Annika loves singing, reading, acting, science, writing, her cats, her family, and her friends. Diagnosed with cancer at age 11, and then declared "Cancer Free" at 12, made for a scary and challenging year. In Feb 2009 after 16-hours in the ER due to severe abdominal pain, the "simple laproscopic procedure" that was expected turned into an emergency surgery when a tumor the size of an adult fist was discovered. Annika was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma, a rare cancer with approximately 400 cases in the United States. Burkitt's is quite aggressive, in fact it is the fastest growing solid tumor, often doubling in size within 24 hours. She endured an intense, potent, and toxic chemo protocol. She has had numerous scans, scopes and tests. Through it all Annika held onto the love that surrounded her. Her first N.E.D. scan was May 20, 2009.
With more of the important pediatric-specific research funded by St. Baldrick's, fewer and fewer kids will have to learn about cancer treatments the way Annika did... the hard way.
You can learn more about Annika's odyssey with cancer here