Surviving the Impossible with Love, Music, and Precision Medicine
It’s almost unprecedented to have this type of regression with the currently approved therapy.” -From TIME Magazine’s March 2015 article featuring MaryAnn Anselmo
In 2012, MaryAnn Anselmo was at the height of her career, headlining at Chico’s House of Jazz—a premiere venue in New Jersey for jazz singers. It was a sold-out show. The love of her life and husband, Joe, was by her side when she brought the house down. Her dreams were becoming a reality. Two days later she lost everything including the will to live when their son Dustin died unexpectedly.
A month later, MaryAnn and her father, Artie, suffered a devastating car accident. Dad was going to be okay, but she shattered dozens of bones, and had a string of strokes that resulted in a coma. This ultimately left her without the use of her left vocal cord.
With Joe’s love and constant support, she worked hard to recover, even starting from scratch with her old vocal coach. MaryAnn was determined to sing again. Then in mid-November of 2013, she was given eighteen months to live, diagnosed with a high-grade glioblastoma—a later stage brain tumor.
How is this possible? Why me? Why us?
Through Fire and Rain is a story of deep loss and salvation found through love, prayer, and faith in the future of medicine. “Not my girl. Cancer will not win.” Joe uttered as he watched his wife sleep. They had decided to stop chemotherapy; it was going to kill her faster than the tumor. They had made it through the fire, he thought. They had survived so much. This is just a little rain…. And he got to work, studying everything, and calling doctors worldwide to learn more about genomic sequencing, their last hope.