Anna was born on 28th June 1999, the third of our three daughters together with sisters Jessica and Elizabeth, making up our family of 5, or 6 if you include our little black cocker spaniel, Eddy.
From the start she was a tiny bundle of pocket energy, incredibly inquisitive and full of life and this natural curiosity stayed with her all her life. Anna approached everything in life with unbridled enthusiasm but, probably most of all, when she was young she loved reading and being read-to and it became rare to see Anna without a book or her kindle.
Early in the Summer of 2014 she was tragically diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
Her life was just beginning to take shape, she was 14 and in her first year of GCSE study, with the ultimate plan to go on to university and study medicine. Despite this devastating diagnosis she remained positive and happy. She continued studying, smiling and arranging fun events for family and friends for which she was known and loved. This dedication and determination to succeed led to one of our proudest moments when she achieved 10A*s at GCSE, despite being on treatment at the time of the exams.
She is pictured here at her high school prom, in June 2015, three days before her 16th birthday.
Hospital and charity support workers provided us with activities and day trips which were a distraction from the reality of their situation and allowed us to spend time together doing what families should be doing, laughing and having fun.
In a letter to thank one of the charities after a trip to the theatre, Anna wrote "Most of all, I really enjoyed seeing my family enjoying themselves and seeing them smile".
The Anna Wilkinson Mockingbird Trust, also known as The Mockingbird Trust, a name which was inspired by Anna's favourite book, is a charity which was founded in the Autumn of 2016 by the Wilkinson family to create fun, memories and treasured moments for other young people with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
Anna didn’t let a “little thing” like this diagnosis get in the way of her doing things and leading a full life. She was brave and uncomplaining, but at times she was frightened and anxious. Despite this she remained cheery, helping us remain positive and we are extremely proud of the way she conducted herself through what was a tremendously difficult few months.
It is overwhelmingly sad that the treatments that Anna underwent were unable to stop the progression of her illness and on 22nd January 2016, aged 16, Anna died at home with her mum and dad by her side.
Anna is loved by everyone whose life she touched and always had the ability to make everyone feel special. Her smile lit up every room, always going out of her way to cheer her friends and family up, whether that was with a hug, or singing one of her favourite Elvis songs. Planning big parties and arranging special events were Anna’s favourite things, not for herself, but the delight she took was in seeing her friends and family enjoying themselves.
During Anna’s illness, when life seemed to lurch from one hospital visit to the next with a never-ending series of tests and scans, we were introduced to a wealth of support that we never knew existed.
Anna's positivity, cheerfulness and determination inspired all who met her and The Mockingbird Trust is her legacy.
Chris and Wendy Wilkinson