Updated 12/21/2015

Anika is 14 years old and was born on Easter. She is most happy at home on the couch next to a stack of her favorite (at the moment) books with an old cartoon or movie she likes on the TV and her tablet in hand ready to search for information on films, tv shows, characters, actors, and actresses. After her first summer with a local riding program, Ride With Pride, she discovered a love for horses. She shares with them a quiet disposition and prefers a serene atmosphere out of the spotlight. Her stuffed toy puppy golden retriever Rosebud (from the Buddies movies) is her favorite. She lives in Stuarts Draft, Va in the Shenandoah Valley at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her Mom, Dad, and Daisy the dog. She has two older sisters, Vanessa and Melissa, and is the auntie to one adorable little nephew, Max.

Original Post:

Anika is a sweet nine year old girl. Her story is similar to others.

She had a trache for the first 4 years of her life and also a g-tube (feeding tube) until she was seven (for fluid intake mainly). In the past she had several surgeries on her severe club feet. She currently attends 4th grade in a very supportive school. I like the way the school system is set up with her being in a regular classroom as well as Special Ed classes to help with her individual needs. She had an EEG, which shows that her brain function is much slower than a child her age. Strange enough she can read like a 4th grader, but her comprehension and thinking process is that of a toddlers. She is also in the autistic spectrum, which explains how routine-oriented she is. A few years ago it was common for her to throw a fit if the “usual” changed for any reason, such as missing our weekly trip to the library.

Anika is a real blessing! Her interests include: reading, singing, watching old cartoons and Disney movies and according to one of her teachers, she has a relationship with food. She will eat almost anything you set in front of her.
Anika also loves going to church, singing worship songs, and learning about God and His Word.

Her family includes two older sisters, Melissa and Vanessa, her Mom and Dad, and a dog named Daisy. We live in valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, and have been blessed with a beautiful view.
Of course, this is a very small summary of Anika’s story. If you would like to know more please contact me, Monika Kessler, at