Anna Lee Basso was born May 10, 1993 to Carol and David Basso. Anna was a sweet, shy "Momma's girl" until middle school when she blossomed into an independent, passionate teenager. She was fun-loving, silly, thoughtful and empathetic. She developed a passion for music. Believing it was best when spun on vinyl, she began an impressive record collection. Her favorite band was Manchester Orchestra, and she found Modest Mouse’s "Float On" so inspirational, she had the title of the song tattooed on her wrist. With her ready smile and infectious laugh, Anna made lifelong friends often and effortlessly.
Anna was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer in November of 2009. She fought through an extensive series of chemotherapy and radiation, and emerged victorious. After facing a devastating relapse, she fought again. She fought to ensure that cancer did not define her. While her classmates learned chemistry, Anna learned the combinations of nausea medicine that could reduce the effects of the chemo and not interfere with her treatment. While other high school juniors read The Grapes of Wrath illustrating the Joad’s fight to survive the Dust Bowl, Anna, too, fought to survive. 18 months after her diagnosis, on June 8th, 2011, Anna passed away.
Maybe a few precious times in our life, if we’re lucky, we meet people who are driven to bring us together. These connectors are dynamic, they’re magnetic, and they’re absolutely unforgettable. Anna was one of these people. Voted Homecoming Queen, Anna was a friend to hundreds, and her life is treasured by so many.
After Anna was diagnosed with Ewing’s, many of us found ourselves searching for something to do or some way to help. Initially, we found that the best thing we could do for Anna was to pray for her.
With that in mind, the idea for 1 Million 4 Anna was born. People pledged to pray daily at 12:12, a time selected because of Romans 12:12 which says "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
Integrated fully into social media, Anna’s friends pledged, shared, posted pictures, tweeted and ultimately said over a million prayers on Anna’s behalf. 1 Million 4 Anna was a source of inspiration, hope, and love that strengthened her resolve and brought friends closer together.
Anna had a dream for what her legacy could be. Rather than pass along burned CDs of music she found significant, or fill journals with her wit and wisdom, Anna wanted to be remembered through a foundation bent on finding ways to defeat this disease and helping those affected by it. With that in mind, we created the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation in January of 2012. Harnessing the love and commitment of Anna’s wonderful friends and family, the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation aims to honor her incredible legacy and embody her fighting spirit.
Please join us as we fight Ewing sarcoma and remember Anna.