Hello there! My name is Anna Grace Pelson. I’m 17 years old, a senior in high school, as well as a sophomore in college. I’m part of a really awesome organization that allows me to get my associates degree by the time I graduate high school! I love spending time outdoors, whether that’s hiking, swimming, camping, running, or wake surfing. I have been a ballerina for most of my life and am currently on the cross-country team. I am the second born of four siblings, all of whom I am very close with. My family loves spending time together. I also have two dogs and a cat, one dog of which was my Make A Wish (her name’s Nala :).
I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on February 19th, 2020. It had been a long road to a diagnosis, as I never had any pain. We actually found the tumor by accident, as an x-ray of my back went too wide and showed both of my shoulders. The radiologist noticed an unusual bone growth in my left shoulder. Eight months later, after more x-rays, an MRI, and a biopsy, I was diagnosed. I remember just being in shock when we heard the news as I imagine most people are. From there, I started eight months of chemotherapy. During that time, I had a reverse total shoulder surgery to remove the tumor. My entire left humerus is now titanium, so I can confidently sing the song Titanium by Sia ;) I’m always curious to see whether I’ll set off the metal detectors at airports! Half the time I have, and half the time I haven’t! Anyways, I finished chemo on October 4th, 2020. One of the hardest parts of being in treatment was losing my hair. I had long, thick, red hair down to my waist before treatment, and it was really hard to watch it fall out, even though I knew it would come back eventually.
Unfortunately, I had a recurrence of osteosarcoma in my lungs. Thankfully, this legion was really small, so small, my oncologist was hesitant that surgeons would even be able to find it during surgery. They did successfully remove it on December 8, 2021, and it was concluded that it was osteosarcoma. I am now part of a clinical trial for recurrent osteosarcoma, using immunotherapy. The trial is a yearlong, involving trips to Seattle Children’s Hospital initially, and OHSU more recently, every three weeks. I finish this clinical trial in three months, and I am so excited. I am also beyond grateful for this trial, and for all the people who put time and research into the trial. Even though it’s not fun to receive treatment, it’s amazing to have another option. Thank you to the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation, and so many other amazing foundations who have raised funds for treatment and research for kids like me :)