On March 28, we rolled out the "purple" carpet for the third annual Masquerade to CureFA. This year's theme was "Where Wishes Come True" and everyone knows what our wish is.... to find a CURE. It was a fairy tale setting with the horse drawn carriage and Cinderella dresses. Anna's Army & the students at Parkersburg South have been very supportive of Anna, since her diagnosis of FA in August of 2012. I always get a bit emotional when I see the support from the beautiful girls parading in their elegant gowns and bedazzled sneakers. They know Anna can't wear heels, so neither will they.
It was two celebrations in one as Anna celebrated her 18th birthday. Her best present was a surprise visit from our FAmily member, Ashley Sharp Dodson. Ashley & her cousin Cara Campbell drove all night from Alabama to West Virginia for the surprise. Since only I knew they were coming, I arranged for Ashley to be at the beauty shop getting her hair & make up done when Anna came in to have hers done. Mission accomplished! The girls got beatified and Anna was surprised all at the same time. The girls had a blast and the fun filled night had not even begun.
At the masquerade, Ashley & Anna met more FAmily, as Beth Arnold Haynes joined the girls. Beth lives about half hour from Parkersburg in Beverly, Ohio. Beth is a mom and school teacher that inspires our family everyday to live your life and not be defined by FA.
Everyone had a great time at masquerade The dance floor was packed all night. A group of boys did a special birthday dance for Anna. Aunt Judy made sure every guest left with one of special cookies shaped like bedazzled sneakers.
At one point throughout the night, I tried to introduce Ashley to Mike Fallon but Ashley exclaimed, "I already know you. You're the coach!" Coach Fallon has lead the way in creating awareness about FA through his basketball team. He always sports a purple ribbon (Anna's favorite color) and has his team wears purple high tops to tell people about FA and how we need to find a cure. Ashley has watched my posts on FB and recognized our humble coach.
It didn't take long for the community to fall in love with Ashley like they have with Beth & Anna. When she went to check out of the hotel on Sunday morning the bell hop handed her a copy of the Parkersburg News & Sentinel and said, "May I have your autograph?" On the front page of the Sunday paper was Ashley and Anna's smiling faces.