Fighting Fanconi Anemia: Abigail Franzen's Story


Altamont- Many people have never heard of Fanconi Anemia. A couple in Central Illinois never heard of it either, until their daughter was diagnosed with the deadly disease.

Both parents has to have the defective gene for a child to get Fanconi Anemia and both Daryn and Carol Franzen have it. That is why their, sweet little 6-year-old, daughter Abigail is battling the disease.

She loves to talk and play Trouble with her younger brother. Behind the fun and games, Abigail is battling a real life troubling situation.

She was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia. It is a disease that appeared like a cold. Both she and her brother Andrew were sick, but he got over it and Abigail didn't.

"Like you got hit in the gut. So you're sitting in the doctor's office and they say your child is going to have bone marrow failure," Daryn said.

Now she's in and out of hospitals.

"Sometimes they have to do a blood draw which really hurts," Abigail added.

"You can tell when she's having a really bad day because she will sit her bookbag down and she says can I just put my pajama's on, I'm ready for bed," Daryn added.

Even during an exhausting day.

"Usually at play time I get tired, but I still run and play," Abigail said.

She is still having fun like any other child. However, she is clueless of the severity of the disease.

"I don't really know and they say it's okay maybe you'll find out sometime," Abigail said.

"A life span for somebody with Fanconi Anemia is 20-30 years old, even with a bone marrow transplant," Carol told WAND.

More hospital visits are in her future. The next phase for Abigail is to receive a bone marrow transplant. It is a costly procedure. Her parents have to pay around $1 million.

There's a website where you can donate money to help Abigail's financial needs. Log on to or Google search: Fighting Fanconi Anemia by Carol Franzen.


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