Anna Martin continues recovery from leukemia

Anna Martin continues recovery from leukemia

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By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

FARRAGUT (WATE) - It's been nearly a year since Anna Martin, 11, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. Six months ago she received a lifesaving bone marrow transplant in Nashville. Now, she's back home in Knoxville with her family.

"We come back and life is moving fast, just catching up with the other two kids and just being a family again, it was great but it took some time to get used to," explained Anna's mother Kristen.

The separation was hard for the rest of the family too.  "It was definitely a challenge. Lonely. I realized I can't take anything for granted anymore," said Anna's father Mike.  He held down the fort at home with Anna's brother Ryan, 13, and sister Caroline, 7.

"She had to stay in the hospital for a long time," Caroline said. "I thought she would never come back."

Now Anna is cancer free, but still prone to infection. She can't be around a lot of people, but she has more energy everyday.

"I like to play with my cat Smokey and play outside and play with my friends and sleep in my own bed!" she said.

By the time she's allowed to return to school in the fall, she'll have missed her whole fifth grade year.  "I have a teacher that comes to my house," Anna said.

Anna's recovery has been almost miraculous, but not everyone is so lucky. "So many kids are suffering and going through this fight every day. We just grow to love those kids so much, so as they celebrate with us and are so happy for Anna, at the same time our heart just breaks when things aren't going as well for those kids," Kristen said.

Later this year, Anna may get to meet her anonymous bone marrow donor, if that person agrees. The Martins encourage everyone to join the bone marrow registry and have the chance to save a life.

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