1 Million Christmas Cards for Anna

A few years ago now, my friend Rebecca ran a series on her blog called ‘Careers Week’ where she asked a whole  bunch of us to write a guest post on our career journeys. I was one of her guests, and another was a college (university to the non-Americans) student called Patrice Basso. I think I’d skipped over to Patrice’s blog before that week, as Rebecca would mention her on her blog or twitter, but I don’t think it was until that week that I subscribed properly to her blog. At that time Patrice’s sister Anna was battling Ewing’s Sarcoma for the second time, and Patrice wrote so honestly and eloquently about it all. Their family friend had set up a website called 1 Million 4 Anna, and I sent up prayers.

Sadly, Anna died a few days after her high school graduation.

Anna’s legacy however continues on through the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation – which is trying to bring smiles to children going through cancer treatments through Anna’s Closet, providing scholarships to those who want to go on to university education (because of course unlike here, in the USA many of these families will be affected by huge medical bills and university fees are astronomical) and of course, to fund research into finding treatments (and hopefully a cure) for Ewing’s Sarcoma.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Well a few years ago, Rebecca came to myself and our friend Holly (who at the time was living on the other side of the world) and asked us to help her with an idea that she had inspired by one of her patients who had died from cancer. This patient who we nicknamed ‘Robin’ had a Christmas wish which she shared with Rebecca while she was being cared for in hospital. She said to her: “if I had a Christmas wish now it would be really fun, Rebecca, if everyone in the world could just send anyone a Christmas card… it would be fun to send a Christmas card to someone you have never met. We all send our friends and family cards but not to anyone else. It would be fun to spread good will to other people as well too.”

With Robin’s family’s blessing Rebecca started Airmail Christmas, Holly and I promoted it on our blogs, and as I had the week off work I assigned all the participants random numbers and generated Christmas card exchange pairings. Rebecca has continued on the tradition, each year doing it in honour of someone connected with us through our online community. Last year we did it in honour of our friend’s mother who died of cancer that year – ‘Mama MB’.

This year, we will be doing Airmail Christmas in honour of Anna Basso.

So if you’d like to participate you can find the details over on Rebecca’s blog, where Patrice has written a little bit about her sister. The deadline for participation sign up is December 1st, and you need to be willing to pay international postage on a Christmas card (and share an address with Rebecca and one stranger who will send YOU a card)! 🙂



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