By Jordan Fauci
After a solid freshman year in 2019, Anna Dumovich was ready for an even more successful sophomore campaign. However, a simple arm injury turned into the discovery of a strange lump.
“I thought I just pulled something. I went to so many doctors starting off with sports doctors and eventually a cancer specialist,” Dumovich said.
After the biopsy, she headed back to Flagler, and that is when she got the call.
The news she got wasn’t something she was prepared for: Stage Four Hodgkins Lymphoma.
“The doctor said ‘Hey you gotta come back. You have cancer and you’re going to have to put school and everything else to the side,’” Dumovich said. “I was like, no I’m not going to let this derail my life.”
When we think of strength, athletes like Aaron Donald, Dwayne Johnson, David Robinson and
Barry Bonds may come to mind. Strength, however, is not solely a measure of physical attributes. Strength comes from all of an athlete’s muscles, and the most important muscle is the heart.
Fitting the mold of a strong athlete is a senior utility player for the Flagler College Saints, Anna Dumovich. Dumovich has had a career filled with turmoil, but to really give you the full story we have to go back to the start.
Dumo, as her friends and teammates refer to her, was 13 when she started her career playing softball (a late start for most), but she immediately fell in love with the sport. Not only did she have a deep love for the game but the Trinity, Florida native was damn good too. She lettered all four years of high school, earned league MVP honors her junior year, and was a captain her senior year.
After graduating high school with magna cum laude honors, Dumovich set off to Flagler College with clear eyes and a full heart ready to continue her softball career.
She hit two home runs in five starts her freshman year but redshirted during her COVID-shortened sophomore year due to her diagnosis.
“Mentally I was fine. It was obviously hard but it was harder to see everyone else worry about me.”
After eight months of treatment, she was cancer-free, but the battle was not even close to finished.
“The recovery was brutal. The treatment and being away from the game for over a year and a half took a lot out of me.”
Dumovich was not going to let cancer win and she fully threw herself into the rehabilitation process.
“I was in the gym every single day, on the bike for at least thirty minutes and lifting hard. I was just trying to get my body back.”
Where most people would give up, Dumovich shined. The competitive fire would not go away for her. The treatment had taken 20 pounds of muscle off of her frame but through sheer gumption, she came back.
“Diamonds are made under pressure. If I didn’t give it my all every single day to come back stronger I would be letting my teammates, my coaches and my family down.”
Dumovich returned to action in her junior year appearing in seven games for the Saints. She is an inspiration to everyone who has the pleasure of knowing her, but when asked who inspires her you’ll get a surprising answer.
“Miguel Cabrera. I love Miggy. He’s the reason I wear number 24.”
When you ask anyone who knows Dumo, they will always say she is selfless, caring, a great teammate and has a huge heart.
“I would describe Dumo as a selfless teammate. She always put others’ needs before her own. She has the biggest heart I know both on and off the field. She is supportive and caring all around,” said Mackenzie Smith, Dumovich’s teammate and roommate.
Dumovich has had a rollercoaster of a career at Flagler with crazy highs and lows. The one constant is her heart. There are great athletes and there a great people but it is a rarity to run into someone who is both. On and off the field she is an inspiration and a role model for anyone. No matter what has come her way she has taken it on the chin and kept pushing forward.
Kathryn Grant, the head coach of Flagler College softball since June 2017, has been the head coach for Dumovich’s entire softball career at Flagler.
“Everyone could learn something from Anna Dumovich. She has faced so many obstacles and has tackled them with positivity and grace. I look up to Anna and I am forever grateful that this softball program was able to be a part of her journey while she has been here at Flagler — her impact will be everlasting,” Grant said.
As she enters the twilight of her softball career here at Flagler she closed our interview with a quote from her favorite player Miggy Cabrera.
“I’m just trying to play my best and have fun.”