Improving the Lives of Hospitalized Children and Their Families

    Anna Jerome - one month after diagnosis

Anna's Story

 Anna Jerome was a very happy, friendly and smart girl. She grew up in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, attended St. Theresa School before testing into Boston Latin School. Anna was a daughter, a twin, a big sister, a cousin, a student, an athlete, band member and a friend.  When she received her diagnosis of AML, an aggressive form of Leukemia, the summer before her freshman year, the whole community was shaken. Anna was not a typical fourteen year old. She was kind and thoughtful, giving a neighborhood boy the Gameboy she no longer used, walking a dog without expecting pay, babysitting because she really enjoyed spending time with the kids. While part of the swim and track teams, she truly wanted her teammates to succeed; cheering them on regardless of her own success. As a student, she studied hard while dancing around and laughing, coming up with silly songs to assist in memorization. Anna was able to maintain her honor roll status throughout treatment. Anna loved shopping, cooking, eating (especially Chinese Food) and going to Patriot games with her "padre". Her favorite place was the beach. She loved the Cape with her cousins and Mytrle Beach with her family. Anna loved life.

After Anna's first round of treatment and achieving remission, her doctors told her that she was eligible for Make A Wish. She declined, stating that she was already fortunate. She had taken nice vacations and had really great friends. The Wish should be offered to someone who really needs it. That is who Anna was. It is with all of this in mind that Anna's Pals was created. We hope to continue her legacy of kindness.

Anna had a really strong friend group who visited her everyday. These friends, or as they call themselves, the Pals, were such a presence that the nurses refered to Anna's room as the Party Room. This constant contact allowed Anna to feel like she was connected to the outside world. Spending six straight months in the hospital would be tough on anyone, let alone a teenager. When she received her Bone Marrow Transplant those visits ended. Because her immune system was wiped out, she had to be kept away from contaminants. Anna's hospital room was no longer the Party Room. Her friends could only come in one at a time, and they couldn't stay long. Once released from the hospital, only immediate family could come in the house. Although she was no longer hospitalized, Anna had an incredible list of restrictions. She was home, yet confned. It is with this in mind that Anna's Pals would like to create a beach house for immunocomprised patients. We would like to give them a place, outside of the clinical setting, to gather with family and friends. Anna and the Pals would have loved it.  

​​​We were featured on Channel 5's 5 FOR GOOD. Watch here: ​​


Anna's Pals is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization
qualified under the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3);
EIN ID #47-5204938.