MINNEAPOLIS — Video shows a heartwarming moment. Some of the first steps for 23-year-old Anya Magnuson, a Minneapolis resident, following an accident that nearly took her life
"On October 23rd, after midnight, Anya had left work at Fogo de Chão, she was a server, it was one of her many jobs," said Anya's mother, Colleen Kelly.
While crossing Hennepin Avenue with a few friends, the recent Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University graduate and aspiring photojournalist, was hit by an SUV.
"It was a violent crash, she was thrown some distance possibly more than 30 feet," said Kelly.
Anya’s mother, Colleen Kelly, remembers the first phone call she received after the crash and her mind going blank.
“They said she had a pulse and she was breathing, and I knew there was a missing thing there, and when I called back, I asked, 'Was she conscious?'
"That's when I knew right away," said Kelly.
Anya was left with serious fractures and a traumatic brain injury. She spent 19 days on a ventilator and more than two weeks in the ICU.
But the accident wasn’t the first time, Anya has had to fight for her life.
"The cancer she has is called Erdheim-Chester Disease," said Kelly. "There's about 1,000 documented cases in the world ever."
Anya was diagnosed with cancer as a sophomore, enduring four brain surgeries, two spine biopsies and in-patient chemo. A breakthrough treatment by a team at Mayo Clinic helped Anya live a normal life.
That's until the accident happened.
"How can you have an ultra rare cancer, going down this horrible path, then you get a one-of-a-kind scientific shot in the dark that works, and this brief time, working full-time, going out after work and then it’s gone, again," said Kelly.
Anya was discharged Friday. Her voice is still recovering.
"What do you want people to know about you?" Kelly asked in a video taken in Anya's apartment. “I want people to know that I am confident and getting better, walking," said Anya.
As Kelly looks at photos taken by Anya, and a poster that was once posted on a door in her hospital room.
"We made this to put up in her room so that when a new doctor would come in they would get a sense of who she was," said Kelly. "It just says, 'I am Anya. I’ve been through bad things before, but I am brave.'"
She's supporting her daughter on her long journey to recovery.
“I don’t need this to tell me Anya is brave, though," said Kelly. "I have every memory of that in my head.”
To continue supporting Anya, visit her GoFundMe link here.