Today was all Anna. I have been following Anna’s story ever since I saw her YouTube clip back in July when she was belting out her own lyrics about dilated cardiomyopathy to one of my favorite Adele songs.
I was instantly taken with her infectious optimism, sense of humor and smiling eyes. Today when I was thinking about all the things I am grateful for, she came to mind. I had sworn off posting for a few more days. I had also resigned to not getting a run in today but my mind and my body weren’t buying it. I also knew that there were good vibes to be sent to Anna today and I needed to lace up.
Tony and I found a break in the day and we slipped out the door for our run, leaving Grandma Florida to hang out with Logan and Zoe. I was feeling good and pretty excited to run at a different time of the day. The sun was getting ready to slide behind the mountains and we had the trail all to ourselves. Everything felt sun-kissed and a little sleepy, like a big sigh at the end of a good day. I knew the instant we pulled into the parking lot that I was right, today’s run was for Anna. The lake glistened and it all felt a little magical, that is so Anna.
I marked my start with a heart drawn on the trail reading “for Anna“…I smiled to myself as I took off into the sun, feeling like I had a little secret, leaving a little mystery on the trail. I pictured the next runner to come across this note smiling to themselves and doing the same, “o.k., this one’s for Anna“.
Anna, who recently celebrated her 13th birthday, was diagnosed with a rare heart condition, dilated cardiomyopathy, at the age of 12. Simply put, Anna needs a new heart. A new heart. Not an operation to repair but to replace. I thought about this over and over as I ran today, feeling my own heart working hard, wanting it to work harder and how Anna’s heart had become diseased and wore itself out. I wanted to keep running, I wanted my heart to be stronger, not just for me but for Anna too.
I continue to be inspired by Anna’s courage, her ability to move forward with such grace and humor. She carries this beam of optimism that brightens the path in front of her and how lucky are we that she lights the way for us as well. Truly a special young girl that will no doubt touch the lives of many.
I would love for you to take a few minutes to get to know Anna and her family. She will surely touch your life in a way that you might find unexpected. She’s a charmer and I have no doubt that her spirit and optimism will make you believe that anything is possible.
So Anna, I send you good vibes today and always, from my heart to yours, you will be with me all the way. I look forward to helping you celebrate the day you receive the good news and that your prayers have been answered. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us and for inspiring us to believe.
You can follow Anna through their family blog or “like” them on FB, better yet do both. I invite you to send her good vibes, offer her your prayers and most importantly take Anna’s lead and encourage optimism.
To learn more about Dilated Cardiomyopathy please visit these websites,
If you are not yet an organ donor, please take a few moments to learn more about organ donation. When our son, Logan, was diagnosed with T1D, the thought of him possibly facing one or even multiple organ transplants in his lifetime, truly changed the way I thought about organ donation. After hearing Anna’s story I was never so sure of how important organ donation is to all of us. No one is immune to a health challenge or a time in our lives when we depend on the generosity of others, please consider being an organ donor.