One bride’s vow to help end cancer

Anna and Brian were happily married on April 16, 2016.
Anna and Brian were happily married on April 16, 2016.

In 2010, Anna met Brian. Six years later, the time was right to tie the knot. With the joy of wedding preparations also came sadness. Anna was planning her wedding without her big sister, Phoebe, who had passed away from cancer at the age of 30.

“The process of planning my wedding without Phoebe triggered a lot of grief for me. I am sure others experience this sort of challenge with weddings or other big life events. Phoebe and I were definitely the type of sisters who had conversations about our future weddings as young girls,” said Anna.

Anna and Brian set out to find a way to include Phoebe’s memory and spirit in their special day. They chose to create a Dana-Farber Giving Page in addition to their traditional wedding registry. A Giving Page is a personal, fundraising web page that can be shared with family and friends.

“For me, setting up a Giving Page to remember my sister as part of our wedding celebration was a small help with the loss I was feeling,” said Anna.

Supporting the amazing work at Dana Farber is a cause close to Brian and Anna’s hearts. Both Anna and Phoebe have been treated there.

Anna came to Dana-Farber after being diagnosed with Tenosynovial Giant Cell Tumor (also known as PVNS), a non-cancerous tumor that can destroy your joints and causes extreme pain. Since her initial diagnosis, Anna has had two major surgeries and is now being followed by Andrew Wagner, MD, PhD, and his team at Dana-Farber.

“From the minute you walk into any Dana-Farber facility, even if you are having a terrible day, you feel fortunate to have such an amazing place to take care of you,” said Anna. “We wanted to give back.”

Brian and Anna were married on April 16, 2016 at Phillips Academy, where Anna went to high school, surrounded by close family and friends. The couple is honeymooning in Italy where they are enjoying a steady diet of pasta, great wine, bike rides, and days on the beach.

Learn more about how to create a Giving Page for your wedding or party registry.

Elizabeth Furilla
Account Manager/Writer, Development Communications