I’m Fueling Community: Annalise Piano

In July 2018, 11-year-old Annalise Piano went for a routine eye exam. 48-hours later she was having brain surgery. The eye exam had raised red flags, leading to an MRI, which spotted the brain tumor.

Although her surgery was a success, Annalise was left with some deficits — palsy on one side of her face, a ‘weightlessness’ in the entire left side of her body, double-vision, and other issues related to coordination. She worked hard at physical, occupational, and speech therapy — a recovery which lasted more than five months — and was able to start middle school on-time, even achieving high honor roll, joining the Art and Best Buddies clubs, performing in two dance recitals, joining a field hockey team, and trying stand-up paddleboarding for the first time.

Upon the anniversary of Annalise’s surgery, she decided that instead of a celebration for herself, she wanted to help others. Annalise created her own team, “Positive Party,” to walk in the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk on September 14, 2019. The team raised more than $4,300, with Annalise leading the way, bringing in $2,781 herself.

Perhaps even more praiseworthy, Annalise has proactively begun to reach out to other children impacted by brain tumors, offering support, friendship, and kindness. Recently, the Piano family learned of another young girl in their community diagnosed with a brain tumor. As this young girl underwent her radiation treatments, Annalise sent her a letter to let her know she is not alone, that Annalise understood some of what her friend was going through, and provided advice. She even bought the young girl a silver cross with wings necklace to match one she had been gifted during her own treatments and recovery. They continue to check in with each other periodically.

Despite her own challenges, Annalise knows she has been fortunate to overcome many of the obstacles resulting from her brain tumor. As Annalise adjusts to her new normal, she made a conscious choice to give back.

Annalise is FUELING COMMUNITY to make sure no child feels like they have to experience a brain tumor alone.


Give today to help fuel a new decade for new breakthroughs

While the treatment landscape for brain tumor patients unfortunately hasn’t improved much in decades, through the funded research of NBTS and others we now know more about these tumors than ever before. Give now to ensure that the brain tumor field has the resources it needs to translate this knowledge into transformative treatments that patients and their families deserve.