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Memory of Hannah Hunt may help others survive cancer
Though Hannah Hunt’s young life was cut short last August after a three-year battle against cancer, the memory of her courageous fight lives on as the community honors her life through donations to cancer research.
Since last March, about $153,000 has been raised in honor of Hannah for Dr. Jim Olson’s brain cancer research at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Family members say they’ve been overwhelmed by the support they have received since Hannah died at her home in August. She was 12 years old.
After being diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 9, Hannah endured chemotherapy, surgery and treatment. Through treatment she was introduced to Dr. Olson. His breakthrough research selectively attaches to cancer cells to assist doctors in more accurate diagnosis of cancerous cells and surgery.
Hannah and her family held a major fundraiser to generate money and support for his research.
Reba Ferguson, Hannah’s mother, created an event called Hannah’s Hopeful Hearts in March to raise money to help get the technology approved and into hospitals. The event featured inspirational speakers, including cancer survivor Cheryl Broyles. A total of $110,000 was contributed to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Another $32,000 was donated in Hannah’s honor after her death. In October Team Hannah’s Hopeful Hearts generated $11,000 for the Run of Hope Seattle 2010. The event benefits research for brain tumors and brain cancer.
“We have had amazing support from the community,” said Bill Hunt, Hannah’s father. “The folks on the island and our friends and family have really supported us and honored Hannah.”
One of Hannah’s friends, Alex Miller, came up with a scent at the Bath Junkie shop on Winslow Way to brighten Hannah’s spirits near the end of her life. Hannah was a regular customer at the shop, where patrons can create their own blend of fragrances.
Bath Junkie owner Victoria VanNocken decided to do something to honor her faithful customer and got the corporate president’s approval.
VanNocken had the scent creator for Hannah – french vanilla and peppermint – placed on the featured fragrance of the month menu at all 40 stores nationwide.
VanNocken also pledged to donate 10 percent of the December proceeds using Hannah’s blend at the Bainbridge location to the Olson Lab Research Fund.
She said the list of products purchased in honor of Hannah is adding up, and total proceeds will be added up at the end of the month.