The Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts dedicated a performance festival to Anne's memory. Since her death there have been two articles about her in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. 1, 2.
From the Sentinel:
Fourteen months after being diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma, Anne Dinnell, 26, died Thursday evening at Dominican Hospital.
Tests earlier in the year had shown that Dinnell, who had pursued an alternative, diet-based treatment in lieu of standard radiation and chemotherapy, appeared to be free of cancer.
Her death, said her friend and co-worker Jason Book, "was as quick, and painless as possible."
Until being hospitalized early in September for what she thought was pneumonia, "Anne felt well, and she thought she was well," Book said.
During that two-week hospital stay, surgeons repaired a collapsed lung, and Dinnell was discharged from Dominican on Sept. 22. While recuperating at her parents’ home in Santa Cruz five days later, she fell ill again and returned to the hospital.
Rather than suffer nausea, weakness and other discomforts associated with chemotherapy, Dinnell took what she said was a calculated risk.
She was convinced she’d made the right choice after a second PET scan came up clear in June.
Dinnell changed her treatment schedule somewhat late in June, so she could begin part-time work as a legal assistant.
Book said she had received dozens of visits from friends and family members before she fell unconscious Wednesday night. "She was joking with them and was even able to laugh," Book said.
From another Sentinel article several days later:
Dinnell died Thursday of melanoma, which had spread to her lungs. She was 26.
"She never let herself believe that she was going to die from this," said her mother, Kathleen Dinnell. "Until the end, she was more concerned about us (her loved ones) than herself."
Her decision to forego chemotherapy had her doctors throwing up their hands.
"We don’t have good treatments for melanoma, so I couldn’t blame her," said oncologist Dr. Michael Alexander. "The treatments are toxic and they’re not very effective."
Dinnell had undergone surgery to her neck, underarm, hip and one of her fingers to remove cancerous tissue shortly after her initial diagnosis.
While recovering from the surgery, she made the decision to leave an administrative assistant position she had held for seven years, and pursue the alternative therapy full time. The regimen she chose recommends a rigorous devotion to preparation and ingestion of organic foods, and to regular colonic treatments.
"But the disease is notoriously unpredictable," said Alexander. "Ultimately, it does what it wants to do."
The fact that melanoma had spread to her lungs was unknown to Dinnell’s doctors on Wednesday of last week. Pathology reports did not arrive until shortly after she died.
Tuesday, after having returned to the hospital from her parents’ home where she had been recuperating from lung surgery, "she came to a quick acceptance," of her fate, her mother said.
She called friends, who came to visit for the last time Wednesday, and she composed farewell notes to her parents and her brother, Jeff, with whom she was extremely close, said Kathleen Dinnell.
"Anne was so witty, and just a doll all the way through," she said.