Hannah the Tiny Warrior
Organized by: Brian Plantz
May 31, 2016
Hannah the Tiny Warrior was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in March 2015. It started with recurring low grade fevers, constipation, anemia, and lots of unanswered questions. After a lymph node in her neck became swollen and was biopsied, the worst news became apparent. Cancer. Cancer in a 2 year old child. Less than 350 kids in the US will receive a neuroblastoma diagnosis like Hannah's this year. Scans revealed a main tumor behind her liver, and it had spread to her lymph nodes. Her Tiny Warrior body was trying to fight it, but she needed some serious intervention. The hardest journey for any family was about to begin, with Hannah leading the charge along with some of the best doctors in the world at St. Mary's in Rochester.
I can't imagine how difficult this road has been for Hannah, Christa, Aaron and Jacob. Hannah has endured round after round of chemotherapy, each one resulting in a lengthy hospital stay. I know at one point she was in-patient for 29 days straight. She is captive to a certain radius around the hospital, and is mostly restricted to non-public areas. In mid-August she had major surgery to remove the main tumor, which took one of her kidneys. I haven't seen the scar but I hear it looks like a giant Mercedes-Benz symbol on her young warrior body. Next she received a very difficult stem-cell transplant in early September, followed by the start of radiation treatments. Most recently she had another surgery to remove infected lymph nodes in her upper chest. Now radiation resumes and the plan is for more therapy in the next 6 months.
Seasons came and went without Hannah setting foot outside. When she does go out public places are generally avoided for fears of her compromised immunity. Her hearing has been compromised from treatment and she will likely need hearing aids the rest of her life. Christa immediately left her job to support Hannah full time, eventually running out of leave time and losing her job altogether. The once quiet, simple world the Keehr family used to know has been completely turned upside-down.
I know there have been numerous gifts, well-wishes, visitors, gift cards, prayers and support. Hannah has been a fighter this entire journey, and she shows no signs of giving up this fight. As her family, friends, relatives, neighbors and supporters we refuse to give up either. Although the finish line isn't quite in sight, it is time to throw our full support behind Hannah and push her to that finish line.
Hannah and her family have the opportunity to go with some close friends to a beach in South Carolina around April 1st. It would be a private house on the beach for a much needed break. The problem is that Hannah can't fly commercial airlines at this point. She can probably take a charter flight. If Hannah can make this trip I want her to go, without consideration for cost. She has earned this. Let's make it happen.
Let's make any and every dream for the Hannah possible. She's already been approved for a Make-a-Wish trip to Disney, hopefully sometime this fall. If she has the chance to take a trip, see a sight, go on a weekend cabin adventure, go to a show or whatever it is, let's let this child experience it. Let's not forget about Jacob, Christa and Aaron also. Jacob has been to visit his sister in the hospital more times than anyone I know. He forges ahead in this battle also, focusing on school, sports and his family, even winning awards at school for his positive attitude.
I'm asking for your financial support for Hannah and her family. I want to give them the comfort of knowing that when Hannah and Jacob are ready for a break to the beach, they can go without reservation. If a bill shows up they weren't expecting, like a car or house repair, the support we provide will cover those costs. I want there to be enough money here to remove all the financial burden and stress from the Keehr family so they can focus entirely on Hannah's fight. I want the leftover money to start a college fund for Hannah. I'm Christa's brother and she won't tell me much about the family finances, and only says they are managing. I'm here to say that the more we give to Hannah's fight, the easier it will be for her and everyone one around her to win this battle next to her.
Hannah was just 2 years old when the worst news of her young life was revealed. Thank you helping to support Hannah and her family during this difficult time.