Journey of Faith
TO ANNA'S GIFT FOUNDATION
September, 2005, Anna Leigh Tomalis was diagnosed with a very
rare tumor called "Embryonal Sarcoma of the Liver". It is
primarily a tumor found in children, although some adults
are diagnosed with it too. It is so rare, that only about
10-15 children a year are diagnosed with it in the United
States. The tumor was removed and Anna started chemotherapy.
Many different complications ensued that kept Anna in and
out of the hospital. Chemotherapy was a five day hospital
stay every three weeks for nine months. Anna learned to live
with hair loss, kept her hair in a bandana and made the most
of everything. In spite of the chemotherapy, low blood counts,
infections, weakness and fatigue, she found the energy and
time to play with friends when she could. In August, 2006,
Anna was diagnosed with a metastasis in her hip. Radiation,
chemotherapy, and trips to an orthopedic specialist were our
daily routine until January of 2007, when she was diagnosed
with another metastasis - this time on her spine. More radiation,
different chemotherapy, targeted drugs, other drugs to combat
metastasis in bones and daily, very long, out patient visits
were the norm for over six months. In between these times
were multiple admissions for low blood counts, mouth sores
and infections. There were no new signs of cancer until December
2007, when she was diagnosed with yet another metastasis.
Surgery, radiation and chemo followed and multiple other issues.
She was also diagnosed with tumors in her lung. Through all
of this, Anna was filled with charm and grace, humor and kindness.
She humbly accepted what had happened and what was happening
to her. At the end of her treatment, Anna received an Investigational
drug. While we were hopeful that the drug would work, the
day she was to receive the second dose of her drug - August
15th, 2008, unexpectedly, Anna passed away.