I was going to write something about Anna's birthday, but her sisters Olivia and Ella beat me to it:
"Today is Anna's 20th birthday. Normally on a birthday, you give gifts to the person who's having their birthday. But Anna's birthday is different, she gives us gifts. Her gifts aren't the kind you'd expect, and they can't be bought in a store. They aren't gifts like nail polish, an iPhone, or anything like that. They're better. They are things that matter and that last.
She gifts us with more things than can be named, but some are things like the knowledge that you can beat anything that you put your mind to. During rehab, she wasn't expected to walk. But every day she let us keep pushing her to do more and more, and she is now walking like a hero.
She gave us that by fighting so hard and how she keeps on fighting every day. Anna has tons of challenges she faces daily, yet she gives us her beautiful smile that she keeps beaming through everything she faces.
Before she went into surgery for the first time, we were so scared and worried about her. That was definitely one of the worst times in our lives. As she was talking to us before her surgery, she was smiling. It was that smile that calmed us and let us know she was going to make it out of this alive.
Another thing she has gifted us with is herself. We have gotten to take care of her and watch her as she takes steps in her recovery each day. We get to love on her and take care of her. Anna has taught us so much and has gifted us with so many things.
We admire her so greatly and hope that one day we're near as giving as she is. We're so honored to be her sister and friend. We are so very proud of her. She has fought for 3 1/2 long years, and she's still fighting. We love you Anna.
Thank you for always thinking of others, for all the gifts that you have given and thank you for being you.
Last Sunday, my family and I had lunch with Anna, where Anna gets her birthday card with a check.
Officially, $3,600 was raised for Miss Anna’s 20th birthday.
She actually got more, as some of the good folks at ADV Rider sent birthday cards with checks.
Along with her check, Anna also got a piece of art.
Earlier this year, I contacted a college classmate (David Terry http://www.davidterryart.com/ )to inquire about drawing a picture of Anna for her birthday.
I told him about Anna, and asked how much a drawing would be.
He asked for a few pictures.
I sent them to him, plus some of Melissa’s stories.
The idea was, he would quote me a price, and I would see if I could scramble up enough funds to pay for it.
He wrote me back, and told me he would do the drawing no charge.
Here is the picture I sent him:
Here is what David drew:
Notice that the hospital bracelets have been removed in the drawing.
I got a bit down giving Anna this gift, as she is blind...
Melissa was overcome by the drawing.
Melissa’s note to David Terry:
That moment was almost holy. I remember it distinctly and I can still feel every emotion I had then, as I held my Anna. I can see it also in your work. I cannot thank you enough. What you have given us is beautiful and priceless. May God bless you richly as you have certainly blessed us.
In the next two weeks, Anna will go back into the hospital for a 24 hour EKG. The doctors are trying to determine what is causing her seizures. To combat the seizures, she now takes even more medicine, a side effect being anxiety attacks.
Anna's seizures and anxiety have really put a crimp on what few activities Anna enjoys - dancing and horseback riding. Sadly, Anna for now mostly just stays at home...
This past weekend, Anna had a photo shoot in Atlanta's historic Oakland Cemetery.
From the photographer:
Life can be kind of funny sometimes....the ones who thank you the most for your time are the actually the ones you should be thanking for theirs....a moment to be less about ourselves and more about others....we may not walk in their shoes but they make you stop in yours and appreciate things just a tad bit more....this young lady has and always will hold special place in my heart....she is simply amazing....
"Cannot tell you how wonderful it is to know this family and be a part of their lives....I mean they make my worse days seem like a walk in the park...not so much of what is thrown their way but more of how they handle things with such grace and strength...their mom is so humble and never likes to take any credit...well she needs to....these 2 lovely ladies and their 3 siblings are a testament to her and their dad. Bravo to them both for raising stellar kids and Anna Mott you are truly a breath of fresh air and I am so lucky to be a part of watching you take on the world and beat every odd there is to beat."
As you are probably aware, Anna had radiation and chemotherapy as part of her battle.
Here is something Melissa wrote about the masks one wears when having radiation treatment for brain cancer:
I realized tonight that out of all the photos I have shared, I don't think I ever shared this one. It really was so painful to think about....this room, these horrific masks....that I haven't really ever shared a lot about that part of our experience.
One of the masks on this wall belonged to my Anna Mott. She had to go every weekday by ambulance from Scottish to Winship, 33 times in a row, to have full spine and brain radiation to kill that monster in her head, at the same time receiving chemo and being inpatient at rehab.
A mask was custom molded to my baby's head and chest. Every day it was strapped to a table to hold her completely still, so that life saving, yet brain destroying beams could be shot into her head and spine. I will never forget the exact moment I had to sign my name on that form to allow this. I swear time stood still. It was just like when Alice asked, "How long is forever?" And the White Rabbit replied, "Sometimes, just one second."
Anonymous in UK A Nony Mouse Anonymous in GA Bob in NW PA David in Atlanta Gordon Gray Htown16 (Thank you!) Jim in Pasco Ob1Quixote
Total is now $ 3500. With one week left, we are $1500 away from our goal.
Since last week, there has been 5,000 views on this thread. Out of those 5,000, three (3) good souls sent Anna a donation. Please consider sending something for Anna's Christmas. Any and I mean any amount is appreciated.
It all adds up!
To send you donation by check, make out to me . Please write Anna Mott in the memo field.
My mailing address is:
David Duke 378 North Peachtree Street Norcross GA 30071
To send you donation by Paypal, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate the money is a gift and mention Anna in the comments/remarks field.