For our beautiful princess warrior, Anna Kate,
Kelsey Jones, Amanda Germana, Doc Mcstuffins and I wanted to send you a final goodbye. We want to thank you for the impact you made on all of our lives, and the impression you permanently made on all of our hearts. We wish we could of made it to Martin to say goodbye to you there, but thought sending balloons to meet you in the sky was the next best thing. I know you're flying high sweet princess. Xoxo.
Today we had a little memorial for sweet Anna Kate. Since we couldn't make it to Martin, we decided to include Doc in our final goodbyes to the princess. (AK would of smiled so big at the balloons) Anna Kate impacted each and every one of us, more than you could ever imagine. When we let the balloons go, they went straight up to the sunlight. She was definitely shining on us and waiting to catch those balloons on the other side! Anna Kate really changed our world and we are so grateful and blessed that we got to be in her presence for the little time we did. There is not a day that goes by that we don't think about you, AK and family. Visit us in our dreams, sweet princess.
I do not know how I was so lucky for Jennifer Crouch Wenz to be placed in my life over 18 years ago, but God knew what he was doing. She has always been the strongest person I know and I have watched her over the past 11 months watch over her baby girl with so much love, peace, and grace. She has written the most beautiful words throughout describing their journey and giving others such hope no matter what their situation! Jen, I have not doubt that AK is up above watching you, Mike, and Brayden and is so proud of you and what you are doing to help others who are lost, grieving, or hurting for whatever reason. I truly believe there will be people walk through the gates of Heaven because they knew the story of Anna Kate and that to me is her greatest gift of all!
Wendy Lofton Sneed
"When you die that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So live, live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you." —Stuart Scott
Anna Kate inspired and continues to inspire a whole community if not many communities. You will be missed. You and your family are the epitomization of true strength. Anna Kate you have beaten cancer. And even though you are not here with us, you will continue to live on in every life that you have touched. You are a true hero. Rest in peace Princess Warrior.
Once upon a time.....There was a Beautiful Princess Warrior who forever changed her community and the hearts of many--far and wide..I like so many were impacted by her and her family whom I dearly love..So amazing how you were were honored today--these flags at half mass say it all. Now she rests in her new "heavenly home"..A palace fit for a Princess..Sweet dreams all...
I think that the hardest part of today the was when Doc Mcstuffins was talking. You are set free of all the pain that this battle has caused you. You truly have been an inspiration to many. I hope you had a great time watching the balloons fly away. I love you so much Anna Kate!
Today is YOUR day! We celebrate the short 2 years we had with you. You have taught this community the true meaning of being strong and courageous. While you had EVERY reason to be frustrated/upset, you turned against the odds and smiled...all the time. 💗 I will not ever be able the understand why you thought of me on your last day at home (in Martin), but I will forever be thankful for it. I will cherish this day for the rest of my life.
I remember spending my time in the art room when Mrs Jennifer Crouch Wenz was pregnant with Anna kate I didn't like staying in study hall so I asked her if I could color in her room and hang with a friend. I would never forget the day your mom bought you up to the school to show you off you where so little and cute. Your mom was so proud and happy she would show us pictures of you. I remember the day your mom had to rush home cause you where still sick I will never forget that day. You showed me that life is to short to regret thing you showed me to live life to the fullest every day. Fly high sweet warrior princess you are missed by so many people plày with all the animals you can. Mrs Wenz thank you for having a strong little girl that showed me that life's to short to take things for granted and thank you for being an amazing teacher. Praying for you and all the people that your little princess impacted love you guys and you to AK.
Dear Wenz family, you all have inspired a community by sharing your sweet AK's brave fight. May God grant you continued peace that surpasses our understanding.
Losing patients is hard. Losing patients that you form a close bond with is even more difficult. Losing a patient that you had a personal connection to before she ever entered the door is heart wrenching. Thankful for all our little princess taught me in her two years - how to be a princess, that if I ever go bald I may like it more than having a head full of hair, that it is okay to buy yourself a present every now and then, that a big smile can change your day, to be a fighter, and to love deeply. You can learn some of the biggest lessons from the littlest bodies. Thank you Jennifer Crouch Wenz and Megan Crouch Roberts for sharing your sweet princess with me.
Remembering that beautiful baby girl that blessed so many people. Prayers for Mike, Jennifer Crouch Wenz, big brother Brayden, aunt Megan Crouch Roberts & Uncle Phillip Roberts & all of the family. This family is strong & has been a testimony of faith in God. Praying My Jesus wraps loving arms around this family & give strength, love, peace, comfort through this difficult time. Much love to all.
Please pray for the Wenz family. Anna Kate has touched so many in her short time here on earth but OH how she is rejoicing & dancing with Jesus now. I can just see her dancing & waving a pink streamer around. Maybe that's what we saw in the beautiful sunset last night.
As I sit here tonight exhausted because I probably worked the hardest and longest day I ever have. It will still never compare to how hard this day has been for Anna Kate's family. Heaven gained the most beautiful angel there ever was this morning and all I can think about is when I saw Jennifer, Michael and Anna Kate at Walmart just a few weeks ago. She just grinned and was playing bashful with me as I tried to talk to her. The only thing that makes my heart smile is knowing what a wonderful time her and Brayden and the rest of the family had at Disney last week and seeing how big her smile was in the pictures that have been shared. Brayden is my hero for being such an amazing big brother to that little princess. She will never understand how much she truly touched so many lives in a such a small community and she will NEVER be forgotten. Spread your wings Anna Kate and fly high Princess Warrior!!!
Christel, Chase & Miranda Laney
Sweet Anna Kate will be DEARLY missed. To say she has touched each and every single heart in this little town of Martin is an understatement. Give God a big hug from all of us down here pretty girl!
Tribute to Anna Kate Wenz
The sky opened up, there was excitement inside
A new perfect angel had finally arrived
The others had heard that someone was coming
With a huge smile and laughter for which was most becoming
The girl was filled with stories from afar
Castles and fairies and a family so large
She had a mama and daddy and a big brother too
The list kept on growing and suddenly we knew
This child had captured the hearts of both young and old
There was not many that did not know her name, so I was told
For she loved everyone and they loved her too
A community united for this love so true
Anna Kate has arrived through heavens pearly gates
No more pain or tears, for her God there awaits
Her dog and her grandpa were waiting inside
Oh the stories she has told…her life…what a ride
Only one thing left for her to say
She loves everyone and she will remember each day
Her heart is now full, her joy abound
Be happy…Be healthy…and spread the “pink” around
March 2, 2016
Linda Newsom Morris
My heart aches for this precious family. Thank you Jennifer Crouch Wenz for sharing your journey with us. It was our honor to get to know your precious angel. Because of you, we now have your beautiful Anna Kate to thank for so much. You have both taught us all more than you will ever know. It is my promise to continue praying for you and your family in the days, months, and years to come. Please join me in lifting up this family as they mourn the loss of their little warrior.
TeamReed is forever united with the Wenz family and lifting them up in prayer. May God envelope you all with His love and cover you with peace as you move forward in the days to come. The final victory was Anna Kate's as she ran into the arms of Jesus today. We love you guys!
God pearly gates have open once again! I know everybody's heart is heavy today as Gods little princess warrior has gone home to be with him. So many prayers to her Mommie, Jennifer Crouch Wenz Daddy, and amazingly strong brother B. Our heart weeps! Rest In Peace AnnaKate you were the bravest, happiest, and most inspiring little girl I will ever know. Walk those streets of gold with that infectious, contagious loving smile.
God's plan is so much bigger than ours and in his divine wisdom He gives us gifts....those gifts come in so many forms,.wrapped up in ways we could never imagine or dream. He gave Jennifer Crouch Wenz and Michael Wenz a beautiful gift in their amazing, courageous little girl, Anna Kate, and they shared that gift with all of us. Today God called her back to His fold away from the evils of this earth. Do any of us understand this? I'm not sure that we do but I do believe that her mother's faith will guide them all during the days to follow and I personally am amazed at.the grace and faith she has shown to us during these last several months. My prayers are with this amazing family today and the days, weeks, and months to follow.
My girl is flying high with her grandaddy. She fought long and hard and I know in my heart she is "home". Jen, Mike, and Brayden are headed to their physical "home". They want to be a family tonight and make some decisions, so I ask that they be alone. They need time. Anna Kate touched all of our lives in so many ways. She taught me so much about life in her short time. She will always be Moo Moo's girl. I don't have much to say at this point except thank you. Thank you for everything that you have done for this family. Anna Kate got to have the time of her life last week and it wouldn't have been possible without you all. We can never repay you for what you have done.
As I have sat here over the last few hours since I heard the news about Anna Kate I wasn't sure how I felt. I didn't know if I was sad, mad, or what i felt. In a since I was sad because this beautiful little girl was taken long before when I thought she should be. Then I realized that I was thankful. Not at all thankful because she is gone but thankful for what she taught us while she was here. She and her family taught us what true strength is. They taught us how to come together as a community. Things such as race, social status, political views, gender none of that mattered. I can only imagine the things that she felt but she smiled all the way through. Michael Wenz, Jennifer Crouch Wenz, and Brayden you all are honestly the strongest people I know. Mike and Jen you have not only made me want to be a better father but have made me look at every single moment as an opportunity no matter if its a struggle. Its time that you get to be with your children or family. I am so sorry for your loss and i cant even imagine what you all are going through. I can only hope that knowing the impact not only Anna Kate had but your whole family had on me personally but also those at work and in the community. I strongly believe that she is heaven with that big beautiful smile taking in all the sights. sending love and prayers for you and your family
I cannot stop thinking about the Wenz family and sweet, precious Anna Kate. My heart is broken, as are yours. A dear friend reminded me this morning that she now knows a peace that we do not, and because of that Heaven is so much brighter today. It's hard to imagine how somebody so small can leave such a giant footprint in a community, but that is exactly what Anna Kate did. I cannot tell you how many folks have asked about her as I run about West Tennessee each day, nor can I begin to estimate how many have prayed. She brought people together, sometimes even folks who normally wouldn't be together working for a common cause...and gave us hope. She brought us all to our knees in prayer. She reminded me that I can't waste one single moment of life, because she sure didn't. She also reminded me to be a more loving person, as her smile was the very picture of love. I was driving through the back roads of Weakley County this morning before I heard the news. Mailbox after mailbox had a pink ribbon...not just in Martin, but also in Dresden, Sharon, and Greenfield. It was truly touching to see...and that is Anna Kate's legacy. A community united in love. Michael, Jennifer, Brayden and extended family...Thank you for sharing your Princess Warrior with us. You have the prayers of so many for peace and comfort...and a community who will do anything at all to help you. We love you guys.
It's quite amazing and undescribable how such a tiny person can have such a huge impact on out town. People have come together and reached out to her family. Please let's not let her passing be the end of our outpouring of love to the Wenz family because they need it now more than ever. Jennifer Crouch Wenz, Michael Wenz, And Braden please know that your Warrior Princess touched us all in a special way and her strength is an inspiration to us all. The town of Martin and beyond extend out deepest sympathy and love to your family.
Theme for Today: "When You Think There are No Miracles"
For months, we have been captivated by the story of a precious little two year old, Anna Kate, in her courageous battle against the disgustingly vicious disease, cancer. Anna Kate's story, as journaled by her beautiful mother, Jennifer Crouch Wenz, has brought tears of joy and sadness, has thrusted complete strangers into collaborative effort to help, has built armies of warriors in prayer for her and the family, and her story even brought happiness to employees at what is already supposed to be happiest place on earth, DisneyWorld. Those folks realized that they didn't know "happy" until the day Anna Kate showed up. Today, Anna Kate's earthly story came to an end. The next chapter of her amazing story will be told for years to come through the memories she inspired in us All.
In these immediate days ahead we might be tempted to wonder, "why didn't that miracle thousands of people have been praying for ever come"? I believe Anna Kate would say that it did. Miracles happen everyday and often times go unnoticed as being such. God uses miracles to bring healing, but that doesn't always mean physical healing. Let's think about this, in Anna Kate's case. We prayed fervently for a miracle. We all knew that what we meant by that was a miracle cure, for her to walk out of St Jude and never look back as a patient again. So, with her passing today, it's easy to feel slighted, to feel as if our prayer for a miracle wasn't answered. But, I would disagree. Anna Kate is the miracle. God answered our prayers for a miracle, over and over again the past several months. God gave Jen a beautiful gift of writing to share their story and inspire hundreds of people into prayerful communion, many of whom may have never prayed before. Anna Kate's story inspired the miracle of prayer. God provided periods of healing that were just long enough to allow the making of some of the most amazing memories a family could have, a family who was open and willing to allow complete strangers into those memories with them through the use of social media. God kept the cancer's harmful effects at bay for one beautiful long week to allow Anna Kate's story to bring thousands of people together, to work together, to pray together, to enjoy smiles and laughter together, to forget all else in the world and just enjoy that infectious little smile of the litte girl who said "Fight"! When you think there are no miracles, think again. Stop, look back, look around, for our lives are filled with miracles every single day. We pray for miracles and we get them.
Today, I am feeling so blessed that God gave Anna Kate to us All as proof that miracles do happen. You, too, are someone's miracle. God purposed you to be such. Like Anna Kate, you may never know, you may never meet the person for whom God purposed you as a miracle. And that, in and of itself, is the miracle.
Words can not even express how I feel right now at the news of the passing of this Warrior Princess. Jennifer Crouch Wenz you have been an inspiration in your faith throughout this journey. My love and prayers to you and your family. AK, we will miss you, you have taught us all so much with your never ending smiles. I am sure you are sharing one of those smiles right now with your family in Heaven. You will forever be in our hearts and minds. Right now those hearts are broken but we know you are in good hands and happy. We love you AK!
THE LITTLE GIRL WHO CHANGED MY LIFE
Dear Anna Kate,
Though your time on earth was short, it was full.I had the honor and privilege of meeting you in the time you graced earth with your presence, and I haven’t been the same.
I think I can speak for anyone who has met you that your smile is infectious. One of the many things God gifted you with was that grin that reached ear to ear and could melt even the coldest of hearts. One of the first of many things you have taught me: smile.
You taught me the art of storytelling, and yours is my favorite to tell. Your life not only is a reflection of your soul, but also your family’s.
You banded your family into a tight unit and showed a community what family is supposed to look like. You allowed people, including me, to learn what it means to “walk by faith, even when you can't see".
You were always so happy. When I ask your hometown what they think of when they remember you, that word is almost always first out of their mouths. You fought one of the toughest battles in this world there is to face, but that never stopped your joyful and fighting spirit.
Many people you met say you impacted their community in a huge way. People who had never met or thought of talking to each other came together to join you in your fight.
Thank you for your positive outlook on everything. You were so playful all the time, and I know that hasn’t changed now that you are in heaven.
Thank you for teaching me that life is precious, even when it’s terrible. You can always go on an adventure.
You are one of my heroes Anna Kate.
As a reporter, I meet amazing people everyday. I tell other people’s stories, help others, expose the truth. I experience things many never will. But I owe a lot of my perspective to you. None have measured up to your bravery.
To Anna Kate’s family:
Thank you so much for sharing your daughter and sister with me. Not only has she impacted mine and hundreds more lives, you have as well. Your family has such a positive frame of mind, always cherishing each moment. Reading what you have shared, that you are grateful God gave you the gift rather than focusing on taking it away…it’s so powerful.
You…Wenz family… have a permanent place in my heart, as well as thousands of others.
I know your journey is nowhere near over and many hard days will follow. But know that I, your town, and community are by your side.
We love you.
So today, I met a tiny super hero. Today I met a beautiful family that touched my heart in a special way. Today I met a little Princess named Anna Kate, and her AMAZING parents and big brother Brayden. This family won me over today with their contagious smiles, and their positive attitudes radiated and touched me and everyone they met today. Despite the fact that their beautiful baby girl is fighting cancer, they remained some of the most joyful and optimistic people I've ever met. It was beyond heart warming to see this family go above and beyond to make their daughters wishes and dreams come true.
I had heard about this little girl's family prior to today, because they currently have a blog and gofundme set up, and some cast members shared her story and her hopes for meeting Doc McStuffins. When they found out about her spur of the moment trip to Disney, they hit social media and tried to spread the word for cast to be on the look out for their family. They are not here through Make- A-Wish, but are on this trip on their own dime. Anna Kate's wish was to meet Doc and go to her play house clinic; her parents set out to make that dream a reality.
Today, like many days, I happened to be hanging out with my good friend Doc McStuffins at Play and Dine in Hollywood studios. Doc noticed Anna Kate, and recognized her from a post from a fellow cast member. Doc knew how excited Anna Kate was to meet her, so she took some extra time, and really got to visit with Anna Kate. She was shy and nervous at first, but definitely warmed up to Doc after a while! Doc and I knew that we had to do something to make this little one's day the most magical. I set out and shared Anna Kate's story with the rest of the cast at play and dine. Other cast members along with myself went out and got various Doc McStuffins gifts for her, as well as some gifts given from the Disney company! Doc was able to get the ball rolling and set in motion several magical moments for this family. A special meet and greet moment was set up with Handy Manny, Jake the Pirate, Sofia the First, and of course, Doc McStuffins. Doc was SOOO excited to give Anna Kate her gifts, and to spend more time with her! Doc also invited Anna Kate to come and visit us at her clinic later that day. Doc had so much fun going through her Clinic with Anna. Seeing the look on Anna Kate's face as she walked around and saw Doc's tools and toys was precious. Seeing the smile and pure joy on her face was priceless, and I'm forever grateful I got to witness that moment. Later Anna Kate was able to have a special private meet and greet with Doc again at the Disney Junior Live! show. Doc and Anna Kate definitely had an amazing and fun filled day together, and I can't even describe how blessed I feel to have been a part of it all.
Mrs. Jennifer, thank you and your family so much for allowing me to share in your day here today. Thank you for sharing your princess with us, and allowing us to be a part of your story. Anna Kate has gained an even bigger army of prayer warriors and friends today. And I've gained 4 new personal heros. We were all so amazed by everything you have done for your daughter. The love you and your husband have for your children is so abundant, and it was truly beautiful to witness that kind of love and devotion to your family. Your son is one of the most caring, polite, kind hearted, and gentle young men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Anna Kate is a beautiful little girl, her smile is precious, and she gives the best hugs. She's adorably shy, but so loving. She is so lucky to be surrounded by so much love. I hope that the rest of your vacation is magical, and I wish you and your family the best. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Again, thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of this journey with your family, and for letting us get to know Anna Kate and help to make her wish come true. I hope Anna Kate had the time of her life today, and that magical moments (big and small) on your vacation continue without cease.
To my fellow cast members, THANK YOU. Thank you for being what makes this company so amazing. Walt would be very proud of the people who are a part of this company. I'm so blessed to be a part of the Hollywood Studios family, who never fail to give 120% into everything they do here. I love that I have such amazing friends and co workers who will go above and beyond to make a guests day. There are definitely times where I wonder if being away from home, friends, and family is worth it to be here, and today assured me that it was. I could not be more humbled and proud to be a part of a company that makes dreams come true. Today is not a day that I will never forget.
I was asked to paint Anna Kate Wenz's final resting place with her favorite Doc McStuffins characters. Thank you God for this tremendous blessing you have given me. What a tragic story it was for a 2 1/2 year old girl to be taken with cancer but what a blessing it was to be asked to be part of her story as she went to be with our Heavenly Father. My heart aches for her family and friends but I hope they find peace in knowing their Princess Warrior is flying high and how many lives she touched while here on earth.
Would you like to share what Anna Kate has meant to you? Perhaps you have a special memory that you would like to share with the Wenz family? Please feel free to to submit your testimonial below.