MPW.66 / 2014 A Knack for Caring by Daniel Gonçalves
Photographer
Daniel Gonçalves Dallas, Texas


Story Summary

A cancer scare brought forward the resiliency of the human spirit for Anna Marie DeMayo. She lives a life full of compassion.

Each day she not only cares for her own family and menagerie of animals in Weston, but also owns and runs a bakery in Kansas City and is the director at the Hillcrest Ministries thrift store in Platte City.

She opened the bakery, Naughty Bites, to provide jobs for girls transitioning from the Hillcrest Ministries and prison release programs. "The system sets these girls up for failure. They can't work schedules that make sense with parole meetings and volunteer requirements, so no one will hire them and they end up back in prison." When her youngest son, Miles, said "we don't make much money at the bakery, how much do we make?" she responded, "we make enough to keep your belly full."

On her ranch, the "R. Funny Farm”, there are alpacas, a lama, horses, chickens, rescued cats and dogs that she is fostering. Anna Marie has also given a girl with a developmental disability a home until she can learn to make it on her own.

As a single mom with three children Anna Marie has battled three bouts of cancer and while going through treatment she took up knitting with Alpaca wool. The softness of the wool was a great comfort and today she has her own herd.

The cancer of her past has turned into the strength and love that she both gives and receives today.