Padua Franciscan High School senior Abby Recker ’23 was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer known as Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma last Spring. Despite her diagnosis and juggling chemotherapy, immunotherapy and proton therapy radiation, her focus has been on giving back to others. This school year, she raised nearly $3,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help others battling pediatric cancer. She raised the money by organizing a walk on campus, with the help of Assistant Principal of Young Women Mrs. Mary Zolkowski, and by selling yellow ribbons to raise awareness.
“I want to make sure that other kids have the same opportunities as I do to get good treatment and have a good quality of life,” Recker said.
The 17-year-old has a huge heart. She used to play basketball, but this season, she’s volunteering as a 4th grade girls assistant basketball coach at her alma mater – St. Columbkille School in Parma. The commitment involves giving up her Friday evenings for practice and some of her weekends for games.
“I loved coaching the basketball team. I had a great time working with the girls. It was a good distraction to take my mind off of what’s going on with me by focusing on helping others,” said Recker.
Abby’s also an honor student. She earned a 4.78 GPA during the 1st semester of her senior year. She was recently accepted to The Ohio State University and plans to be a Buckeye in the fall.
She is such an inspiration to both the Padua and St. Columbkille communities.
Abby offered some advice to others going through a hard time. “Just try as hard as possible to keep a positive mindset. It’s helped me physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Click here to listen to Abby’s radio interview on WTAM 1100.