It’s known as the most exhausting position in soccer. An outside mid-fielder has to have a lot of skills, including speed and stamina.
Playing the position is an endurance test Hannah Janssen is well prepared for. You could say she’s been training since she was a first-grader.
“I remember everything just..." stammers Hannah's mom Deb. "I felt like i was in a cloud. Then I cried of course, all the way to the hospital.”
It was a dark time in their lives. Hannah’s little brother Noah was diagnosed with Leukemia before he turned two.
“I remember a lot of hospital trips and staying at family’s houses," says Hannah - now a Junior in high school. "I remember going to a few chemo appointments with Noah and him being horribly sick afterward. I felt horrible for him and sad that there wasn’t much I could do.”
It was an endurance test for the entire family…. more than three years of testing, chemo, steroids and spinal taps.
“She understood how sick he was," Deb says with tears in her eyes, "she kind of got pushed to the backburner for a while.” Hannah agrees. “I felt like it was always Noah… he was always getting all of the attention and everything was about Noah. There was very little me time, but I guess that’s what happens.”
As a little girl Hannah saw first hand the toll cancer takes on a family, and the way an organization like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society can help. “They were there for me when Noah was going through this – they supported and helped us along every step.”
From sibling camp and support groups to financial aid and education…it’s why Hannah’s raising money for the cause. “I felt it was my turn – my responsibility this time, to make my own change.” Her goal is 25-thousand dollars. “People are shocked that a 17 year old is giving up her free time and time with her friends to raise money for this organization."
Other’s might be surprised – but those how know her best aren’t. “Ummmm….no, not really," says Deb, "just knowing Hannah’s passion and how much she cares. You know, she says she doesn’t like her brother, but she really does….” That draws a laugh from big sister. "Yeah, just a little bit."
Hannah is hosting several fundraisers during the next month. This Sunday there is a Princess Party at Bondurant-Farrar High School from noon-3pm. While girls get lunch with Disney princesses, parents can shop at a huge vendor and craft show. If you're interested, contact Deb Janssen at email@example.com
On Tuesday, April 17th attend the Bondurant-Farrar soccer games. Purchase raffle tickets for great prizes and pay for the chance to try to kick a goal!
Friday, May 18th at Dowling High School there is a baseball clinic with area high school players, GrandSlam USA coaches and Grand View University Players. $25 gets participants a skills clinic, dinner, and a t-shirt. The evening is topped off with a scrimmage with the young players teaming up with the coaches and older players.
If you can't attend any of Hannah's events, you can still donate. Click this link http://ia.mwoy.llsevent.org/hannahjanssen to visit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society webpage.