Anna Update: A Birthday To Remember
February 20, 2017: Day +187 Post Transplant
Anna celebrated her 8th birthday this weekend. We got the ok from the docs to have a small party with a few of her friends and family. We were blessed to have a Cardinals Cheerleader, Heidi, join the celebration. She was terrific and made the day fun for everyone, especially Anna. Anna capped the weekend with a sleepover with her lifelong friend, Emma.
Our dear friend, Kate - who heads up our fundraising efforts with COTA wrote a guest blog post in honor of Anna's birthday:
Anna DeLaney spent her 7th birthday at Phoenix Children's Hospital. She was on Month 3 of suffering from high fevers, in which her team of doctors could not figure out the root cause.
Fast forward one year later, Anna is celebrating her 8th birthday - and a Very Special Half Birthday - she's 6 months post Bone Marrow Transplant!
As Tim and Melissa traded off sleepless nights in the hospital with Anna last February, while splitting time at home with her younger sister Margaret, they never imagined what the next 12 months would hold. It was truly a parent's nightmare, as their bright, brave, beautiful 7-year daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease called Chronic Active Epstein Barr Virus, and the only hope for a cure was a daunting bone marrow transplant.
That's when the DeLaneys went it to fight and survival mode. With the help of highly specialized doctors from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., reviewing Anna's case, a plan was in place. Anna had to undergo several rounds of Chemotherapy last summer, and then was admitted full-time to Phoenix Children's Hospital in August for a more intense round of chemo before undergoing her transplant. Thankfully, the DeLaneys found a match for their girl, and now each day they endure and overcome any challenges that arise from this life-saving procedure.
While an incredible feat, a Bone Marrow Transplant is a complex procedure and requires not just days, nor weeks, but years of monitoring. It can have lifelong effects and is accompanied by expenses, known and unknown, that go far beyond what insurance covers. There are still bi-weekly visits to the Clinic at Phoenix's Children's Hospital, and semi-frequent overnight stays when Anna needs more critical attention. And there's around-the-clock medicine at home. Home is where Anna has spent this past school year, protecting her compromised immune system.
As Anna celebrates her "birthdays" this month, and moving forward, if you feel moved to celebrate with her, please consider going #AllInForAnna You can follow her miraculous journey here, as well as contribute in any way you feel compelled, or are able to do so. Anna has demonstrated such a warrior spirit during this process, and although she's been faced with much more than any newly 8 year-old should have to experience, she has managed to keep her innocent zest for life, and welcomes all the support around her. The DeLaneys have been humbled by the love and support they have received from coast-to-coast, but their journey is hardly over, so we want them to continue to feel they have a team cheering them on!
The DeLaney family has partnered with COTA, an incredible 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and our goal is to raise $100,000 for COTA in honor of Anna to assist with transplant-related expenses.
All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law and 100 percent of funds raised assist with transplant-related expenses. Most importantly, COTA offers a lifetime of support for its patients like Anna. Please consider donating and helping to spread the word.
Stay tuned for more news and updates as more information is added to the site! You can also learn more about Anna at https://www.facebook.com/allinforanna/.