Nine-Year-Old Girls Lead Leon County Survivors’ Walk

Abbey Hopkins and Ke’airra Richardson have beaten the same kind of cancer and share a very special bond.

Ke’airra chose a green and blue concoction called "Wild and Reckless," while Abbey opted for a saner scoop of cookies and cream. Their taste in ice cream may be different, but their lives are surprisingly alike.

Ke’airra Richardson, a cancer survivor, says, "My stomach was hurting a whole lot and I kept on having to get out of school and my parents would have to keep picking me up because I had a stomachache."

Both girls were diagnosed with the same form of kidney cancer within six months of each other.

Abbey says, “It sounded weird and scary. I really didn't know what it was."

Abbey had her left kidney removed, Ke’airra her right. Together these survivors seem to be a perfect fit.

Yolando Westberry, Ke’airra's aunt, says, "When they met for the first time, they just hit it off. Ke’airra loves Abbey and Abbey loves Ke’airra, and when they come in contact with each other it's just like a joy. It brings joy and sunshine to them that they are survivors of the Wilm's tumor."

Shane Hopkins, Abbey's father, adds, "Modern medicine, the American Cancer Society, all of it came together to give us a second chance."

After surgery and chemo, both girls are the picture of health and happiness and will lead the “survivors' lap” side by side.


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