Local hero: Anna Chan, mom and advocate for children, including Katie Grace Groebner

Yesterday, I posted a blog about Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, the international hero pilot who saved 155 lives by landing his disabled jet safely in the Hudson River. He was honored with a big celebration in his hometown of Danville, given a key to the city, and a resolution from U.S. Congressman Jerry McNerney.
Not to take away from all the well-deserved accolades being heaped upon Sully, but I also want to call attention to Anna Chan, of Clayton, who is doing some heroic work on the local level.
Sure, she might not wind up on CNN or the cover of the New York Times, but she’s doing what she can to make life better for a young girl, Katie Grace Groebner (pictured here) who suffers from pulmonary hypertension, ultimately requiring a heart and lung transplant.

Blogging friend Mister Writer and the Clayton Pioneer point out how much Anna Chan has done on behalf of Katie Grace and her family. And Anna’s doing it with her pen, or rather her word processor and Internet connection, drafting more than 50 letters to media outlets, nonprofits and businesses. She wants to raise awareness about Katie Grace’s situation, and also garner some donations of tickets to fun kids’ activities that Katie and her sister Savanha can enjoy, just to attain a sense of a normal kids’ life. The donations range from tickets to the Oakland Zoo to dance classes for the girls.

Anna is a regular commenter on local blogs, including Claycord.com, Mister Writer, and this blog. She and I have exchanged e-mails that convince me that Anna is a lovely woman with a heart bigger than most.

And I think what really impresses me is that she manages to keep up on her correspondence on behalf of Katie Grace and other children in need while raising a 2-year-old daughter, Ava.
Maybe it’s just that I am hopeless at multi-tasking (or, more likely, that I’m not as nice a person as Anna), but my son, when he was 2, kind of ran me ragged. And when I had a spare moment or two, while he was napping, I’d be catching up on reading the newspaper or a book, or seeing what old movie was playing on Turner Classic Movies. I wasn’t applying myself, like Anna, to help other kids in need.

Anna is on a whole other level of humanity, IMHO.

For more information about Katie Grace Groebner, contact the family at groebs4@live.com. To contact the family of Kaylee, email cgraydon@sbcglobal.net. If you would like to help Anna assist families in the community, contact her through the Clayton Pioneer or email andre@claytonpioneer.com.

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