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'Real World's' Frankie

Dies at 25

6/12/2007 6:35 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0612_frankie_realworld_sd-1Frankie Abernathy -- the punked-out, boat-phobic rock chick of MTV's "Real World: San Diego" fame -- died at the age of 25 on Saturday at her mother's home in Shorewood, Wisc.

Abernathy suffered from cystic fibrosis, though an official cause of death has yet to be determined, according to MTV News. During her stint in the "Real World" house, Frankie exhibited symptoms of cystic fibrosis, such as difficulty breathing and immune-system impairment, and it was a significant part of her storyline on the show.

Frankie had some tumultuous times on the show, and ended up leaving the house before the end of the season.


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I recently lost my sister to Cystic Fibrosis and I know how hard it is to lose someone so young. My thoughts go out to her family.

2656 days ago

Barb K    

Although I didn't watch the show, I saw the headlines and anything associated with CF always gets my attention. My son also has Cystic Fibrosis. It is a horrible disease that sadly very few people really know about. There is no cure and only medication to slow the effects on the lungs and digestive system. Frankie and her family will be in my prayers.

2656 days ago


Wow that sucks..........she turned out to be a pretty cool first glance you think she is going to be some kinda weirdo but after watching her on the show she seemed like she really was a good person...........only 25, damn thats young...................

2656 days ago


That's really sad. I remember watching her get sick and it broke my heart. WOW 25 is so young. No one should have to suffer. R.I.P. Frankie girl! Much love, Tina

2656 days ago


For everyone that has been criticizing this poor girl, I hope you arent handed down a death sentence tomorrow, because no one has a clue how they will react to living most of there life with a death sentence or the cronic pain this young woman went thru daily. I'm not saying her action were perfect, but between pain and trying to escape it,her choices might not have been right or perfect for everyone, she should not need to apologize to anyone for it either.
Most people dont realize that there are over 700 different mutations(genes) of CF.There are only approximately 70 mutations which are common genes.Not everyone with CF has the same problems, not all need to be on meds. Not all have lung issues right away. The things this beautiful young woman complained about sounds alot like my daughter, She has CF, but a rare mutation, it effects her sinuses massively.It also effects her gastro system,mildly.She is not on any enzines or anything for CF like most CF patience take daily.Yet her lungs most of the time is fine.The only time I have to rap her chest is maybe once a yr IF she gets a bad case of broncitis, not daily like most CF patience have to.We didnt find out the usual way that my daughter had it.From the time she was 7 to 10 she had cronic MIGRAINES, she was put on over 6000 mg of antiinflamatories and pain meds every day to control the pain, this is from 7yrs old to 10 yrs old.We finally had a smart PA who was tired of seeing her in so much pain, she had a CATSCAN and the ENT specialist found with the sinus disease my daughter had( she was 98% impacted and the infection had inflitrated her brain), that only kids with a rare form(mutation) of CF get this.She had to go thru sinuse surgery,because of that she started losing her eye sight. Because there are always secondary problems, she also has Ebstein Barr(cronic fatigue), she has Fibromyalgia and her body is ALWAYS in constant spasms,like her legs back and shoulders. If you ask most Dr's its not the CF that causes her the problems its the rest, but she has them because of the CF, so it is an endless circle , in life. Now unless you know everything there is about CF, please dont judge this girl, if she had a mutation that was similar to my daughters, and she never really had lung issues she probably thought it wasnt a major issue. Also someone in an earlier post said something about people with CF cant have diary products, that is not true, not ALL CF patience cant have dairy, my daughter has never had a problem with dairy at all.
I truly hope that those that have most critical of this young Woman , never have to go thru the pain this woman endured daily, knowing your in your teens and early twenties and should be able to be out having fun like other kids your age and you cant. Having to be responsible of taking meds all day everyday, and never wishing you didnt have to be that responsible, or being tired of haveing to keep it all in order when you just want to sleep or stop it all.

I truly hope she can Rest in Peace now, and that there is no more suffering.
To her Family, I'm so Sorry for your Lose

2656 days ago


God Bless her and her family.

2656 days ago


I'm a stepmom to 3 children with Cystic Fibrosis. These children were diagnosed late in life, so it makes it harder for them to realize that they now have a condition that requires constant care and certain life restrictions. I feel for my husband, I'm sure everyday has to be hard realizing everyday that the children that he has created are all 3 living with the reality that their mortality will probably be shorter than his own. We do not have custody of the oldest who is almost 17, and as for her doing therapy regularly, we are very aware that she doesn't. We only hope and pray that she realizes how precious her life is, and that being risky or unhealthy in the end will only make her life shorter. Also, realizing that God is the only one that can help you when we as parents are unable to.

I hope that when Frankie this child of God was taken...that she realized and accepted him into her heart. We have the other two, and are very consistent with educating them and doing their therapy consistently. I've only been in these childrens lives for 2 years now and have seen a remarkable difference. They are not looking at themselves as helpless, but realizing that they have to take accountability for keeping up with's a life style...and though we can not predict the future...we try our best to love eachother...pray with eachother...and when the time does come...that we did everything to the best of our ability:)

God Bless

2656 days ago

JOhn R.    

So sorry to hear about this . My nineteen year old granddaughter has Cystic Fibrosis
and things do not look good as she gets older. Hopefully, soon, they'll find a cure.

2656 days ago


Aww...she was on the first season of the real world that I watched. She seemed like a really great person deep down and really sweet. God bless her family. R.I.P.

2656 days ago


It's so sad that Frankie's passed away. She'll be missed by us all but now God needs her help God Bless You Frankie

2656 days ago


Yah..I saw this coming. I knew with that disease and the way she carried herself (smoking, drinking, etc) she wasnt going to live long.

2656 days ago


This is sad. I remember Frankie.

2656 days ago


This is so sad to hear, i didn't have a clue who they might be talking about when it said "Real World Star". When I saw her picture my heart melted. She was one of my favorites on that season. She will be missed!!

2656 days ago


A raw deal in a real world

2656 days ago


No body gets out of cystic fibrosis alive it takes all its victims most do not live past age 20 BUT..Important... It is an inherited disease. why would anyone pass it on if they carried the gene?

2656 days ago
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