Albany community surprises young cancer patient after online harassment

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ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – A little girl treated at Albany Medical Center used social media to connect but felt a different kind of pain from online bullies. Her family and friends made sure kindness prevailed.

Anna Labella, an 11-year-old cancer patient, has been battling Ewing’s sarcoma bone cancer since 2019. Her cancer returned in March and she has been feeling a little depressed ever since.

“The chemotherapy is unresponsive and his tumors have grown to his skull. We started a new diet so we kept our fingers crossed, ”said Jessica Labella, Anna’s mom.

In isolation, she created tik-toks to help pass the time. Unfortunately, the bullies tried to break her mind by making fun of her for not having hair.

“We showed the hairbrush the next day and told him his hairbrush had come. She’s going to rock it when she grows her hair back after fighting this battle with cancer, ”Jessica said.

Anna’s mother wanted to cheer her daughter up and she planned the surprise. Jessica told her daughter that they were just going for a walk around the hospital.

Then Anna was shocked to see that hundreds of people from her hometown of Ilion, near Syracuse, were gathered outside the hospital to see her.

The organization called Fight All Monsters and others cheered and held signs with words of encouragement.

Through the window of her hospital, Anna was smiling from ear to ear.

“It was great because I didn’t get to see my friends and family a lot,” Anna said.

Her friends and family wanted to let her know that she was not alone. Her 6th grade math teacher Jody Balash not only drove an hour and a half but went beyond to see her student.

“Our two teachers went on a crane to see me. Mrs. Balash was afraid. It was amazing to see that, and it was heartwarming, ”said Anna.

“I just wanted to see her and the smile on her face. I just wanted it to happen again, ”Jody Balash said.

Anna and her family were blown away by all the love and support. They say it makes all the difference.

“Thank you very much. We love each of you and appreciate all of your support. What the community is doing for Anna is amazing and it really drives her to fight,” said Jessica Labella.

Her mom says Anna giving to nature is unmatched, even while battling cancer, she still takes time to fundraise for the hospital.


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Pia Miller

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