Once again, Team Anna Banana is on the run to raise money for a cure for Rett Syndrome.
For Manny and me, it is very clear to us that Anna would not have us suddenly walk away from the Rett community and leave behind friends who we love and care so much about.
Despite what we have been through, in suffering the worse loss, and experiencing daily unimaginable pain as we navigate through our life without the physical presence of our beloved daughter, it does not sit well with us to segregate ourselves from moms, dads, and siblings of girls who continue to live so heroically with Rett.
We committed to the Disney Princess Half Marathon before Anna gained her wings on September 5th, 2012, at the age of 4, from complications from Rett Syndrome. Quitting was never in our vocabulary before, nor was it ever an acceptable option in our fight for Anna. In her memory, we will see through this commitment.
Team Anna Banana includes more than Manny, Stefanie & Gabriel. It is our group of family and friends who so selflessly rallied around us and supported Anna.
For Anna, who appeared "normal" at birth, everything changed right before her first birthday. She could no longer sit on her own, and could not walk or talk. She received all of her nutrition through a feeding tube, and then later, a jejunostomy tube. Anna was unable to enjoy the many simple pleasures we take part in every day.
Despite her daily struggles, Anna communicated through eye gaze and was a little princess inside; her favorite movies were "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast." She slept with her Belle doll everynight. She was a fiesty and funny gal who also loved dressing up and going to school and being with her friends.
For every step it takes us to complete 13.1 miles, we will think of Anna's Rett sisters, who would give anything to take even one. It brings us some consolable peace to think of Anna walking and running all over Heaven. Last year when we ran the 1/2 for the first time, Anna was in her wheelchair. This year, we know she will be running with us in spirit.
Researchers have found that Rett Syndrome is reversible in mice, and we know a cure is out there. It is not a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN.
We thank you for your tax-deductible donation to help support us in finding a cure for Rett Syndrome!