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Giving up is not an option in this family: The story of Ginny Fagard

Ginny Fagard hasn’t had an easy life for a child. At the young age of four, she was diagnosed with leukemia. She bravely fought the disease and won, but now 10 years later, the brave North Tonawanda teen is battling brain cancer at 14 years old. A family friend, Lisa Cretacci, shares her story.

Ginny Fagard hasn’t had an easy life for a child. At the young age of four, she was diagnosed with leukemia. She bravely fought the disease and won, but now 10 years later, the brave North Tonawanda teen is battling brain cancer at 14 years old.  A family friend, Lisa Cretacci, shares her story. 

Many of you know Ginny from Ginny’s Journey on Facebook. You follow her story, pray for her, hold onto hope and wish for a miracle for her, support, encourage, and admire her. Your comments lift her family up and tell them they are not alone. So many of you truly care. Ginny’s Journey has more than 4,000 followers. That is an awful amount of love. It is on the outside most of you admire Ginny’s strength, beauty, courage, and fight. For some, her smile alone lights up their day. She pushes us to try harder, to be a better version of ourselves, to give more, love more, and to stop, literally stop and think about what we take for granted. For those who are untouched by having a child with cancer, things we may believe to be normal, small/everyday routine moments are the big things to Ginny and her family. She desperately fights to live and survive so she can be a 16-year-old girl and do what it is a 16-year-old girl wants to do.


It has been a long road for Ginny. This is her second fight with cancer. At four-years-old, Ginny had to battle leukemia and the treatments (chemo and radiation) took its toll on her young and fragile body. She did beat it, but there is always a cost.

At 14 years old, this monster we call cancer returned with a vengeance. Ginny was diagnosed with a recurrent high grade glioma (Oligodendroglioma/Astroocytoma). There is no cure for this. Even if Ginny is lucky enough to be cancer free for a time, it will reoccur. This does not by any means say that Ginny or her mom Michele accept that. They have both fought side by side as a team with a force that I believe has even surprised the cancer. Love, will, and the human spirit is sometimes stronger than anything that can happen to it. “Giving up” is not an option in this family.

Ginny had to endure aggressive chemotherapy and radiation again. Unfortunately treatment had come to a halt when the wound on her head became infected and required surgery. Surgery did not do what it was supposed to do. Ginny’s wound would not stay closed and skin grafts were unsuccessful. The wound that is still there is indescribable.

Ginny did restart chemotherapy when the tumor resurfaced last December. She undoubtably is a hero and an inspiration to all of us, but as we watch and as she fights, she has lost a lot. Ginny can no longer walk, she had left sided weakness that can extend to paralysis, her speech has been affected, and she suffers  from seizures intermittently. This doesn’t even begin to mention the side effects the medication has given her. It is a very scary thing and Ginny needs to be monitored and requires total care 24/7. This is where her mom Michele comes in.


Michele, supermom, provides all of Ginny’s Care and is one heck of an advocate for her daughter. I say it that way because on the outside we don’t have to see how hard she has to fight to get what her daughter needs and to get the doctors to listen. Imagine having to watch helplessly as your child endures so much struggle and sickness. This is every mom’s nightmare and she lives it every single day. All she wants, prays, and begs so desperately for is for her daughter to be able to be happy and to be able to play and smile and laugh because she feels good. To have quality of life. It is beyond frightening and exhausting to hold your breath and wonder what will come next for your child, what the scans will show, will the medications work?

Michele lost her job because she had to stay home and take care of her daughter. She is the reason Ginny is alive. She is selfless and fights fierce and without hesitation for her babygirl.

The reason I am sharing this story with all of you is because there is only one income in Ginny’s family and it comes from her stepfather, Tom. He is one amazing man and part of the lifeline that holds this family together. Ginny and her family need your help. They understandably have come to a point of financial struggle and are now face with additional stress of paying their bills and more importantly being able to pay for Ginny’s medications and medical supplies that are not covered by insurance.


So here is my challenge to you. I am reaching out to all of Ginny’s friends, family and followers. Imagine what we could do to help Ginny and her family if 4,000 people shared this. Even if you can’t donate or you can only donate $5 (anything will help), I beg of you to please share this post. And when you do make it a public share and then ask your friends to share because then this will go far and make a difference. You can make a difference in Ginny’s life, you can help with her healing, you can help her get what she needs to live, to fight, and have a better quality of life. What could be more rewarding than that?

Please accept my challenge and share this post. Please help Ginny and her family. If you can donate, no amount is too small. You are touching the life of a brave and beautiful warrior and friend. With love and grateful hearts, the family will never forget your kindness and generosity. To them, you are all part of Ginny’s journey.

Visit to help support Ginny and her family.

– Lisa Cretacci 

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