Ankitha Valdez was born in Delhi, India. She was left on the doorsteps of a local orphanage, as an infant, by her biological mother. She was born with damaged retinas in each eye, and due to the lack of proper medical care, Ankitha is now visually impaired for the rest of her life.
When she was two years old, Ankitha was adopted by Chris and Liz Valdez of Fairhope, Alabama. Just months after her arrival in the U.S., she was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Children with her type of cancer are known on the oncology unit as the “kitchen sink kids” because they throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the cancer to eradicate it. Due to a very rare primary immune deficiency diagnosis, the National Institute of Health (NIH) manages her medical care. She is reportedly only the 9th case worldwide. Although there is no known cure, Ankitha is on the National Donor Registry hoping to find a match to aid in potentially life-saving treatment.
Despite the challenges she faces, she will tell you that she enjoys the finer things in life, like eating sugar-coated waffles and taking bubble baths.
When asked what her plans are for the future, she told the Baller Dream Team (link to team page) that she aspires to be a superhero and a teacher to help children.
Ankitha currently attends an Alabama state school for the deaf and blind and continues to inspire us all.