WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dr. Barbara Abernathy counsels children who have been diagnosed with cancer. "Our job with the children is to normalize to some degree the experience of cancer and to talk to them about any of their shame or embarrassment at feeling what did I do."
She knows all to well about cancer. In 1996 she was diagnosed with leukemia. She eventually became an advocate for the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society. Then last summer, she needed a bone marrow transplant. "My family was not a match. They found a donor in a 24 year old man in Germany."
After a transplant operation, doctors declared Dr. Abernathy cancer free in December. "So I will have follow ups for the rest of my life. I'll have bone marrow biopsies every three months for a while and then every six months, and then every year."
She says the next step that she will be taking to help these children cope with cancer and their families is to train for a triathlon. The money raised will help the families financially.
"We see tears of relief when we are able to help a family. So those things are important and I'm just amazed on how many people already want to be part of the triathlon and I think I'm going to do it in Jupiter and make it like a community event."
POST-- Pediatric Oncology Support Team Dr. Barbara Abernathy