Age: 9 Hometown: Encino, CA Game: UCLA vs. Arizona State View game photos
With a heart of gold and a smile that lights up a room, 9-year-old Abby embraces life. Strong, kind and filled with grace, she is an inspiration to everyone who knows her. And, though she struggles with an autoimmune disease called oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or JIA, Abby is quick to share her courage and joyful nature. It’s not always easy. Abby suffers from pain, stiffness and swelling in her joints, and her treatments at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital include frequent blood draws, dietary adjustments and steroid injections. Still, she reaches out as an unofficial ambassador to other children who are newly diagnosed with JIA, answering their questions and sharing stories of hope. Abby was born a true Blue and Gold UCLA Bruin. Her Father Marc earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1992, and while he’s a big fan of UCLA sports, he says, “I am even bigger fan of the way UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital has treated Abby!"