Gabby Benson: Five years cancer free - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Gabby Benson: Five years cancer free

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Children's Miracle Network raised more than $125 thousand last week, in their three day radiothon. That money stays local, and helps sick kids right here at Sioux City's St. Luke's Regional Medical Center.   

One of those kids is Gabby Benson.

In 2005, a trip to the hospital seemed to confirm three-year-old Gabby had the flu. But she kept getting worse.

"Night sweats, headaches, so we took her in again and we drew blood. We noticed that her platelet count was extremely low," said Gabby's mom, Karen Benson.

It was Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL. That's a cancer -- immature white blood cells overcrowd normal cells.  Children have an 80% cure rate. Still, it left Gabby's mom shocked.

"Horrified, I guess no one thinks anything like this would happen to them," said Karen.

What lay ahead for Gabby was years of treatment. She started chemotherapy.

"I'll see pictures of me in the hospital, and like, I don't really remember," said Gabby.

Now, ten-years-old, she does remember the bad times.

"Like when my hair fell out, when I had to get the shots, when I took the pills I had to crush them up and put them in a drink," said Gabby.

Gabby's treatment also took a toll on her immune system. She was weak and her parents had to take extra precautions.

"Any germs, sicknesses are a threat to her. We did end up in the hospital one winter when the flu was going around," said Karen.

Gabby spent, what should have been a normal childhood, in and out of hospitals.

"All the other kids they'd be out playing and everything and I'd be in the hospital. So, it was kind of different," said Gabby.

It was tough, but her treatment has paid off. For five years this little girl has been cancer free.

"Off all 'meds,' and she can do everything a normal child can do," said Karen. "Her personality got her through; actually I think it got us through. She's just real bubbly, outgoing, and fun."

If you want to know more about Children's Miracle Network, check out this link.

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