MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When you interview a kid, you never know what you might get. Take for instance the day WREG’s Symone Woolridge met Anna Simes.
She got nothing.
“Is she ever this quiet?”
“No, she is not."
She ran away and wouldn’t even play with her. Finally, Anna opened up and shared her story.
“I want to help kids better.”
Anna has sickle cell and has been through a lot in her short life. She had three blood transfusions before turning two and a spleen removal three days after her second birthday.
“I had to go in and place my two-year-old on a cold operating table and walk out. That was so hard,” said mom Emma Simes.
Anna has missed some birthday parties because she spends a lot of time at the children’s hospital.
This year, the four-year-old is enjoying her birthday in a special way that she came up with all on her own.
"For my birthday I will give to St. Jude and watch me flip.”
Anna decided to set a goal to raise $1,000. For every $100 raised, she flips on her favorite gymnastics bar.
“None of us really thought she was going to get a thousand dollars.”
Anna proved everyone wrong
Thanks to her family's posts on social media, she passed her goal and raised more than $2,500.
Anna's mother will never forget something the four-year-old told her, something that broke her heart.
"She said, ‘I prayed to God quietly that he would heal me’ and I was like what? She said, ‘I prayed to God quietly that he would heal me’ and I said, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘I don't want to go to St. Jude anymore.’”
It’s not because she doesn’t love the place that is now like a second home. It’s because she no longer wants to hurt or see others hurt.
Which is why Anna plans to keep the gift of giving in her heart.