St. Jude patient Hannah

Shining like a star

When high school senior Hannah was diagnosed with cancer, she didn't let that stop her from going to prom or graduating with her class.

Last November, Hannah experienced frequent fevers and shortness of breath. After a trip to her pediatrician, she went to a local hospital for further testing. When tests revealed Hannah had cancer, doctors referred her to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and she was transferred by plane.

St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent within the next decade. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

Hannah says that I’m the strongest person she knows, but she’s the strongest person I know. She’s my hero.

Hannah's mom

At St. Jude, Hannah was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, a cancer originating in the kidneys. Her treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy and multiple surgeries to remove tumor growth. Hannah misses playing basketball, running track and dancing, but in the meantime she is tenacious and matter-of-fact about treatment.

 

And though it was difficult to get back home for her senior prom, Hannah didn’t want to miss that milestone, and  St. Jude wouldn’t let her miss it. “My doctors and my surgeons and everybody said, 'We have to get you home for prom,'” Hannah said. “My surgeon even remembered the date.”

Determined to look her best, Hannah reached out to celebrity stylist Tokyo Stylez for help with a wig. He surprised Hannah with an in-person visit to style her for prom.  She got to enjoy the evening with friends, shining like a star.

Hannah just wasn’t going to let cancer get in her way.

She is now a high school graduate and looks forward to college and a dynamic future.

“Hannah says that I’m the strongest person she knows,” her mom said. “But she’s the strongest person I know. She’s my hero.”

 

Editor's note: We regret to inform you that patient Hannah passed away in January 2016.

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