What a day. How many times have you said that in your life? How many different ways has it been said and interpreted? I know I’ve said it at some of my lowest lows and my highest highs.
And so today, I find myself at 10:45 AM saying…What a day. For today is one week after Anna Basso would have turned 19 years old. She’d be returning home for the summer after her freshman year in college. Today is about a month out from what will be the 1 year anniversary of her passing away. In many respects it’ll be a lot like the 340 or so days that came before it. A sense of loss and sadness. And at the end, along with several others scattered around the country, when a thought of Anna drifts into my head, I could envision letting out a sigh and then saying – What a day.
However, let me assure you that is not how today will go. Not at all.
For today we launch the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation. It is real, it is official and it is awesome.
The fight young Anna started in November 2009 gets kicked up a notch today. And we are on a mission. Quite simply Anna’s legacy will be defined by a simple phrase: Winning the fight against Ewing’s Sarcoma today, tomorrow and until it is gone. And win is exactly what we intend to do.
This evening here in Dallas a few hundred of us will join together to officially launch the Foundation. It will be a wonderful celebration of resolve, commitment and caring. Together we will celebrate the strength Anna showed and had deep within her, clearly placed there by her father David and mother Carol, the powerful woman driving this organization down the path towards significance. And when we gather we will not simply speak about what the foundation intends to do, we will share real evidence of what is already being done in Anna’s name.
For the three pillars of the foundation of today, tomorrow and until it’s gone are real and focused. So we will speak of what is already being done to provide support & care for those suffering today. So those in attendance will hear about the creation of Anna’s Closet and an event for Ewing’s Warriors at a recent Dallas Mavericks game.
When the conversation turns to tomorrow, the audience won’t just hear talk about one day providing scholarships to those who are fighting or who have fought through Ewing’s and are going off to college. They’ll actually meet five brave, bold and worthy recipients of this year’s 1M4A college scholarships.
And when it comes time to explain what we mean about fighting until it is gone, they’ll hear from one of the doctors on our medical advisory board, a physician who cared for Anna during her battle and someone well versed in understanding the role well-funded, promising research can play in leading us to a cure to this awful disease.
A way to assure that one day not too far off in the future, a family like Anna’s can hear what used to be a devastating diagnosis and come away with hope. And confidence. And support. And the uplifting spirit that is surely beaming down from heaven with great pride from our inspiration. One Anna Lee Basso.
Although Anna will not be standing in the room tonight, she is certainly not gone. But because of the foundation created in her name, because of 1 Million 4 Anna – one day, Ewing’s Sarcoma will be.
Man, What A Day!
We spent last night with this awesome group of Ewing’s survivors and warriors (along with a special person in each of their lives) at the Mavs game! Please join us in praying for all of these amazing teenagers and young adults and their families. We know that our angel, Anna, is watching over them.
Thanks to generous donors the kids enjoyed a limo ride to/from the game, dinner and a suite at the AAC, court side seats, and a tour of the Mavs locker room and practice gym!!
Dr. Shawn Messonier, and his wife, Sandy, have written a new book together, Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How You Can Win the Battle. While Sandy battled breast cancer in 2010 – 2011, Shawn researched extensively to help with all of their medical and treatment decisions. Shawn and Sandy’s daughter, Erica, knew both Anna and Micaela White, Anna’s friend who battled leukemia. Shawn and Sandy are generously donating a portion of the book’s proceeds to The 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation and the White Family. The book can be purchased on-line for the Kindle or in paperback.
Congratulations on the book and a big thanks to Shawn and Sandy. Your support is so appreciated!!
The 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation college scholarship application is now available. This is an important part of our mission – to “provide university scholarships to students who have battled, or continue to battle, the disease.” Our sweet Anna battled Ewing’s Sarcoma during her junior and senior years of high school. We will honor her dream of attending college by assisting other Ewing’s Sarcoma patients in achieving their college goals. Please read all the information, check the due date, and if you have any questions, please email:
Congratulations to all of you as you graduate from high school or continue your college education – another amazing achievement in your lives.
Dear Donors to Float On,
Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Children’s Medical Center Red Balloon 2011 celebration and 2012 fundraising kickoff. It was an event that epitomized victory — of the 201 teams that participated in the 2011 Red Balloon Run, only a handful were recognized this event. Most teams, like The Benchwarmers, were commemorated for raising over $92,000 for the hospital! Just being in the same room with so many wonderful people who all worked tirelessly for a wonderful charity was both humbling and heart-warming.
Toward the end of the presentation, Preston, the Executive Director of Passion for Children’s, said something I would have never expected.
“We’re saving this important award for last.”
I got an e-mail from Linda, one of the directors of the Red Balloon Run, saying that our team would be recognized during the event. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.
After Preston provided a brief history regarding Anna Basso’s fight with Ewing’s Sarcoma, he then read an excerpt of what I wrote on our team page:
“As team captain Andrew Pinkowitz said:
‘Some of us get to know people who are able to change millions of lives. For myself, and the communities of John Paul II High School and Prince of Peace Catholic School, that person was Anna Basso. On her website, http://1million4anna.com, people from around the world have pledged to devote their thoughts and prayers. Though she has passed on, her spirit, vitality, and vigor lives on through all those who have heard her story. To honor Anna, we have formed Team Float On; a personal mantra of Anna’s. Float On, in essence, is a reminder for all of us to push through adversity, keep life in perspective, and help others along the way.’
“We’d like to present the award for 2011 Most Inspirational Team to Float On.”
It was your donation that helped make this possible. Our group effort provided hope — something quite unique in today’s age.
In the meantime, I encourage you to check out the development of the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation — a brand-new charity organized in Anna’s memory, with a mission to “make a difference in the lives of those dealing with Ewing’s Sarcoma”.
Thank you for doing your part to make this dream a reality.
With heartfelt appreciation,
Team Captain: Float On (2011 Red Balloon Run and Relay)
Check out the video from a Fox 4 News story on Mark Cuban’s donation to the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation.
See original post here from Patrice Basso.
When Anna passed away, I was given a lot of advice, told a lot of inspirational things and supported to the max. However, out of all of those words of advice and inspirational quotes, etc. one thing stuck in my head all these months, and until now I didn’t really know why.
One of Anna’s favorite songs was Float On by Modest Mouse. She liked it so much and found it inspirational through her battle with cancer that she had it tattooed on her wrist. Today, the simple words “Float on”, not to mention the song itself are almost synonymous with Anna; if you knew her or at least knew of her you most likely associate ”Float On” with her. At the time of her passing, I’d heard the song a few times and knew it was a favorite of Anna’s but wasn’t overly familiar with the lyrics. That night, after everyone left and it finally hit me that I was going to have to live the rest of my life without my sister (a feeling I will never, ever forget) I was doing what any normal person would do doing what a social media freak would do using the internet to express my feelings and tweeting about it. One of Anna’s friends wrote me back with the lyrics from Float On “Bad news comes, don’t you worry even when it lands. Good news will work its way to all them plans.” At the time, I didn’t think much of it other than that I liked it a lot. It gave me hope that maybe something good can come out of this.
Today, on the 8 month anniversary of her passing, I can say with absolute certainty that good news worked its way to all them plans. So many amazing things have happened in Anna’s memory. First, we got to visit with her favorite band and hear how much she changed them. We participated in Red Balloon Race for the hospital she was treated at. And, most amazing of all, we started a foundation in her memory to help other families that have been affected by the same type of cancer, to start a scholarship fund and to help research efforts to try to prevent anyone from ever feeling that emptiness of losing someone they love to cancer.
But last week, we received the best news of all that we were given an amazing donation of $75,000!!!! My family and I are huge Dallas Mavericks fans, and we keep up with them regularly. We heard that their own, Mark Cuban, had been fined by the NBA for some not-so-nice comments he made about the refs after a game. We also heard that he always matched his fines (he gets fined a lot because he doesn’t like to keep his opinion to himself and the NBA doesn’t always agree with what he says) with a donation to charity. My mom thought why not reach out to him about our foundation and ask him to consider donating to us? Later that night, I got a text message with this in it.
It was official; Mark Cuban was donating $75,000 to us!!!! Words can not describe the feeling I had when I found out. Later, a friend of Anna’s posted on facebook “Good news definitely worked its way into the foundation’s plans. 1million4anna is gonna do some incredible things.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. It is more clear than ever, now, that good news is working its way to our plans. I have always believed that God had a reason for taking Anna from this Earth. I knew that her purpose was to touch lives and it is clear that she is continuing to do that from heaven, maybe even more so. Which is why God needed her up there, so she can help orchestrate all the amazing things that are happening. It doesn’t make it not hurt, but like I said last week, it sure does it make it easier.
Another one of her best friends posted on Facebook today (they seem to be good with their words or maybe I’m just lacking my own material) “Eight months ago we started counting Wednesdays. Then the weeks turned to months, and we started counting those instead. Today’s the first Wednesday the 8th since June, and I can honestly say that I love you and miss you just as much today as I did those first couple of weeks, if not more.”This pretty much sums up my feelings today, on the 8 month anniversary of her death. It still hurts. It still sucks. I still wake up every day wishing I could text or call her. I still miss her beautiful smile and her contagious laugh. I would give anything just to hear her say “I love you, Iss” one more time. But I am so proud of what is happening in her honor and I know she is too. I know she’s up there making it all happen so we can help other people. I know this is exactly what she would want her legacy to be, and I am honored to be a part of it, no matter how small or big.
We are very excited about how the generous donation from Mark Cuban will help the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation start making a difference in the lives of those dealing with Ewing’s Sarcoma. If you would also like to make a donation, checks can be made to the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation and sent to Firehouse at 14860 Landmark Blvd., Dallas, TX 75254.
Thank you so much for your support and generosity. We appreciate donations of any size – we did get to 1 million prayers one prayer at a time!
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Mark Cuban gave us $75,000!!!!!
As avid followers of the Mavericks, we know that occasionally Mr. Cuban receives NBA fines for disagreements with referees. When fined, he has a standing promise to match the monetary amount by gifting to a charity. Last Wednesday, during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of these disagreements occurred leaving Mr. Cuban in search of a charitable organization. Due to Mark Cuban’s overwhelming generosity, we are able to make a $75,000 difference in the lives of those fighting Ewing’s Sarcoma. This gift allows us to continue our mission to eradicate this insidious disease. As many of you know, Anna was the Dallas Maverick’s biggest fan. It seems perfect that her foundation truly begins with Mark Cuban’s help. We thank you all.
- Hailey Drescher
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.