• Cancer

    In the Loop: ‘Please give doctors the answer to cancer’

cancer patient for In the Loop story, Abri Bentley, on crutches and smilingWhen she was in second grade, Abri Bentley was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Today, she’s adjusting to life without part of her leg, and using her voice and experiences to help others.

Abri Bentley was saying her prayers before bed when she stopped to tell her mother about a pain in her leg. "She thought she'd sprained it," Nikkole Bentley tells us. "We figured it was growing pains." But over the next few days, the pain persisted. And so did Nikkole, taking Abri to the emergency department, her pediatrician and eventually, an orthopedic surgeon. "When I picked her up for her appointment, we left her backpack at school because we thought she'd be going back," Nikkole tells us.

Instead, that day — Sept. 4, 2015 — marked Abri's last day of second grade. She was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of cancer, and would spend the next 11 months fighting it. Abri had 17 rounds of chemotherapy and limb salvage surgery, which required doctors to remove her cancerous left tibia and replace it with a cadaver arm bone. That left Abri with a new limb she called "Arg" — a combination arm and leg. ("She's all about the humor," Nikkole says.) Read the rest of Abri's story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.