PYHO: Carrying on Anna's Legacy

Nothing can ever take away the pain of losing someone you love. That is obvious. Nothing can take away the pain of missing Anna and wishing she were still here. I used to wonder how in the world I would ever survive without her. Some days I still don't know the answer to that, but what makes it easier is knowing that she would be proud of what is being accomplished in her honor and knowing that I am a part of that.

Shortly after she passed away, my parents and I decided we needed to do something in her memory. We wanted to carry on the amazing legacy she left and give all the people supporting her something to get behind. After planning and brainstorming and some tears, the idea for the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation was born. Since then, we* have done more planning and taken lots of steps to get the foundation up and running. We put together a board of directors, held meetings to do more planning, even scheduled our first fundraising event.

A couple weeks ago (it took me a long time to write this post... I'm a little busy these days) the day came that we have been waiting for for months now; we recieved our official notice from the IRS that we are an official 501(c)(3) organization! We can now officially say the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation is a real, live, non-profit organization in Anna's memory.

Official logo! Website coming soon!

When we got the news, my mom updated Anna's Caring Bridge and I think she explained what the foundation will do perfectly, so I am sharing her words:

"Beginning TODAY — here’s our mission – - we plan to wrap our arms around Ewing’s families.  We will support them and pray for them.  If the parents have a need or the child has a special wish, we will be there to help.  Tomorrow, when that Ewing’s warrior has completed their battle and is ready for the future – we will be there when that future includes college – with scholarship opportunities.  And every day – we will be aware and learn about Ewing’s research being conducted – and our foundation will support promising research, with the guidance of our medical advisory team."

Almost a month ago, shortly before I came back to school, I had the opportunity to meet and spend the day with 3 amazing Ewing's Sarcoma warriors. It happened to be the 7 month anniversary of Anna going to heaven, and I can't think of a better way to have spent it. Meeting these girls and talking to them and hearing their experiences fighting the same cancer as Anna made me even more grateful to have the opportunity to help other warriors like Anna. I know Anna would be proud and that she would do the same thing. In fact, one of the girls shared that she and Anna had talked on Facebook when she was first diagnosed and Anna helped her with what to expect and everything. She was always willing to help others. 

It was clear that Anna's legacy was to change lives. She changed so many peoples lives without even having ever met them or having a conversation with them. So many people are better for knowing her, including me. She changed my life and still continues to. I can't think of a better way to carry on her legacy than working with this foundation. It brings so much comfort and joy to know that Anna would be proud of what is happening in her memory and that I am a part of it. It doesn't make me not miss her, but it definitely eases the pain. 

I am linking up at Things I Can't Say for Pour Your Heart Out.

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