Photo Credit: Perth Scorchers
“She interrupted a cricket match to be born, so she was literally born into cricket!” – Cassie Harrison, Abby’s Mum
Five-year-old Abby Harrison is cricket mad, dressed in orange like her Scorchers idols and wielding a bat at every opportunity.
But her first season at Phoenix Beeliar Junior Cricket Club was interrupted earlier this year when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
During Abby’s first week of pre-primary her mum Cassie noticed her usually energetic daughter was tired and had a rash on her arm, then she sneezed blood.
“It was all a blur,” Cassie said.
“We went straight from the urgent care clinic to Fiona Stanley Hospital and then straight to the Perth Children’s Hospital where we were told she’s definitely got leukaemia.”
The next few months were gruelling for the Harrison family as Cassie and her husband alternated spending nights with Abby in hospital and being at home with her two-year-old brother.
But Abby smiled through it all, even losing her hair, which Cassie says upset her more than the plucky patient!
Nine months on, Abby is now in full remission.
She’s back at school and playing cricket, including a chance to meet the Scorchers women’s squad in a special one-on-one session after training.
Cassie said it was amazing to see Abby alongside her idols.
“It’s been a really, really tough year but this has certainly helped,” she said.
“We had on our list that she wanted to go to the cricket when she was better, but this is just beyond our wildest expectations.”
Scorchers batter Mathilda Carmichael and allrounder Amy Edgar have been following Abby’s journey throughout the year, sending her video messages of support and a signed playing shirt to lift her spirits in hospital.
Carmichael said it was great to finally meet the brave youngster.
“Abby’s had a battle just to be here. So, to see her happy, smiling face running around and know cricket’s giving her family some joy and positivity, it’s really important,” she said.
“She’s got a mean little delivery on her, so I reckon opening bowlers look out!
“Hopefully the Scorchers will be able to sign her up and have her out there in a few years’ time.”