Frankie’s mother confirms her daughter’s death

The sad news that The Real World San Diego cast member Frankie Abernathy died has been confirmed by her mother. Frankie died Saturday night at age 25, becoming the second cast member of The Real World to die.

“It was very sudden. It wasn’t something that was expected. She was doing fine, and we really don’t know very much yet,” Frankie’s mother, Abbie Hunter, told MTV News. “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.”

Frankie “moved to Wisconsin last fall with her family, and, while she wasn’t working full time, she was designing purses forged from old vinyl records. This winter, her health began to worsen,” MTV News reports.

Her mother says her health “was a day-by-day thing. 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.”

The funeral will be held in Missouri on Saturday; MTV says that instead “of flowers, fans can send donations to the Frankie Abernathy Scholarship Fund, c/o Jackie Langston, 1205 NW Roanoke Drive, Blue Springs, MO, 64015.”

‘Real World: San Diego’ Alum Frankie Abernathy Dead At 25 [MTV News]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.