Gifts to Honor Ilion Girl Who Passed From Cancer Arrive on Her Birthday
My heart! Dozens of packages arrived on the day a Central New York girl who passed away from cancer would have turned 13.
Anna LaBella of Ilion, New York battled Ewing’s Sarcoma for three years. Her courageous battle ended on August 2, but her memory continues to live on.
Anna wasn't just fighting her own cancer battle. She fought for others going through the same battle, starting Anna's Sunshine Cart to help bring smiles, snacks, and support to children whenever they were in the hospital. "She was so proud of her candy cart at the hospital and always wanted to make sure it stays stocked," said Anna's mom Jessica. "Thankfully my father-in-law made the trip and did a large haul to keep them stocked for a little while."
Keeping a Promise
It’s hard for Jessica to even think of going to Albany let alone the hospital. But she wants to make sure Anna's Sunshine Cart is full. "I made a promise that I would keep this going in her memory."
Sunday, September 11 was Anna's 13th birthday. Jessica posted a link to Anna's Amazon wish list asking for items in her daughter's memory. "I know she wouldn’t want gifts but for people to help with her cart."
Ask and you shall receive. Dozens of packages arrived to keep Anna's Sunshine Cart stocked. And most showed up on Anna's birthday. "To have this showup today on my baby’s birthday left us speechless," said Jessica. "I can’t thank everyone enough for helping keep her candy cart at the hospital stocked in her memory. She would be so excited and proud to see this today of all days."
Anna's Last Parade
Anna's Last Parade was planned for Tuesday, August 2, when Anna was supposed to make her way back home to Ilion in an ambulance. Unfortunately, she didn't make it.
She fought so hard and so brave we couldn’t be more proud. I wrapped her in my arms and held her as she soared in to the open arms of my mama. She is free of pain and sickness and can run free again. We love you so much baby I don’t know how I am going to do this without you
Outpouring of Love
That didn't stop the more than 200 people from lining up to show Anna and her family how much she is loved. Vehicles filled with friends, family, and strangers stretched for miles through Herkimer County as even more lined the streets holding signs of support. More Anna Strong signs were placed in business doorways and windows all throughout the area.
May you know how many lives you touched during your short time on earth, Anna. Heaven is filled with sunflowers just for you.