By Stephanie Stahl


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 9-year-old offered some words of encouragement Thursday at St. Christopher’s Hospital for sick children, from someone who knows what they’re going through. Children struggling with serious illnesses face all sorts of physical and emotional hardships, but one little girl from Montgomery County has a special spin on being sick.

Nine-year-old Abby Ferraro had a special delivery at St. Christopher’s Hospital, giving out the book she wrote about living with chronic diseases.

Abby was first diagnosed with juvenile arthritis as a baby and then Crohn’s disease, two very painful conditions.

“Right now, I’ve been sick since December,” she said. “It feels like it won’t get better, but I try and stay strong.”

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With her mom’s encouragement, the third-grader wrote a book called “Everyone Has Something” last year.

“Because it’s true, everyone has something,” Abby said.

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It was a grown-up lesson for a little girl to understand that nobody’s life is perfect.

“I use that phrase for everything to point out so she wouldn’t become like, ‘Why does this happen to me?’ Because everyone has something, you just don’t know what they’re something is,” Abby’s mother, Kerry Ferraro, said.

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Along with talking about coping with medical issues, Abby also chronicles many happy moments, showing the importance of finding a bright side in difficult situations.

“It’s remarkable, I think it’s empowering for other patients to be able to see something like this,” said Dr. Harpreet Pall, of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

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Kids share a bond knowing about the fears and pain that come with being sick and then there’s Ferraro with this.

“Stay strong, believe in yourself and you can make friends by just being you,” Abby said.

Abby said she wrote the book, but her mom did the typing.

In addition to St. Christopher’s Hospital, Abby is giving away 25 copies at CHOP and Nemours Children’s Health System. It’s also available on Amazon.

Stephanie Stahl