Celebrating Anna McFarland

Anna McFarland, a freshman here at West Morris Central, passed away on Sunday, November 24th, 2019, after a 16-month battle with leukemia. Despite her illness, you would always find her smiling and laughing. Anna had the most contagious smile and radiated joy and sunshine wherever she went. Through all her treatments, she never lost her spark. She was always finding something to joke about. Instead of complaining about some of the effects of her treatment, she found the humor in it, once saying, “does anyone have any Aquaphor? My skin is as dry as my sense of humor!”

Anna loved art, reading and writing. She also loved music, especially singing, playing the guitar, and the violin. She was a member of Orchestra and Fiddle Club in middle school and sang in a Christmas caroling group at her music studio called “Figgy Puddings.” Anna was also a member of the Girl Scouts of America. 


Anna and Swoosh

Anna had the biggest heart, filled with so much love for everyone around her. She loved animals, especially her own two dogs. It made her day when she was visited by a therapy dog in the hospital. Her father, a veterinarian, previously worked with the American Humane Association to design a study of the effect dogs can have on children undergoing cancer treatment. When they heard about Anna’s diagnosis, her favorite therapy dog, Swoosh, came all the way from Tennessee to be with her. She described her experience by saying “You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you’re happy? It’s kind of that feeling.”

Anna passed away on the anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s passing. He was one of her idols and her family found some comfort in knowing that they would share that.  

Despite never physically attending West Morris Central, Anna made an impact on so many people here. We are proud to call her a member of the Pack. 

Unfortunately, Anna was not the only student from West Morris Central who lost her life to cancer. Sarah Crowley also passed away from cancer at age fifteen. In her honor Sarah’s family created the Sarah’s Fight For Hope Foundation which aims to raise awareness of pediatric cancer and to provide financial assistance, resources and emotional support to families similar to Anna’s. Within the club, members make Warrior visits to those affected by pediatric cancer, which includes spending time with them as well as bringing presents and financial support. In addition to this, the club organizes countless other events that aid in raising money and support for those affected by this terrible disease. During her illness, Anna was helped by Sarah’s Fight For Hope through fundraisers and other services and her family continues to stay involved with the organization to help others going through the same struggles.