CBU soccer star Anna Della Rosa determined to return for senior season after battle with cancer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- 21 years old. College athlete. Cancer. Those are three things that should never go together, but unfortunately, that's not the case for CBU soccer star Anna Della Rosa.

"Determination and drive and just hard headedness. If my coaches were like you can take a break I was like no," said Anna Della Rosa.

CBU's season ended on October 30th, Della Rosa completed her best year yet, scoring 6 goals and had 4 assists. Then just several weeks later she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

"It really happened in the span of 48 hours. I did the test, got the biopsy, found out my results and they were like be here at 8 am tomorrow. And I actually told my doctor I have a presentation tomorrow can I push that back. And he was like no you've got to be here," said Della Rosa.

"You come off the season that she had just had personally, it's just remarkable what she achieved and the same time just devastating when we heard the news," said Kieron Heblich.

Since her diagnosis Anna has been on the attack, undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy. Her cancer is now remission. Gaining the upper hand in a battle she's not fighting alone.

"Having so much support from CBU and Houston from the local area, everyone, It's just like knowing I wasn't in this by myself for sure. I've always said everything happens for a reason, I just knew there would be a greater purpose from this. I have a greater purpose to live a new life," said Della Rosa.

Becoming an inspiration to the younger kids at St. Jude.

"Just like being able to guide people through this, cause I'm obviously 21 but those kids aren't. I think being able to guide parents through this rough time and know what to do and how to parent and how to handle things, I think is a responsibility of mine," said Della Rosa.

Anna is determined to return for her senior season. And won’t let leukemia stand in her way.

"It was never in the question. When I got diagnosed I asked my doctor how soon can I be out of here because I have to start by August,” said Della Rosa.

"We've got her number 9 jersey waiting for her, no one is taking it," said Heblich.

“I have a timeline. So I am graduating on time. I am still going to play. I have a life to live I have to get on with it. So it was never in the question, I look forward to it everyday," said Della Rosa.

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