Anna's Amazing Life
Anna's light started shining brightly on January 8th, 1996. She came into this world with an energy that couldn't wait to experience it all. Sleeping was a waste of valuable time.
As a small child she would put a blanket around her shoulders and in super hero style announce that she was "The Amazing Anna". It turned out she was correct.
Her fearless nature and strength showed itself early. She scaled the huge climbing wall at REI at the age of 4, with complete strangers cheering her on. She liked skiing, and would race down the hill on her bicycle at break-neck speeds, which ended with stitches in her face.
Her mind raced with thoughts and ideas. One deep thought came at the tender age of 3. "How can God be small enough to live in our hearts and big enough to hold the whole world in His hands?" Good question.
Travel was an integral part of her life and she loved experiencing new locales and cultures. Her thirst for travel continued even to her final months. She wanted to go to New Zealand and return to Europe, and Disney World. She loved Disney World!
Anna was the very definition of a mountain girl; backpacking, snowboarding, fishing, biking, running and golf. Most of all, she loved volleyball! She played 4 years at Evergreen High School and with ACE volleyball travel club. She enjoyed coaching and mentoring younger girls coming up in the sport. She also lettered in golf and track and received a Culinary degree. She excelled in academics, and was on the honor roll 4 years and received the CHSAA Academic All-Star First Team award.
After travelling to Europe in her gap year, she attended Colorado Mesa University. She was on the Dean's List, played volleyball on the travel club, and was a coach/player for an intramural team.
In the winter of her college year she began having health problems. She would pass out while running or playing volleyball. She was diagnosed with a rare condition called Popliteal Artery Entrapment Syndrome and a heart condition. We went to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in June when school finished. We were at Johns Hopkins for nearly a month while she had 2 surgeries on her legs. Her case was extremely rare. The muscle was not only trapping the major artery in each leg but was also trapping the vein and nerve. We were told it was 1 in a billion chance of this happening. While we were Baltimore I noticed some unusual things happening with Anna. I called and made an appointment with a doctor for her on our return. We thought that all her troubles were behind her...we were wrong.
Three days after returning home, we learned that Anna had cancer, and not just any cancer; Stage 4, Adrenal Cortical carcinoma. We were devastated! How could our daughter have a cancer we had never even heard of?!? She was a strong athlete! Dr. Eric Liu removed giant tumors from her abdomen. Anna fought this battle with an unimaginable grace and courage far beyond her years, and always flashed that smile. There were no complaints, other than wishing she could just go play volleyball or go for a run.
On March 26th, 2017, she died peacefully in the loving arms of her mom and dad. Thank you Amazing Anna for sharing you beautiful soul and smile with us. You are truly unforgettable.
"She shone too brightly for this world" Emily Bronte