando, Florida.
The Warmsworth Primary School youngster’s wish list also includes a holiday to Tenerife, meeting Father Christmas and having a fancy dress party.
“It has been absolutely horrendous finding out about Abigail’s illness, we’re all devastated,” said Mrs Cook, of Low West Road, Warmsworth.
“We don’t really know how long we have her but she is fighting. It is every parent’s nightmare but I am proud I am her mum.
“She has good days and bad days. It’s hard because you take things for granted, you want to see your children grow up and do everything they can in their lives but Abigail won’t get to do that.”
Abigail’s problems began last August when she suffered a chronic seizure and she stopped breathing while on holiday in Turkey.
However, tests at Doncaster Royal Infirmary came back negative. Abigail soon developed ticks, a stammer, and became unable to dress and eat for herself suffering from dementia-like symptoms.
Following an MRI scan at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital which showed shadows on her brain, she was referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital and was recently diagnosed with Batten Disease.
“Nobody knew anything about the disease because it is so rare and there wasn’t a lot of information available which was frustrating,” said Mrs Cook, a deputy manager at Warmsworth Community Pre-School.
“We know that her seizures will eventually get out of control, she’ll lose her sight and vision, her mobility and her life.”
The community has rallied around for Abigail, who also has an 11-year-old brother called Oliver, and set up a ‘wish list’ committee for fundraising events, including a 65-mile cycle ride from Cleethorpes to Doncaster on Sunday. The pot stands at over £1,000.
A meeting is being held tonight by The Abigail Cook Wish List committee at the Holiday Inn, off High Road, Warmsworth, at 8pm. Everyone is welcome.
The Free Press is supporting Abigail’s appeal. To help, call 01302 347260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org