Make-A-Wish grants trip overseas
An 18-year-old battling cancer receives the trip overseas she’s been longing for. News 25’s Kendra Turley takes us inside Lauren Hannah’s Make-A-Wish surprise sendoff party at the Half Shell Oyster House in Biloxi.
Being diagnosed with cancer is a lifestyle change no one can truly prepare for, especially at a young age. For 18-year-old Lauren Hannah, the news came right before the start of her senior year of high school. “It was a little bit hard with having to pause on life when all of your friends get to keep going to all the football games, get to go to class every day.”
While many students her age were planning for prom and fighting for higher grades, Lauren was planning her next procedure and fighting for her life. “Missing out on all that kind of gives you a perspective of what you’re missing out on. When people say ‘oh, I hate going to school. I don’t want to go today.’ I mean, really, you do miss it.”
After a year’s worth of chemo and seven weeks of radiation, Lauren is now cancer free. In just a few days, she’ll be able to celebrate that milestone by traveling to Paris. “I’ve always wanted to go there since I was little. I feel like it’s every little girl’s dream to see the Eiffel Tower with the lights.”
The South Mississippi Make-A-Wish Foundation helped turn Lauren’s dream into a reality. Come Saturday, she and her family will be overseas exploring everything from food to fashion. Mom Erin Hannah said, “We’ve been just kind of counting down the days and now that it’s here I think everybody’s anxiety level is high.”
The 18-year-old was able to receive her degree despite everything going on around her. Although her spirits are high right now, she aims to encourage those still fighting tough times. “You can’t give up at any point. If you feel like you’re giving up just talk to one of your friends. They’ll definitely help you through all of it.”