Hope for Anna Fund (Anna Ortega)
$148,191 of $200,000 goal
Anna Ortega is a beautiful 10-year-old girl. She is kind, compassionate, and determined. She loves to learn and write out her schedule every day on all the things she wants to accomplish. She is a planner! She has her entire life mapped out how she would love things to go. She has a love for good food and is one of the main cooks of the family. Coming from a family of nine, her siblings love it when Anna is around to whip them up something delicious. Anna also LOVES music and has played the piano since she was 5. Her hard work and dedication has won her many piano competitions. She loves to sing and can often be found at the piano singing primary songs while she plays. She loves her family and friends and sends them notes on a regular basis telling them how much they are appreciated and loved. She is a true light to those around her and to this world. Anna is Hope. #hopeforanna
On Friday, March 24, 2017 Anna ran over to her mom, Mindi, mid-soccer game and told her she needed to make an appointment to see an eye doctor because her eyes were getting blurry. A few days later she said she didn't feel well and complained of double vision. Her mom picked her up from school and noticed her eye looked like it was drooping. She was immediately taken to Phoenix Children's Hospital where she had a CT scan and MRI. They found 2 brain tumors, deep within the brain. One tumor was removed via surgery on Thursday, March 30th. The remaining tumor lies within the brain stem and is inoperable. She was diagnosed with a very rare aggressive type of cancer called DIPG. The doctors gave her 6-12 months for her to live with the option of radiology and chemotherapy to prolong her life for a few more months. This cancer is known to go away for a little bit after doing these treatments but then to come back with vengeance taking the child's life within a couple months. DIPG is so rare that there is not much being done to find a cure. However, her family has chosen to receive treatment at The Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas. Dr. Burzynski gives patients anteneoplastins that is formulated to turn on cancer fighting cells and turn off cancer producing cells. While there she is receiving that along with some gene targeted therapy pills. This combination is given in hope to cure her.
Her parents are asking that people all over join in prayer for their family. They know the prognosis but they know they were led to Dr. Burzynski's as the path they are to take. They know that God can and does perform miracles and they are praying every day that He will perform one for Anna. The cost of the clinic is extremely expensive and not covered by insurance. Anna is getting stronger with the treatments but the only way Anna can continue her treatment is from the financial help of others. Their family needs Anna. The world needs Anna. Every amount is big or small is appreciated from the bottom of their hearts.
We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all you contributed to Anna's medical care. You did more than just contribute to helping us get treatment for Anna - you made us feel loved in a way we did not know possible. Words cannot adequately express how grateful we are. We were so humbled as complete strangers fell in love with Anna and gave us such remarkable support. We have been forever changed by this experience.
It was hard for us to choose this path for Anna and to receive donations. I had to ask myself how I would feel if Anna passed and people had donated money. I hope that you know that every penny you donated was monumental in our journey. It relieved so much stress and burden at a time when things were so stressful and heavy. Never in a million years did we know, the day Anna went in that hospital, that it would be such an intense, fast battle. As we close this account, and little memoir of Anna’s journey, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping carry us along the way.
From the Creators: Thank you for your donations, and for the many beautiful stories and comments you've shared through this account, both public and private. Every one of them is being compiled into a book for the Ortega family to keep and remember how Anna touched all of our lives. We love and appreciate you greatly for caring for this sweet little girl and her dear family. Love: Friends of Ortega's
By far the hardest post I will ever write. Our sweet Anna passed away this morning in our home surrounded by her family. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to experience and cannot express with words the loss I feel. Yet it was so beautiful and peaceful. I cannot even tell you all of the small miracles that have taken place in the last couple months, days, but most importantly the last few hours. Heaven is so much closer than we all realize and it is beautiful. I have never felt more love from my Father in heaven in my entire life than what I experienced today as I went through all ranges of emotions. I know He weeps with us and I know Anna is in his loving care. I will give more details later but wanted everyone to know that funeral arrangements have been made. The funeral will be Monday, July 24 at 10:00AM. We will also have a viewing Sunday night at 6:00pm. Location is 21320 S. Greenfield Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85298.
We would love all those who have been impacted by Anna to attend whether we know you or not for in this journey we have been lifted by not only our friends and family but by strangers who have prayed and had hope with us and now mourn with us. We know the funeral is in just a few days. That's the way we do things in the Ortega family-we don't waste time...and July 24th-Pioneer Day seemed fitting. Anna is a pioneer in so many ways. Thank you so much for all your prayers and love over the past 3 almost 4 months. We have felt them and are grateful.
It's been a week full of coordinating medicines, asking questions, and evaluating what's next. I wish I could say Anna was doing good right now. It's getting harder to understand her every day. There's even been times when I've had to have her type on her iPod because I cannot make out what she's trying to tell me. We are dealing with more serious swallowing issues and today was the worst day we've had yet. We are hoping it is just a cold and will pass (she has a fever as well). When half of your throat is paralyzed excess mucus proves to be devastating. She cannot swallow the mucus so it is building up in her throat where she then proceeds to cough and choke. We of course are on high alert that she does not aspirate so she does not get pneumonia. She did not sleep an ounce last night and today she is miserable. She hasn't had much "suffering" up to this point. I use that word very lightly as obviously she suffers every day. But today she was sick, in pain, and exhausted. This picture is the contraption Ted put together to help her sleep and how I found her at 6:00AM this morning. Of course William is right there checking it out. Ted slept by her the entire night because it was so scary (and I was exhausted-long week). This morning we called a company that comes to your house and gives you IV fluids. After not being able to swallow liquids the second half of the day yesterday we did not want to mess around with dehydration. He gave her some Vitamin C and B complex as well. We also had him give her some zofran because she was nauseous (this is the first time she has experienced being nauseous up to this point). We have her scheduled to receive IV's again in the morning and will take it from there on what our next plan is.
Dr. B. wants us to get an MRI to see if it's progression of her tumor and watch her closely-going to the emergency room immediately if necessary. So Monday we will get another MRI. She can't swallow water- in fact we give her water so she can throw up and bring some of the mucus with her. This being said we told her she had to get her steroids down otherwise she'd have to go to the hospital to get an IV of steroids. She managed to swallow 4 pills! Don't know how she did it-she is so strong! We know a feeding tube could be in our near future. We will cross that bridge if/when we feel it's time. One day at a time. We are fighting. #hopeforanna #prayforanna #dipg
Today was Kona and oh my the water!! It was absolutely breathtaking!!! We took a submarine tour and that was fun. The highlight of the day was getting in water with some turtles. Some of us were prepared with that by wearing swimsuits(Olivia and Bella)...the rest went in with our clothes! Ted carried Anna down and got her close. It was SO awesome! After walking in the water Anna chose to come back to the ship and walk for a bit! She was on fire! She said for sure she picked the best cruise. I have to agree with her. The kicker was when she said she was going to come on her honeymoon with her husband on this cruise. I just love Anna-she is always thinking about her future family!! We had a special dinner tonight where they made Anna a yummy chocolate caramel cake celebrating her bday (the party still continues)!! We then went and listened to the pianist where he played some songs for her. It was a special evening. #hopeforanna #prayforanna #hawaii2017 #makeawishaz
My daughter was diagnosed with the same tumor, also inoperable. She had radiation and took chemo. The prognosis was maybe 6 months. It's been almost 14 years. We had a miracle and I know prayers are answered. She still has the tumor, but it went dormant. We'll pray for your miracle!!!
My family is struggling with a sick child also so I understand how hard it is with limited funs. I would like to offer you my home to stay in free of charge. I stay with my daughter most of the time so it would be fine for you to stay here. I'm not sure where in Texas you are going but if you are going to Houston to the medical centers I am about 30 mins from Texas Children's Hospital. Let me know asap and I can meet you and show you my home. I have a brick home but not large. 1400 square foot. It is in a nice neighborhood. I will keep your daughter in my prayers!!
We are thinking of you all everyday and sending much love to you all! I wanted to tell you about United Health Care Children's Foundation http://www.uhccf.org/ They give grants for families in need to help pay medical bills not covered by insurance. We love you all!!!
Hi angel, I wanted to tell your parents to consider THC treatment if they hadn't yet..it saved lots of children with monsters like yours, only people don't know that still..you don't have to trust me of course, but do your research if you may.. you're strong baby, keep fighting! Love ❤️
The Arizona soccer community is huge. Let people at AYSA, Phoenix Rising(pro team), and FC Arizona(semi-pro) know, and they might do announcements at games or even post on website. Also contact the league or club she played for to post this on their website.
Praying for your precious little girl. Watching this beautiful video, I completely relate with the pain this family is feeling. As a father, nothing in the world is more difficult than having to see your child go through something like this. No words can describe it, but despair and utter hopelessness come close. My 3 year old was diagnosed with a tectal plate lesion (brain tumor) in November 2016. We, luckily, discovered it when she lost her balance one morning and was unable to walk. After her 1st MRI and the initial conversations with her neurosurgeons, things did not look good. It was a this point that we realized we may lose our little girl in the near future. We had to wait for 4 months for her next MRI, in order to see if the tumor was growing. I use the word "nightmare" to describe what we felt for those 4 months, as we waited in uncertainty. We had the "big" MRI on March 15th - the tumor was benign. The relief that washed over us was the most incredible sensation my wife and I have ever experienced. On the drive home, we broke down and cried uncontrollably - releasing 4 months worth of pent-up fear, worry and complete despair. I pray that Anna and her family can experience that feeling. As a father, I will do anything and everything to ensure my little girl is healthy and safe. Mr. and Mrs. Ortega are doing just that. Unfortunately, the treatment they are seeking is expensive. However, I know that will not stop them. We need to help this beautiful family and support them as they continue to fight for their beautiful little girl.
Thank you for sharing what's going on with Anna and your family! You are an amazing writer and I love all the details. I also went to Dr. Burzynski and was healed. In order to get the drugs that were off label I went to the pharmaceutical companies that made them and got them free. Of course the first month or so...you have to pay for them but perhaps Anna could qualify like I did,,, to get them free. Then it would only be the cost of Dr. Burzynski's drugs and care. We are praying for Anna and your wonderful family!
I don't know if there is any way possible for you to get to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, but they may be able to help. My mother-in-law discovered an inoperable brain tumor almost exactly a year ago. Initially, the outlook looked very bad. After specialized radiation treatments at Mayo and chemo, the tumor has actually shrunken - that was never expected. The goal was mostly to stop the tumor from growing. Mayo has given her some hope and at least more time than we thought we'd have with her. Prayers for your family as you make your way through this very difficult journey.
My heart is with you Anna. Such a young age to be enduring something so big in life. I can completely understand from a mother's eye. My daughter is 17 years young and also has Pilocytc Astrocytoma which her tumor grows cysts which can also cause hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in the brain) she has endured three surgeries in the last year. I do have some information about a clinic in Chicago and haven't took the leap to make an appointment for my daughter. I hear this DR. Is amazing and does remove inoperable tumors (some). I hope and pray everyday that I don't lose my daughter too. I thought I'd comment and give you hope and love and prayer that there is an answer for you. My daughter was diagnosed when she was eight. Much love to you and your family.
As challenging as it may be to see the positive in this at the present moment, I have faith that Anna will live and have a promising future. How many people do not even stop for a moment in their busy lives to truly appreciate the gift of a beautiful, loving son or daughter like Anna. How many children ever look up from their smartphone and stop to think just how very precious they are to that annoying father or mother?