In her thirty-two years of life, Alana lived as a shining example of determination, courage, beauty and love. She was blessed with a stunningly beautiful and contagious smile-a genuine smile she shared with the world from the very first moment she opened her eyes. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she showed tremendous potential as a student and a ballerina at a very early age. After graduating near the top of her high school class in l992, Alana moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. In the summer of 1995, her grandmother began losing a long battle with breast cancer, a disease that runs in her family. Alana returned home to be close to her grandmother and the rest of her family. Following her grandmother's passing she put her passion for dance on hold to pursue an undergraduate degree in Science at the University of Minnesota. She was inspired to make a contribution in research in hopes that someday her efforts would help in finding a cure for cancer.

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