When Anya Heidenberg and her family came face-to-face with cancer they decided that serving others would be an important part of navigating the trials and challenges of cancer treatments, chemotherapy and surgery. “Emma was four when she was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis,” says Anya about her daughter, and that diagnosis changed their lives completely. No longer were visits to the doctor’s office just for wellness checkups. Instead, regular hospital trips, tests and treatments filled their days.
Emma underwent a year of chemotherapy and while spending time in the cancer treatment center Anya quickly learned the importance of connecting with others as they suffered. “As hard as it is to watch other children fight and lose to cancer you NEED to connect,” she says. Anya’s natural response was to give others space as they suffered through treatment. But soon that all changed. “I reached out to a Chemo Mom and felt normal for the first time in this whole journey. Someone understood.”
Anya quickly realized that raising awareness and fundraising to support families in need could make a difference financially and personally. She started an online auction group on Facebook to accomplish her goal of helping others. The group, She’s a Fighter Auctions auctions items to help pay Emma’s medical bills, provide financial support for six other little girls fighting cancer and also to make it easy for donors to give in any way they can.
In 2014 the family set out to serve other cancer patients by creating a calendar to give to kids with cancer for Christmas. The calendar, called Cancer Can Be was created to help give the children something to look forward to during tough, chemo-filled days. The Heidenbergs also assemble “cancer fighting boxes” to give to little girls fighting cancer. The boxes include toys, clothing, art supplies and treats.
Anya’s taken up running as a means to raise awareness and funds for children with cancer. She’s begun training for the Disney Half Marathon in January and is taking donations via an online campaign. Proceeds will go toward six little girls with grave illnesses.
Anya is a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA International and has been sharing essential oils for over two years. doTERRA Cares is an initiative through which doTERRA International can recognize and raise awareness for Wellness Advocates who are actively contributing to good causes worldwide. doTERRA International is thrilled to share Anya’s success and service and recognizes her as this week’s doTERRA Cares highlight!