Abby Tettleton waiting on a kidney transplant and through it all, she continues to spread joy wherever she goes.
Tettleton spent a week with Lindsay’s Art Cart at Legal Draft in Arlington. On the final day of the camp, she got to create sea creature cupcakes with custom fondant.
“I like to paint,” Abby said. “I painted this!” while pointing to a canvas with two colorful jellyfish.
Art is a perfect fit for Abby because over the years, she’s had a lot when she had to be still.
“She’s spent a lot of time in the hospital in the medical setting and she still keeps such a positive attitude,” Jody Tettleton, Abby’s dad, said.
Out of Abby’s eight years of life, she’s spent one year in the hospital.
“She had her first liver surgery at ten days old,” her mom, Stephanie Tettleton, said.
When Abby was four years old, she had a liver transplant.
Now she’s waiting on a kidney. “One of my kidneys is not working so I need a kidney," she said. "We’ve been waiting on it for a long time.”
Abby’s parents say despite her health challenges, their daughter is magnetic and draws people to her.
“I think it’s her joy, she just exudes joy,” Stephanie said.
“She does a tremendous job of finding joy in things I think we often just take for granted,” Jody said.
This summer, Abby attended a camp specifically for kids with kidney failure, called Camp Reynal.
She was a standout to camp counselor Eunice Esparza.
“Abby, she is this amazing little girl and she can be very fragile at times, but she got really excited that she was going to do the ropes course and just seeing her out there climb really fast like a little spider girl was pretty inspiring,” Eunice said.
Abby, too, has been inspired. When she grows up, she said she wants to be an art teacher like Lindsay.
“What about a light value? Very good!” Lindsay said to her group of young students as they prepared for their art show.
It’s a goal that there is no doubt Abby will accomplish, because no matter what challenge she’s already faced, Abby continues to fight.
“I tell her all the time that she’s the most brave kid I’ve ever known,” Jody said.
She’s pushed through unimaginable challenges in her first 8 years, while still wearing a smile on her face, and that is courageous.
Abby is also an ambassador for Make-a-Wish.
“I had a wish to go to Disney World,” Abby said. Her Make-A-Wish came true when she was five years old and met her favorites, “Cinderella and Ariel!” Abby yelled while looking through pictures from her trip. “It was fun,” Abby said.
Abby has a Facebook page if you’d like to follow her journey toward a kidney transplant.