Anna Akbari: Cancer Sucks, Life Doesn't

$12,900 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 171 people in 4 months
Created March 1, 2019
Friends and Family!  Bryce Dallas Howard here, and this fundraiser is a SUPER personal one for me.  

Dr. Anna Akbari has been a huge supporter and friend to me over the past few years, and working with her has led to so much personal and professional growth in my life, I feel so lucky and blessed to know her... and that’s beside the fact that I just wanna be Anna in general!

For anyone who does not know Anna, well, let me just tell you a bit about how incredible this woman is! Not only does she have her Ph.D. in sociology, but she’s also a writer, public speaker, personal performance and happiness coach, entrepreneur, innovation consultant and a mentor. 
And that is just laundry-listing all of her professional accomplishments, as she has literally spent her life's work studying and teaching others how to live THEIR best life possible! She is thoughtful, kind, trustworthy, patient, creative, fun, funny...and a karaoke aficionado! 

(don't believe me? ...roof top karaoke in Vietnam, folks!)

That's just to mention a FEW of her many qualities!  

For those of you who do know her, you also know how generous she is with her time and talents. She is independent and takes responsibility for herself. She is stoic but above all, she’s a giver, not a taker.  And because of that, Anna would never think to ask for help from anyone, (I mean, she worked in the Peace Corps for heaven's sake!). So I AM ASKING, as she could really use some support at this time.

Anna was recently diagnosed with a very rare kind of Ovarian Cancer. Back in 2015, Anna had surgery to remove a tumor the size of her head! (no joke, her head!) Just this past December (2018) she had two more back-to-back surgeries to remove another large tumor. The long and the short of it is, that Anna has Stage 2 invasive mucinous ovarian cancer, which only accounts for 3% of cases. If it progresses to stage 3, it is very deadly (25% 5-year survival rate). Her doctors surgically removed what they could see (tumors, pelvis lesions where it had spread, ovaries), but they are worried about the microscopic cells that may cause recurrence.

And now after going through three surgeries, Anna got more bad news. The treatment that is approved by insurance does NOT have good odds. In fact, they are identical to placebo odds. This cancer is literally resistant to chemotherapy.

So that means chemo is not an option.

Anna is forced to seek out alternative private medical care that is not yet covered by insurance.  

She needs to move quickly and has already started treatment, out-of-pocket.

As her friend, I feel so helpless. And I’m sure so many of you who know Anna feel the same. But then I realized there is something we can do and that’s why I’m writing to you. If you are able and willing to donate some $$$, please do! Every little bit will help to cover some of these out-of-pocket treatments. Not to mention, the support we can show Anna during this time will help alleviate the stress that comes with the territory of fighting cancer.

If you know of anyone who might be able to donate, it would mean so much if you would forward this information. She is an inspiring young woman with so much life ahead.

Let's join Anna Akbari in her fight to kick cancer’s ass!36906684_1549669544871579_r.jpeg
As a social scientist, Anna has already done a ton of research. She has written several articles on what she's found so far in the hopes that it could help someone else! How amazing is that!

If you’d like to read a bit more about the discoveries Anna is finding or learn more about her treatments, check out her website. 

Much love,

Be sure to watch this incredibly smart, thoughtful + creative approach to Anna explaining it all!


GoFundMe Profile Photo credit: Alex J. Berliner/AB Images LLC
Animated Video created by: Andrea Hale
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Many Thanks!!

The outpour of love for Anna through this campaign has been tremendous! Anna and I want to thank everyone who took the time to donate, to share, and to send your thoughts and well wishes. We’ve read every note and feel so blessed to have such a community. We also want to thank the team behind the scenes of GoFundMe for all your help and guidance. Sometimes tech isn’t my forte, but you made me feel so supported throughout.

I’m beyond thrilled to share some great news as well -- Anna has been continuing her treatments and at the end of March, after 3 months of aggressive treatment and protocols, Anna’s cancer antigen tumor marker which is known as CA 125, is FINALLY in the normal range! This is the first time in 4 years!! 4 YEARS, folks! Even after each of Anna’s three surgeries, her levels have always hovered around or above 100... and to put that in perspective anything under 35 is in the normal range. It’s crazy!

This is such excellent news! Anna will still continue the regimen she set up for herself and will continue to monitor her levels with her doctors to make sure any changes are caught immediately, but for now, we celebrate this victory!

She actually asked me to pass on a message to all of you:
“Hello everyone! Words fall short of adequately expressing my gratitude for your support. Every generous penny and heartfelt note has been crucial to my recovery. This has been a harrowing journey, and please know that your presence in my life has provided both comfort and motivation. I don’t take any of it for granted and look forward to paying it forward. It’s my hope that the information on the healing protocols I’m using can be of help to some of your loved ones, as well. With immense gratitude, Anna”

The community that has shown up here and the difference you all have made is immense. From the wise words of Coretta Scott King, "The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."

Last but not least, Anna and I were humbled to be asked to sit down with Kelsey Little from GoFundMe’s podcast “True Stories of Good People.” We talked about our friendship, how we met (it’s all my fault! ha!) and this crazy road of life. If you want to have a listen, the links are below! Thank you, Kelsey, for having us on your show! It was indeed a beautiful afternoon of laughter and inspiration.

Anna has shaped my life in a number of ways and I feel truly grateful for this platform, in which “doing something” to help a friend can become a reality.

Much love,

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men." – Herman Melville

Listen to the podcast here:

Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bryce-dallas-howard-dr-anna-akbari-cancer-sucks-life-doesnt/id1389955443?i=1000438221268

True Stories of Good People website: http://gofundme.libsyn.com/bryce-dallas-howard-dr-anna-akbari-cancer-sucks-life-doesnt
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Hi Everyone!
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who has donated and shared this campaign so far! I am beyond moved (quite literally to tears!) by everyone’s generosity and the love you’re showing Anna.

Anna and I met up last week! Even with all she’s going through, she's still dedicated to her work. (And thanks to Anna’s help, I’m a guest lecturer at NYU, so we work together quite frequently to prepare for those classes.) Another reason I love our sessions is because I can get updates on what’s happening and how Anna is really doing!

A lot of people have been wondering and asking similar questions: “How is Anna?,” “Since Anna is not doing chemo, what is she doing?” and “how is it going?” So I got a few deets!

The treatment Anna is doing is a combination of various frequency treatments on some machines that look straight out of a mad scientist's lab (It’s legit equipment, some of which was developed by Nikola Tesla and used by NASA!), she gets all hooked up and the frequency rolls over her! (that's the unofficial, non-scientific explanation :) ...plus she’s taking a bunch of different tinctures and supplements and carefully monitoring her nutrition. Her scans have improved dramatically in the last 3 months, which the practitioners believe is a result of all the pro-active, layered measures she's taking.

She is still really overwhelmed managing everything, which in turn definitely takes an emotional toll, BUT overall she’s hanging in, feeling a little better day by day. She's also been researching and experimenting on herself to find the perfect hormone replacement therapy formula — she's getting closer, and her energy levels have been increasing significantly. But all-in-all, she is staying focused and positive and working hard at doing the things that will help in the long run! And even while she is nursing herself back to health, she is still writing, speaking, and making time to give back by continuing her work with incarcerated populations.

I also wanted to share some exciting news ~~ Our fundraiser for Anna was selected by the Go Fund Me Team as part of their Giving Back program!! Every month, GFM gives back over $100K to stories that move them and they picked our OUR CAMPAIGN! It is SO generous and humbling and we are so so grateful! Thank You to the entire Go Fund Me Team!! You have been SO helpful throughout every step of this process!

SO to ALL of our donors I want to say...

Much love,
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$12,900 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 171 people in 4 months
Created March 1, 2019
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