Came home to a box full of goodies sent from Life is good, including one of Bert Jacob’s hand me down shirts!! Anna is tucked in cozy and happy in his Boston shirt that says “Nothing Is Stronger Than Love” on the back. Thanks so much for the love, you guys! Hoping Anna can turn things around quickly and get this show on the road!
Anna has landed back at TCH. She is feeling lousy with an infection and the doctors are working together to get it figured out because this kid is close to a new heart & we need to be ready. Good vibes appreciated for a little girl who just can’t catch a break lately.
(P.S. We’ve been here 2 days and at least 10 people have commented on what a good sense of humor she has – so that says it all.
One of the good things (and there are many) to come from Anna’s experience is the new friendships we have made. Today we had the great pleasure to finally meet Paul Knapp from Chicago. He is a lover of music & golf, a huge supporter of Anna’s, a heart transplant recipient himself, and a dedicated advocate for Donate Life. His wish is to caddy for Anna when she is back on the course with a healthy new heart. We love it! She’ll see you on the green, Paul!
Anna’s grandparents are visiting from New York, thanks to first-class plane tickets given to them by Brown’s Ford, where John has worked for 40 years. (Thank you, Browns!)
When you look at this photo, you would never know that Anna and her grandpa are both battling health issues. John has been fighting cancer for the past two years, while Anna waits for her new heart. John doesn’t let it get him down, and neither does she.
We guess we know where she gets her determination -
she’s built ‘Ford tough’ like her Grandpa!
Wow, it’s been so long since we’ve posted. For those of you that follow Anna’s page on Facebook, you have seen a bunch since we can’t resist popping a photo of Anna on there every day or two. If you’re not following that, click this link and “like” it!
This photo is Anna and her Daddio after her most recent clinic visit at Texas Children’s. No changes is always good news. It also means that the wait continues. Anna has been listed for over 500 days now, and with more than 20 kids waiting here in Houston, it may be a while.
We can’t say enough how thrilled we are to see Anna holding on so well, but it’s admittedly very difficult to see her sit on the sidelines as life moves on. We have had some hard days. Optimism is a job some days. There’s no one that could face this every day and not get down once in a while, and Anna has had to learn that it’s OK to get mad, frustrated, sad, scared, and just plain grumpy. And we have. But we pull each other out of it, and that’s the important thing. Sometimes it is actual work to keep going – and we are all doing that work because Anna is worth it. <3
To see more pictures from recent months, scroll back through the blog. :)
The beginning of the new school year was tough for Anna. We were all disappointed for 8th grade to start and Anna still be at home. This is the deal with school… Anna does have permission from her doctors to attend school. She can do whatever she is able to tolerate. Anna doesn’t have the stamina to do the full load of the junior high schedule five days a week. And we have understandably become extreme germ-a-phobes. So, we believed doing school from home was the preferred option.
However, the isolation that comes along with this is very hard on a 13-year-old girl. Anna is someone who thrives on her relationships and interactions with her friends and her teachers. School just isn’t any fun doing it alone at home, with Mom nagging you all the time.
So the idea of another whole school year of that was really a drag.
Then along came the robot…
Our friend Rylan Karrer scored one of these and was loving using it at his school in Montgomery, Texas. His Mom asked if it would be possible to find one for Anna.
So Mr. Kip Robins blessed us with what would her classmates would name Anna 2.0.
Anna is able to use this robot in the classroom, maneuvering it from home. She is able to get direct instruction from her teachers, including Ms. Meyer, pictured above. And she can interact a bit more with her peers. She loves it! (And so does Mom, who can nag a lot less now.) <3
What an awesome experience Anna had doing this concept photo shoot with Houston photographer Bryan Anderson! Through a mutual friend, Bryan heard about Anna and extended the offer to do something special for her. We talked about her interests and ended up with the idea of Anna portraying Katniss from The Hunger Games. (Anna is a huge fan of science fiction novels & The Hunger Games series is her favorite.)
Bryan made a post on his Facebook page asking for the wardrobe pieces, a makeup artist, and a pink hunting bow. In less than 15 minutes, he had all of that covered.
…Bryan Anderson for President!
This photo was taken just outside of our house, in the park across the street.
How cool is that? Bryan transformed our little suburban neighborhood into a forest from a dystopian novel. The beautiful Jennifer Crocker did Anna’s hair and makeup, and gave her this jacket and boots as a gift to keep. Two more people to add to the ever growing list of Anna’s supporters. We love it!
To see more of Bryan’s work:
Anna and Alli Codi have been best friends since they were 4 years old.
Here’s a picture of them from Alli’s visit to Texas this summer, alongside one from Pre-K. Beautiful girls, growing up so fast.
Anna may or may not still have that Care Bear… on her bed… as we speak.
Alli & Share Bear have both stood the test of time. <3