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Thanks again for stopping by and sharing this amazing story of Anny’s courage and R.S.’ overwhelming love and pride for her daughter.
Everyone knows the saying if life gives you lemons, then make lemonade.
Some people live their life with this mantra. One such person is the daughter of my dear friends.
R.S. is a crazy New Jersey mother of two children – a son aged 17 and a daughter aged 12. RS works primarily to pay for expenses incurred in educating her visually impaired daughter. In addition, she tries to manage her household.
However, one thing you have to know about R.S. is that “if you cross my children, you will have to cross me as well – and you don’t want to do that!”
Below is a story about R.S.’s12 year old Anny that is sure to bring tears to your eyes. Thanks to R.S. for sharing this incredible moment.
My visually impaired cancer patient 12 year old daughter can do anything she wants.
Recently, she decided to raise money for the charity Chai Lifeline (an organization the supports children with cancer and other blood disorders) as a way to say thank you for all the support they have given her during her battle with cancer. So, she decided to participate in the organization’s Miami half marathon.
Anny dressed and ready to head to the marathon.
We flew to Miami Thursday night but didn’t check into our hotel till 2:30am!
From the time we woke up the next day, we were being taken care of without even asking for it!
Anny spent Friday afternoon swimming in the pool and enjoying spending time with some of the other kids who were there – cancer patients, survivors and siblings of patients. Lunch was brought by one of the counselors who made a pizza run.
Dinner was provided by Chai Lifeline and over 700 people shared that meal. We were sitting with our group – The Power Players – Anny’s counselors from camp – who raised almost $50,000 to participate in this marathon! There was singing, and joking and good food. I watched as Anny’s counselors included her in the singing and even joined Anny when she chose “The cup song” (her favorite) to sing!
Later, I enjoyed the dessert reception by one of the hotel pools while Anny was resting in the room, too tired to go. I spent some time talking to other families of cancer patients and survivors about life.
I needed this time as my husband and I had just gotten news: Anny’s first MRI after chemo showed unfavorable results. We talked about anger, frustration and the brief meltdown Anny had earlier in the evening when I told her about the MRI. I had told Anny that it was ok to cry, after all this was not what we were expecting to hear.
Saturday’s weather was even more beautiful than Friday. The sun was shining brightly and we decided that we were going to walk along the beach with some other girls after lunch.
Saturday night was a pre-race past party. Everyone who entered the party was cheered on by the staff – The cheers of “Anny, Anny, Anny” were a great start. The room was filled with runners, some in their team shirts, some in their running shirts, and some in just their normal street clothing (Florida style!) There were some speeches, some videos and lots of cheering and yelling and singing.
We got up at 3:30 A.M. as we needed to so to catch a bus to the marathon at 4:30 A.M. Anny wore her shirt with the marathon badge. I was so proud to see her in her marathon outfit – sneakers, runner’s pants and marathon shirt with her number and name on the sleeve!
Anny at the starting line.
Once at the race, I found a good seat at the finish line anxious to see my princess to arrive. I was told that my daughter’s counselor usually ran the marathon in just over three hours, and she predicted that it might take her 30 minutes longer to push.
Anny and her counselors along the route.
Around the 2 hour mark, the clouds started to roll in and the rain began. Many runners passed by and told me that Anny was right behind them, and so I waited. The 3 hours mark came but there was no sign of Anny or her counselor though I continued getting assurance that “she’s right behind me.”
The 4 hours mark passed. I was sure that there was a problem with Anny and that the counselor pushing her was struggling. Again I was told “Anny is right behind me.”
At 4 hours and 28 minutes, I saw a beautiful sight. There was my daughter, smiling, walking with her cane, guided by her counselor, with another counselor pushing the wheelchair, walking towards the finish line. I began to scream and cheer and cry. I could not believe that my daughter – with brain tumors in her head, and a walking cane to guide her in her hand – was about to cross the finish line! Other runners joined her as she approached the finish line and crossed it with her. They sang, screamed, and cheered with her and me.
Anny and her counselor crossing the finish line.
My daughter who is “differently abled” can accomplish anything! Seeing my daughter cross that finish line filled me with a feeling that words can’t describe and an image which I will never forget.
Annie getting her medal from another counselor.
Anny faces many challenges, in the next few months while we get clarification of her updated diagnosis and in her life as a whole – but she can do anything she wants to.
**Please note Anny walked three miles of the marathon and was pushed in a wheelchair for the other 10.5.