Built ‘Ford Tough’

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Built 'Ford Tough'

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!

Long time, no post!

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Long time, no post!

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!
https://www.facebook.com/HumorHealsTheHeart
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. :)

Anna 2.0

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Anna 2.0

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

May The Odds Be Ever In Her Favor

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May The Odds Be Ever In Her Favor

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:

http://beautyinart.com/

Two Girls and a Care Bear

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Two Girls and a Care Bear

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

I’m Gonna Tell You A Story

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In honor of Donate Life month, we thought we’d re-share this video of Anna singing from her hospital bed in April of 2012. Less than a week from her diagnosis, she was already making us laugh. The King Family can have a weird sense of humor, but it’s gotten us through the past 12 months.
A year has gone by and she’s still smiling & still singing.

Turns out it’s a good story.

#smiletoday

Anna’s started a new project where every day she writes down what made her smile.
She wants to remind herself (and everyone else) to recognize the positive.
We all agree that as long as Anna’s smiling, we’re smiling too. <3

This is what made her smile this weekend.
P.S. (It was NOT the Texans game… Maybe next year!)

Abby's drawing

I smiled today when… I found this picture in my little cousin Abby’s Hello Kitty notebook! Have you smiled today? #smiletoday