Sometimes, for our families, we have to sacrifice, leave things behind, to get ahead. That's exactly what one Montana family had to do for their six-year-old daughter this year.
At just six-years-old, a puppy's kiss is enough to make a little girl giggle. It's a much needed laugh for a girl many would think has nothing to laugh about. Gabby LeDuc loves to laugh, and is full of joy. She loves dogs and friends only like a six-year-old could.
At six-years-old, with her life ahead of her, Gabby is fighting for more laughs. She's fighting for her life.
"At 1:30 in the afternoon they told me she had leukemia. And then by four o'clock in the afternoon they had Life Flighted Gabby and I to the hospital," Kathy LeDuc said.
What they thought as a sore throat has led to a new life. Gabby and her mom Kathy came to Spokane from Kalispell, Montana.
"I came with the clothes on my back and two dollars in my wallet," Kathy LeDuc said.
That was back in May. Gabby's summer and first months of school were instead filled with six rounds of chemotherapy, steroid treatments and blood transfusions.
All that before she lost her first tooth.
"The tooth fairy came gave me some money," Gabby said, proudly announcing she lost her first tooth.
The tooth fairy found her at the Ronald McDonald House. Stay there makes them feel supported; Kathy has someone to talk with and doesn't have to care for her daughter alone.
Gabby's dad is back in Montana and is able to visit every other weekend. In talking with Gabby she was worried about him, always more concerned about others.
"My dad's real lonely by himself," Gabby said.
As she waits for him -- and her next treatment -- little Gabby likes to paint and hang out with friends.
When laughter sounded like a lost idea after a doctor's visit back in May -- and coming here to Spokane was unexpected -- Gabby LeDuc is finding joy and laughter in an impossible situation as only a six-year-old could.
"I like it here, and all the kids, and it seems really fun being here," Gabby said.
Gabby will spend three more months at the Ronald McDonald House. She'll then get to go home, but will have to drive with her family five hours to Spokane for medical procedures every month.