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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Anna Benefit Tournament

This post was originally posted over at Poker From The Rail on Full Tilt Poker. Big thanks go to AlCantHang for making all of this happen. He is truly one of the good guys.



For Anna

So, there’s this really cool 7th grade kid that I know that goes to my kids school. Her name is Anna.

A year ago, she was busy being…well…a kid. She was on the junior high basketball team and on the track team. She was a good student and was full of life, laughter, and a ton of potential. She was very popular, but kind to everyone. My 8 year old daughter adored her.

Fast forward to today. She’s now lying in a bed at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, being fed from a tube.

What happened?

Anna was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. It’s a terrible, debilitating disease that can be best described as this: her damaged heart does not effectively pump her blood anymore. She was recently transplanted with a temporary device to assist her heart pump blood.

Now, this is the part of this post where I’m supposed to make you cry. I’m supposed to wring enough tears from your eyes to get you open up your wallet and get you to sign up for the charity tournament I’ve set up to help Anna’s family raise money to help offset their mounting medical bills. I’m supposed to talk about how Anna is in constant, agonizing pain. How a week and a half ago she suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left half of her body. How she has been so weak that she can’t even feed herself, let alone try to stand up and take a step across her hospital room. How at age twelve, she’s endured more surgeries and medical procedures than most people will have to endure in a lifetime.

I could go into greater detail on all of the above, because it’s all horribly sad and all horribly true. But I won’t, because here’s the bottom line:

If Anna doesn’t find a new heart, she will die.

For someone so young and once so full of life to now be facing death is incomprehensible to me.

I look at my own kids differently now, knowing that I don’t know (and can’t control) what the future holds for them, and one day it could be one of them lying in a cold, sterile hospital bed praying for a heart to be donated in order to live. And that’s why I’m holding this tournament for Anna and her family.

I implore you to sign up for the “Anna Benefit Tournament” on March 15th at 22:00 ET. It’s a $5 + $5 tournament under the “Private” tab here on Full Tilt. Password is “ForAnna”. Every dollar of the “+5” will go directly to Anna and her family.

For more information, please visit Anna’s Caring Bridge page here:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annaschmidt

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and hopefully I’ll see you at my table on Monday night.

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