Young cancer survivor and family have much to be thankful for

Young cancer survivor and her family have much to be thankful for

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By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The scene at the Martin family home is very different this Thanksgiving than last.

Last year, 10-year-old Anna Martin was in and out of the hospital after being diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in June 2011.

It's been just over a year since she received a life-saving bone marrow transplant in Nashville.

"Last Thanksgiving we were home for just a few days. It was Anna's first home pass," said Kristen Martin, Anna's mother.

What a difference a year makes. Anna is healthy and home for good.

"The last year, it's been great, she's back in school, I know (she's) enjoying that, we just have so much to be thankful for, the little things, the big things, her health, being together," Kristen said.  

After battling cancer for more than a year, Anna said she is feeling good, and the Martin's are ready to celebrate the holidays like together, as a family.

"It's the little things that we just really enjoy and don't take for granted anymore. We'll cook and have our feast and plan on going to the Fantasy of Trees which we've always done," Kristen said, looking forward to Thursday.

Visiting the Fantasy of Trees, the annual benefit for Children's Hospital, has always been a Martin family tradition, until last year.

"Last year we were not able to because Anna was not allowed to be around a lot of people," Kristen explained.

This year, they're ready to renew the tradition, and Kristen Martin said giving back to Children's Hospital means more than ever.

"They're our family, our second home, we're just really grateful for everyone there as well."

And on Thanksgiving eve, Anna, her brother and sister helped make pies for their family dinner. While the girls said they're excited about the holiday food, they all have much to be thankful for.

"I'm thankful for being healthy," Anna said shyly. "And getting to go to school normally."

 Anna was able to return to school this year after missing her fifth grade year.

Her 7-year-old Caroline, is happy to have her sister back.

"I'm thankful that my sister is home and she gets to play with me," Caroline said.

For Kristen Martin, looking at her family helping with Thanksgiving preparations, she can barely contain her gratitude.

"Everyday that passes by, we're just thankful for another day."

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