Anna loved her family, friends, and dancing. Though she was diagnosed with scleroderma at age 10, she lived the next three years of her life with confidence. She shared her humor, vibrance, and good-hearted nature with anyone she met.
“She wanted to pursue acting or work in rheumatology research when she was older,” her mother Amber says. “She dreamed to become the first actress to have scleroderma, to show other children they can really do anything.” It was equally important to Anna “to find a cure for scleroderma and other autoimmune diseases.”
But at only 13 years old, Anna became severely ill from COVID-19. “Our entire world changed July 10th, 2020,” Amber shares. “Our fairly healthy kid who fought off the flu every year, sometimes twice with no problem, was gone within a matter of days because of this virus.”
As Anna’s entire family grieved, Amber says that “we did what many parents who lost a child do; we tried to find meaning and purpose for the immense hole left in our hearts.” They thought about what Anna could have done with more time—Amber is confident that “if given the chance, Anna would’ve changed the world.”
So, they formed the Anna Belle Carter Memorial Foundation “to help her do just that a few scholarships at a time. We are hopeful to award at least 3 scholarships a year to be disbursed directly to youth that has scleroderma (any type) or their immediate siblings who are pursuing secondary education at a college or technical school. “
For anyone interested, Amber says that “the scholarship application is open now for the school year 2022-23 for youth (ages 23 or younger still under the care of their parents). To find out more information please visit [our website] or @AnnaBelleCarterScholarship on Facebook.”
Through the love of her family, Anna will continue to make a difference, though her days were cut tragically short. Amber says, “I will always wonder if she could have lived to see a cure for scleroderma how much better her quality of life would be. I just want the world to know scleroderma exists and keep fighting for that cure.”