30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2022
I was diagnosed with cancer on May 10th, 2011, at the age of 6. I started not being able to feel my arms or my legs, which led to an emergency room visit where they told me I had an upper respiratory infection and sent me away with medication. My mom still wasn't satisfied with the answer and took me to my family doctor where they did more tests and led to the discovery that I had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
I got a port the day after I was diagnosed and started chemo which kept me from missing out on the end of first grade. I started losing my hair, which was hard to understand at such a young age. Thankfully I had an amazing support system that helped me overcome that difficult feeling of not looking like other kids at school or not understanding why people would stare when I was in public. In January of 2012, I was thrown another unexpected curveball when I got a liver disease and was placed on a ventilator for a few weeks. Though I have trouble remembering this part, I do remember relearning how to walk and being given a walker to help me until I was able to walk all on my own.
On September 6th, 2013 I took my last dose of chemo. A diagnosis lasts a lifetime. I still fight little battles like worrying why I am not feeling well or being afraid to go to the doctor. But one factor has always remained the same and that is the amazing cancer community. Through this, I was able to connect with lifelong friends who, to this day, continue to help each other through the little battles no matter where we are in our journeys. On September 6th, I will be 9 years off of treatment, and I am currently studying at Bloomsburg University to be a secondary education teacher, for which I received a scholarship from PCFLV. I enjoy supporting and volunteering for PCFLV, as they continue to raise awareness and help families affected by childhood cancer.
Written by Hannah, age 18
Please consider helping children with cancer and others in our community by scheduling a blood donation at Miller-Keystone Blood Center: https://donor.giveapint.org/donor/schedules/zip