Sticking together! JoJo Siwa confirmed that she paid a visit to her former dance teacher, Abby Lee Miller, in the hospital just after the 51-year-old had been diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, the Dance Mom‘s matriarch — who was first hospitalized for a spinal infection that caused her to become paralyzed from the neck down — isn’t in good condition at the moment.
“I actually went to visit her yesterday — she was not good by any means,” JoJo told People. “I know what she has is awful, but she’s in good spirits so that’s really good. It’s hard, but she is definitely, definitely, definitely the strongest, toughest person that I know, and so I think she’ll be good.”
While JoJo admitted that it was “heartbreaking” to see Abby like this, she still plans on going back to visit her again. “We’ll go see her tomorrow or sometime next week,” the 14-year-old explained. “We’re definitely going to see her all of the time.”
On April 10 — two weeks after entering a halfway house to finish her 366-day jail sentence — Abby was hospitalized for what doctors thought was a thyroid condition. Her surgeon, Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, said Abby’s condition started getting worse. “Not just her pain, but her weakness started getting worse,” he explained. “In the span of 24 hours, which was something that I have not seen, her condition rapidly deteriorated. She was completely paralyzed from the neck down.”
Just one week later, Abby was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma — a cancer that develops in the patient’s lymphatic system. Dr. Melamed confirmed that Abby did not have an infection like he originally thought.
“It was not an infection, it was a type of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – it’s a type of a cancer,” he said. “We’re getting an oncologist involved and we have to figure out what the next steps are as far as chemotherapy or radiation or more spine surgery… It just depends the type [of tumor] but I feel more than yes, she will undergo chemotherapy or radiation.”