Anna Howe's award-winning essay - Tucson News Now

Anna Howe's award-winning essay

Anna Howe (Source: KOLD News 13) Anna Howe (Source: KOLD News 13)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

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. Her essay follows:

I am Anna, I’m 10 years old. Unlike other kids, I have multiple diseases, one called Eosinophilic Esophagitis-EoE for short. It is a chronic allergic immune condition where my white blood cells and my esophagus don't communicate. EOE is life threatening. If I eat like a normal kid, I get hives, migraines, reflux, cramps, vomit, or worse. I take six different medications. Twice a year I have to go to the hospital where they take biopsies of my esophagus and stomach. We spend at least a week twice a year at Children's Hospital of Colorado and Ronald McDonald House in Denver. There is no cure. My brother has EOE too. I have a tutor because I am absent from school often. I should be eating cupcakes and pizza and having fun with my friends, but I can't because food hurts my body and ruins my esophagus. I am different, people are intimidated by me. They think I am contagious, and I deal with that along with an incurable disease.

I am determined, courageous, committed, and part of a team. Determination is doing everything I can to live a normal life. This means I have to take my medication and eat what my parents pack me- even if kids tease me and I'm jealous of what other kids eat. This means I have to take my medication and eat what my parents pack me- even if kids tease me and I'm jealous of what other kids eat. Sometimes I just want to eat what they're having, like Jell-O, cake, or treats, but these are death sentences for me, and I face this constantly. Kids tease me, I walk away. Like Jackie Robinson, we both know that it is really hard to walk away because sometimes you just want to say y. Determination for me is taking my medicine and eating right. When I grow up, my determination will be educating kids who are sick, teaching them, and hopefully finding a cure.

I need courage because I have to be brave through a procedure. For example, the doctors use anesthesia to put me to sleep, then they put a tiny camera down my esophagus to see if there's any inflammation. They take biopsies of my esophagus. I get a lot of needles and blood draws. By having courage and being brave, I teach my little brother to be brave.

I also have to work with the team! That team unfortunately isn't the Dodgers, it is my doctors. I have to listen to them, be truthful, just like Jackie had to trust his team; I can't give up on mine. They help by equipping me with the right medicines for emergencies, comforting me, and believing in me. Part of my team is the child life nurses; they inform me about what is going to happen and they give me courage too. All of this is only a part of my life story; my other team is Kids Unlimited. "KU" is a nonprofit organization which provides a safe stage for kids. Here, I am accepted. With this group I practice citizenship and excellence. On stage, no one can tell that I am sick. I imagine that this is what it was like on the baseball field for Jackie; he was so good that people saw him for his talent. The stage is like this for me, I practice songs and routines to be excellent because being good is just mediocre. I share my talent across Tucson. It feels good to make other people smile. My favorite place to perform is the VA because I know the audience served my country. Other places I sing at are community events, nursing homes, and Salvation Army dinners. On stage my confidence boosts, I forget about being sick. I sing and dance giving others happiness!

I am Anna, and Jackie Robinson is my hero. I wear a hospital gown instead of a baseball uniform. I am determined, courageous, and committed to making the world a better place through teamwork and excellence. I'm a girl who will always fights for my life, a ten year old who sings to make others happy, a very sick little girl who wants to heal the world one song at a time.

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