Changing the world, one headband at a time


Olivia Buckel

13-year-old cancer survivor Anna Markiewicz has her very own “Daisies” themed headband design on the Headbands of Hope website. She entered her design through one of the organization’s competitions in April of 2021, and she received word that she won the competition less than 24 hours later. 

Now that her design is up on the website, any person can buy one. For every headband that is purchased through the Headbands of Hope website, another headband will be donated to a child with cancer.

Headbands of Hope was started in 2012 and is now carried in thousands of stores. It has even gotten support from celebrities like Lea Michele, Kelsea Ballerini, and NBA teams like the Dallas Mavericks. Hundreds of thousands of headbands have been donated to children with cancer. 

Anna was first introduced to the Headbands of Hope company by her child-life specialist, and she is so excited to be a part of it. The fact that she is helping kids just like her brings a huge smile to her face. 

“In a way, it’s me giving back,” Anna said. “That’s a really good feeling. I went to the Children’s Hospital down in Pittsburgh for my treatment, and for every headband that is sold, another headband is donated to that hospital, so that’s really cool. It makes me very happy.”

Even though the journey through cancer was extremely difficult for Anna, throwing eggs at a picture of the radiation tunnel, playing basketball with her child-life specialist, and strawberry ice cream with caramel sauce helped her through it. 

Anna’s sister and current Villa junior Leah Markiewicz shares Anna’s joy with giving back. 

“When my family found out that she [Anna] won [the competition], we were all super proud of her,” Leah said. “It was really exciting to reflect on the whole journey and see how far she has come. It feels good to know that she is able to give back to other people who are experiencing similar situations.” 

If you or anyone you know would be interested in purchasing Anna’s headband design or would like to donate to Headbands of Hope, go to