Anna Nalepka was born in Queens, New York. She grew up in a tough blue collar area of Jersey City, New Jersey. The birth of her first child at the age of 18 brought about a new sense of purpose and direction for Anna. She moved with her family to Greenville NC in 1995 with the hopes of a new life and a new beginning.
Anna worked at a local bank but felt the need to do something more, so she started acting in community theater, and then went on to ECU student films, independent films, local commercials and television shows such as Ice Cold Killers and Monster and Mysteries on the Investigation Discovery Channel. She was awarded best supporting actress in a drama at the Asheville Film Festival for her portrayal of a protective mother in the critically acclaimed independent film Where We’re Meant To Be, which is available on Flix Premiere.
Anna’s life was turned upside down when she received the horrible news that her daughter, Stephanie, had cancer. A beautiful, independent woman and staff sergeant in the Air Force, Stephanie was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Anna flew to Italy, where her daughter was stationed, and brought her home to North Carolina for treatment and care. Stephanie had an unshakeable faith in God and a heart for helping others. Tragically, Stephanie lost her battle with cancer on July 12th 2016.
The loss of her daughter sent Anna into a tailspin and deep depression. She stopped acting and threw herself into her job, trying to block out the pain. After remembering a promise to Stephanie to turn her experience into a blessing to others, Anna decided to help other bereaved parents by making a documentary. In the film Broken…But Still Here: A Journey Through Child Loss and Beyond, Anna gives a voice to parents not to be shamed or bullied into being silent about their loss. “We no longer have the luxury of future accomplishments. All we have left now are memories. We want to share them with others .We want the world to remember our child existed. We are still parents…we are parents to angels…and we are still here.”