Tucson 4th grader wins share of MLB Jackie Robinson award - Tucson News Now

Tucson 4th grader wins share of MLB Jackie Robinson award

Anna Howe (Source: Tucson News Now) Anna Howe (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson 10-year-old’s essay about her struggles with a potentially life-threatening chronic condition is catching the national spotlight.

Anna Howe, a fourth grader at Tucson Hebrew Academy, is the co-grand prize winner of the Major League Baseball and Scholastic 2017 Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life essay contest.

It’s part of the Breaking Barriers educational program which encourages students in fourth through ninth graders to apply the values of MLB star and Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson to their own lives.

Howe was one of 10 chosen out of tens of thousands of applicants.

Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, traveled to Tucson and visited Howe’s class on Wednesday, April 19, to congratulate her.

Howe is fighting a disease called esophagitis, which causes her esophagus to swell if she eats the wrong foods.

“It’s where your white blood cells don’t communicate right with the rest of your body,” she said. “I start puking, I start you know. It’s disgusting, sometimes I get hives. Sometimes I get rashes.”

Howe said she got the idea to apply for the essay contest from her tutor. Once she did her research, she felt an instant connection to his story.

“He was so courageous with everything he did in his life. It’s just amazing how he kept it all together,” she said.

It’s a trait she strives to emulate, especially when she gets teased.

“They’re afraid I’m contagious. And everybody knows I’m not contagious, but they just run away from me for fun. People make fun of me. That’s why I moved schools. Because a lot of people would be super mean to me,” she said.

Howe will be honored for her award at the Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks game at Chase Field in Phoenix on Friday night, April 21.

Her full essay can be read HERE.

For more information on Breaking Barriers click here: http://web.mlbcommunity.org/index.jsp?content=programs&program=breaking_barriers

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