In May 2017, DKMS began working with Anya. Princess Anya the Overcomer (as she likes to be called) is 9 years old and lives in Chester, NJ. Just like any other fourth grader, Anya likes watching movies on Netflix, playing Minecraft and doing crafts. Unlike any other fourth grader, Anya was battling leukemia for the second time. Anya was only five years old when she was first diagnosed and went into remission in third grade. This year, she started feeling pain again. On January 11, she was told that her leukemia relapsed and her best chance at recovery was a bone marrow transplant. As she battled leukemia, Anya never lost the spirit and determination to win her fight. Her ethnic background is mix race of Western European and South Asian ancestry. This made finding a donor for Anya even that much harder.
After trying chemotherapy, doctors began treating Anya with a new investigational immunotherapy drug. Two months of high dose chemotherapy, and biotherapy done. Two more months of high dose chemotherapy, biotherapy, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant to go.
Anya's support team worked with DKMS to host a many drives up and down the east coast because doctors gave Anya a deadline to find a donor by May.
We are happy to report that she did receive a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor which has allowed her to return to the activities she loves.
Anya wrote, "...I've had three lives. Once when I was born, once when I beat cancer the first time, and once with the bone marrow donation. DKMS helped me find a donor."
During her recovery, Anya's health exceeded expectations! Consequently her transplant team discharged Anya ahead of schedule. Anya's marrow is currently 100% donor, with no evidence of GVHD. She is stable & on the road to complete recovery. Prior to transplant we were informed by her radiation oncologist Anya would never grow in height again. In a miracle update, & for the second time since transplant, Anya has grown taller on her own by an entire inch.
Anya has found ways to give back through fundraising events with DKMS. She participated in our California Pizza Kitchen fundraiser held on September 28th. The NJ based CPK's dedicated their efforts to "Princess Anya". Her community of Chester, New Jersey continues to rally around her and celebrate her recovery.
Anya's family, especially her parents Robert and Pratibkha LeFrancis, have both form a close bond with DKMS and proved that they are willing to help other families have the outcome that their daughter experienced. They have participated in our end-of-the-year campaign "This Is Why I Give":
Anya has joined Team DKMS, as an honorary team member. Anya will serve as a goodwill ambassador in 2018. She will help to inspire the athletes and spread the DKMS mission for miles and miles to come.
Join the bone marrow donor registry to help other patients like Anya.
Make a gift in honor of Anya.