MTV has confirmed that Frankie Abernathy from the Real World San Diego cast has died on Saturday June 9th in the evening while being with her mother, Abbie Hunter, at her home in Shorewood, Wisconsin.
Frankie had moved to Wisconsin last fall with her family where she was designing purses using old vinyl records.
Services will be held Saturday morning in Blue Springs, Missouri, and her mother said a scholarship fund has been established in Frankie’s name at Blue Springs High School, Frankie’s alma mater.
In lieu of flowers, fans can send donations to the Frankie Abernathy Scholarship Fund, c/o Jackie Langston, 1205 NW Roanoke Drive, Blue Springs, MO, 64015.
“It was very sudden,” her mother said. “It wasn’t something that was expected. She was doing fine, and we really don’t know very much yet. It still was kind of a shock, and it just wasn’t how we figured things would go. It seems like her little body just gave out.”
“It was a day-by-day thing,” Hunter said. “Some days she felt good, and some days she felt bad. We were kind of hoping to get her [on a list] to see if she would qualify for a lung transplant, because the disease does get progressively worse. In the winter, most [people with cystic fibrosis] usually have a rough patch, and she had a rough patch this year. She had been sick more this last year than she’d ever been in the past. I am very grateful that it was very quick for her. It certainly made it hard for the survivors. She’s just our little girl.”
“Her experience on ‘The Real World’ taught her about what she needed to do, and it helped other people as well,” Hunter said. “I know several people weren’t aware of the cutting epidemic at the time and I know several people wrote Frankie and thanked her. She was a different person for ‘The Real World’ realm, and I think she touched a lot of people and made an impact on a lot of people’s lives. That’s what you want when you have a child — you hope they do that. I wish it had been in a different way, but I am proud of her, and as I said, she got a lot of personal growth out of her experience, and she was very fortunate to have had the experiences she did.”