Anna’s mother writes, “Anna was a ballerina who had a fractured spine in the spring of 2011. She had physical therapy and it healed up over the summer and she began Nutcracker rehearsals with no problem. It suddenly seemed to come back and then headaches began too, to the degree that she had to stop dancing. From Jan 2012-August she was seen by several different doctors and specialists, none knowing why she was in such pain. August 29, 2012, she woke up with another really bad headache and then fell. We took her to the ER and a CT scan was ordered. They found a mass in the center of her brain and sent her by ambulance straight away to the hospital. Anna was diagnosed with a pineoblastoma. She had two resections, a shunt placement, overcame left side paralysis, 32 radiations to the brain and spine in conjunction with 6 weeks of chemo from October through November. Then in January of 2013, she began 6 months of intense chemo which required scheduled hospitalizations along with many other hosptializations for infections and neutropenia. She completed her chemo in June of 2012 and thankfully has been cancer free ever since. We go every 3 months for MRIs and our next one is in March of 2014. Anna is now blind as a result of the intense pressure the tumor caused on her optic nerves and has many cognitive challenges from the difficult resections. In spite of this, she is always smiling, so strong and an inspiration to all who know her!”
Before Anna’s diagnosis and loss of vision, her main interests were ballet, music (especially alternative), fashion, photography, Jane Austen and writing. She is now trying to find new interests within her limitations and is beginning to write again. Her favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 and she has drawn so much strength from it.