2016 Speak Now For Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero: Anna-Maria
Anna-Maria was diagnosed eight years ago with a low-grade brain tumor of the hypothalamus and optic pathways that caused hydrocephalus, a life-threatening collection of fluid in the ventricles of her brain. Since then she has had 12 brain surgeries, is on her 8th round of chemotherapy and has endured six weeks of proton beam radiation.
Currently in treatment, and followed closely by multiple highly specialized physicians at Kosair Children's Hospital, Anna-Maria attends high school and is actively involved with her swim team and youth group.
Despite going through so many treatments, she is very happy and positive and has a strong desire to "give back." As an active member of the Bourbon & Bowties committee which raises funds for the hospital, Anna-Maria sits on the Kosair Children's Hospital Youth Advisory Council and hosts bake sales to benefit children's cancer patients. In 2015, because of her desire to pay it forward, she was named Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy by the Louisville chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.