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TWU Softball Player Battling Leukemia

By Bill Jones, CBS 11 News
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Abby Burns poses under the TWU scoreboard. She was recently diagnosed with leukemia. (Courtesy: Facebook)

Abby Burns poses under the TWU scoreboard. She was recently diagnosed with leukemia. (Courtesy: Facebook)

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DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – When a softball player steps into the batter’s box, they tend to expect a curve ball from time-to-time. But not like the one thrown to Texas Women’s University student and softball player Abby Burns.

Burns, 21, was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia – also known as AML – after it was incorrectly identified as mononucleosis.

Burns is no ordinary 21-year-old college student. She’s managed her own budget for years, covering her bills and tuition while managing to excel on the softball field.

“She’s a survivor and she’s a fighter,” said TWU softball coach Richie Bruister. “She’s why you go into coaching.”

From a broken home and without insurance, chemotherapy wasn’t in Burns’ budget. That’s why Abby’s Angels nonprofit organization came to TWU’s student union Wednesday.

“We support her … we’re all here,” said Bailey Vrazel, shortstop on the team.

Burns began chemotherapy at Medical City in Dallas in January to battle the disease, which grows in the blood and bone marrow and can affect the blood cells and platelets. She’ll need more treatments and a bone marrow transplant.

“I have at least two more rounds of chemo,” she said. “They want to … find a match first.”

TWU has set up a fund to help offset the soaring medical expenses. They ask to mail checks to TWU Athletics, ATTN: Chalese Connors, P.O. Box 425349 Denton TX. 76204. Donations can also be made at any BBVA Compass Bank location, just reference the TWU Athletics Abby Burns fund.

While life threw Burns a changeup, she’s holding her ground in the batter’s box.

“I was even joking, saying I can play this weekend,” Burns said.

“She said, ‘you’ll have a note in the next hour saying I can play,” Bruister added. “How ‘bout that? She can play. That’s pretty cool. Doctors note coming in.”

“We can play this weekend,” Bruister said.

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