Girl posed with birthday cake with 13 candles

Meet Anna

In 2019, after weeks of unexplained headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, Jennifer took her 11-year-old daughter, Anna, to the emergency department in Erie, Pa. They didn’t know then that Anna, who was normally very athletic and high energy, was fighting a rare cancerous brain tumor known as medulloblastoma.

Anna was quickly taken via air ambulance from Erie to Pittsburgh where she received brain surgery just three days later. Her medical journey, which included multiple brain surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, many days driving between Erie and Pittsburgh, and countless hours with her family worrying, was physically and emotionally draining for the whole family.

UPMC Children’s is one of the leading sites in the United States for research and clinical studies focused on childhood neurologic cancers like medulloblastoma. "We were so fortunate to be able to have a top-notch children’s hospital only two hours away from us," says Jennifer. "Lots of families travel across the country for care like this."

Learn more about how philanthropy fuels pediatric cancer research

In May 2020, despite additional challenges including an infection caused by a lost tooth, Anna came home with a clean bill of health. Now a lively 13-year-old, Anna is focused on returning to her normal life while sharing her story to help other kids who are sick.

Kids like Anna get to have a chance at a bright future because of UPMC Children’s care and expertise, and donations from our supporters.

Give Now

More Stories

Stories of Hope and Healing

  • Rosie


    You can’t help but smile around Tony and Sarah and their 8-year-old daughter, Rosie.

    Full Story
  • Anna


    In 2019, after weeks of unexplained headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, Jennifer took her 11-year-old daughter, Anna, to the emergency department in Erie, Pa.

    Full Story
  • D'Kaiden


    Doctors told Samantha to prepare for the worst — that her son D’Kaiden likely wouldn’t survive after birth.

    Full Story
  • Juju


    “Pittsburgh is Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, and we need to be 'helpers' when called,” says Katie about sharing her daughter’s story.

    Full Story
  • Landon


    Get to know another one of our featured fighters for the Heroes in Healing program. Meet Landon.

    Full Story
  • Mackenzie


    Many children with developmental and behavioral health needs experience a difficult journey toward wellness due to services that are fragmented or inaccessible.

    Full Story
  • Rilyn


    “We are truly thankful for all of the nurses, physicians, surgeons, therapists, and specialists that have been involved in Rilyn’s care,” says Rilyn’s mom, Jamie. “

    Full Story
  • Sophia


    Last New Year’s Eve, while many of us were cheerfully ringing in 2021 with friends and family, 5-year-old Sophia and her parents were grappling with devastating news.

    Full Story
  • Tristan


    If you’re a member of our monthly giving program, you’ve probably seen his smiling face before. Now, you can learn more about the brave kid behind the mask.

    Full Story
  • photo of a girl with no hair


    In August 2020, I was moving into my freshmen dorm at the University of Pittsburgh, ready to take on college. Little did I know I’d be moving out just a semester later.

    Full Story
  • girl smiling and holding a puppy


    It was just after Christmas and Harper was as white as the snow on the ground.  A fever that wouldn’t break led us to take her to the pediatrician.

    Full Story
  • boy sits on a hospital bed smiling


    Joey was busy living his life as a normal 7-year-old boy, playing flag football at his local YMCA, attending first grade, and wrestling with his little brother Finnegan and his dog Sophie.

    Full Story
  • black and white photo of girl with hair wrap smiling


    Our D-Day, diagnosis day, we were delivered devastating news, “Your daughter has a very large mass in her brain.”

    Full Story