Encompass Winning Desginer: Anna Kristina
Age: 11 years old
Hometown: San Antonio, TX (born in Bratislava, Slovakia)
Medical Condition: Her brother, Peter Lukas, was diagnosed with cancer
Design Name: You Are Not Alone
Anna Kristina’s younger brother, Peter Lukas, was diagnosed with a yolk sac cancerous tumor when he was just 10 months old. The illness brought its share of trauma to the young boy and tears and stress to his entire family. However, Anna Kristina and her siblings showed great compassion towards their kid brother, playing with him and praying for him whenever they could.
“My kids never said they were jealous of all the attention given to Peter Lukas even though they might have felt less attention from us,” says mom, Alena. “The experience made them stronger.”
The Alfaros feel very fortunate to be a part of Starlight and its Great Escapes family activities program. Alena shares, “When someone in your family is sick and there is suddenly a black cloud hanging over your home, the last thing on your mind is to go out and have fun. Between a sudden diagnosis of cancer, immediate surgery, frequent check ups for Peter Lukas, four children at two different schools, work and bills, we simply didn’t have any energy left to plan fun activities. When we finally became a part of Starlight and were given opportunities to attend Great Escapes, it helped us remember that the brighter sides of life still existed and it was so exciting to meet other people with similar challenges.”
Anna Kristina created ‘You Are Not Alone’ to remind young people who are ill that they are, in fact, not alone. The images of figures surrounded by other figures are meant to remind hospitalized children of the communities of support that surround them –- their parents, siblings, friends, and other young children around the world also facing illness.
“I felt so happy when I learned I had won,” shares Anna Kristina. “I never thought I would win a big contest like this -– to me, it was one of the best things ever. I hope my drawing brings young patients happiness and joy, knowing they are surrounded by people who care for them. If they just believe in this, then I know they will feel better.”
Now 4 years old, Peter Lukas is cancer free.