HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — News 19 hopes to help grant wishes for Make-a-Wish kids all over north Alabama this week. But just a couple of weeks ago, Landers McLarty Subaru and Bankston Motor Homes partnered together to grant a young girl from Albertville a big wish.
Folks from Make-a-Wish Alabama, Landers McLarty Subaru, Bankston Motor Homes, and even other family members prepared for the surprise. Around 11:00 a.m. on June 21, Anna Reece Reeves opened the door of Bankston Motor Homes.
“Your wish is granted!” everyone yelled.
Like many around the Tennessee Valley, Anna Reece found her love for camping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tyler Reeves, her dad, told News 19 the family got into camping as a way to bond as a family.
“She’s a really, really tough girl and she’s healthy and happy and we’re just excited to be at this point,” said Tyler.
Now, the Reeves Family will get to camp in style, and Anna Reece can do her favorite thing which is making s’mores!
After the initial shock, Anna Reece walked down the red carpet with her mom, dad, and brother to her wish.
“I think when it really sunk in when her and her bother and I think her cousins were up on the bunkbed and she was like, ‘This is my bunkbed!'” said Tracy Smith, the Make-a-Wish Alabama President and CEO.
While she sat on the top bunkbed with her brother and cousins, Anna Reece pointed to which bed she planned on sleeping in. Of course, it was the top bunk!
Anna Reece is five years old and going into kindergarten. Several years back, she was suffering from a very rare cancer: Stage 2 Clear Cell Sarcoma to the kidney. They found it the day before Thanksgiving in 2018.
“Mom had some concerns about a hard spot on her right side,” said Tyler. “On that day, the doctor felt it and they did an ultrasound and we found out that she had a tumor on her kidney. I guess it was the day after Thanksgiving, she had her right kidney removed and we were in St. Jude the following Sunday. We were in St. Jude for what, three weeks?”
Gina Reeves, Anna Reece’s mom continued the story.
“Three weeks for radiation and to start chemo, and then we came back to the Huntsville St. Jude affiliate clinic and she finished 27 weeks of chemotherapy,” said Gina.
Anna Reece has been in remission for two years now.
“She’s at a point where she can really enjoy life again,” said Smith. “When they get through that treatment they can kinda get back to a normal sense of normalcy in their life. What’s great is wishes like this enhance that!”
“We find a way to mend together to do things that partner to help our community, our kids, the families, and this is what we do and I love this about our community,” said Frank Williams, owner and managing partner
of Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.
Tyler asked Anna Reece if they should bring their dog Oscar on camping adventures with the family. The bright smile and rapid nod she gave was the perfect answer.
Now, the Reece family has an opportunity to make so many memories together in the new camper. Their first adventure was that very next weekend to Guntersville State Park.
News 19 is partnering with Make-a-Wish to raise awareness and funds for the many other kids around the state still waiting for their wishes to be granted. To be a part of granting a child’s wish, you can text “WISHES” to 243725. You can also donate securely online by clicking here.