Sunday, November 11, 2012

A World Record Achieved: The Anderson Family Story

Erin Anderson admires the strength of her daughter, Haven, calling her "a Marine in a two-year old’s body."  Haven was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma on April 17, 2012, just two weeks after her second birthday. Treatment began in her hometown of Denver, Colorado, but she arrived at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital after her first round of chemo proved unsuccessful.

Haven is currently undergoing a groundbreaking two week treatment at UCSF— something that has never been performed on a child her age.  Erin feels blessed to have access to this level of care for her daughter.  Upon arriving at Family House she felt immediate relief because it feels like home to her family and allows them to be incredibly close to the hospital at all times.  She loves getting to know everyone at Family House.  “It feels like a little family because everyone is going through what you’re going through.”

One thing Haven has to look forward to when she goes home to Denver: recognition for a world record achieved in her name!  Erin’s colleagues, family, and friends created a fundraising event called “Shavin' for Haven”, which began on a small scale this May.  Erin’s fellow teachers pledged to shave their heads if they could meet their fundraising goals for Haven’s treatment.  After the fundraiser’s success, they applied to the Guinness Book of World Records and took the idea to a larger scale on October 22nd.  The Andersons blew the previous record out of the water and shaved 371 heads in one hour, all in honor of their incredible daughter.

Erin and her husband are so relieved to have all the resources that Family House offers— they don't have to worry about where they'll be able to shower, eat, and take a much-needed deep breath between stints at the hospital. As for their daughter? “This is not a kind of cancer you ever want to have,” Erin explains, “But we are incredibly hopeful and faithful that this will be a positive outcome for Haven.”

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