By Maddie White
LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — It takes a lot of courage for an 11-year-old get up on a stage and belt the high notes, but Abigail Coeto has more courage than most.
“She is not afraid of being up on stage singing in front of people,” said her father Omar Coeto.
The Henderson seventh grader is currently in a singing competition called “Get Launched Vegas,” led by local nonprofit Positively Arts.
“She just made it to the top 40 of our Get Launched competition here. We had like hundreds of submissions, and this little girl made it to the top 40, stood there in front of a panel of world-class judges, from Broadway to television. And she stood there and sang her little heart out,” said Pilita Simpson, president and founder of Positively Arts.
The singing battle is not the only challenge she’s faced. Coeto is in remission from cancer.
“I got diagnosed with leukemia at age six,” said Coeto. “I was in the hospital so much, and I was in isolation a lot, that basically I started getting a bit depressed. And I am a very social butterfly.”
“Seeing my daughter, from losing all her hair, being depressed, and all that she went through in the hospital; doing treatment, going to clinics, seeing doctors every week, every other day sometimes, and spending weeks at a time in isolation… and seeing her right now makes me feel great, because I know that she’s doing good. I know that she’s happy. I know that she’s having fun, and, she’s doing what she loves,” said her father.
Simpson said Coeto is now teaching that same resiliency to others.
“Whenever there’s a teaching moment in class, and a kid kind of breaks down and cries because they didn’t feel confident with what they did, I just have to give one look to Abby, and Abby stands up, goes over to that kid, gives them a hug, and looks them in the eye and says, ‘You can do this. I believe in you,'” said Coeto.
Positively Arts is sponsoring her performing arts training.
“It’s our mission to provide unparalleled opportunities for all kids, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Simpson.
Her dad said it’d be otherwise difficult for them to afford.
“That battle with cancer was not the end for her,” said Simpson. “It was the beginning … So kudos to her family, to all the doctors and nurses at the hospital, and I’m just honored we can give her this platform through the arts to continue to build this strength that was already inside that little girl.”
When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she responded, “I want to be a performer.”
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