KIDS WITH COURAGE: Hanna Jorgenson
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – KTTC is honored to introduce viewers monthly to some of the youngest among us, facing the unthinkable with bravery and optimism. In our 27th “Kids With Courage” segment, Caitlin Alexander introduces us to 29-year-old Hanna Jorgenson... who, yes, is not a kid anymore.
She was a kid when Rochester first fell in love with Hanna Hughes.
KTTC caught up with Hanna, now Jorgenson, at her home in the Twin Cities.
Recently, many in Rochester noticed Hanna appear on their TV screens in a national Scheels ad.
“Scheels was one that was looking for somebody who could help them meet more of an inclusive look,” Hanna explained.
12 years ago when KTTC first introduced viewers to Hanna, she was facing the fight of her life. Modeling and inspiring others wasn’t on her radar yet.
In 2010, Hanna was a 16-year-old Lourdes student and solid soccer player experiencing pain in her right hip.
“We ended up doing an MRI which found a grapefruit-sized tumor in my right hip. So, we biopsied it. It came back as osteosarcoma or bone cancer,” Hanna said.
17 rounds of chemotherapy didn’t shrink the tumor the way doctors would’ve liked.
“We opted for amputating my right leg, hip, and half of my pelvis. It was really just my best chance at long term survival,” Hanna recalled.
Hanna had to re-learn how to do just about everything.
She went through 17 more rounds of chemo and found a way to stay a part of her soccer team, even from the sidelines.
From her wheelchair, Hanna has made a lot of moves over these past 12 years.
“The diagnosis, at first we were very unsure of everything, but it’s been really amazing just to see all the things that I’ve been able to do,” she said.
She graduated high school and college.
She picked up sled hockey and even competed for Team USA.
She moved to the Twin Cities and met the love of her life.
She married her husband and danced with her dad at her wedding.
Hanna works full time in marketing and added modeling into the mix.
Hanna is now working on her story’s next chapter, undergoing IVF treatment to grow her family in a way that doesn’t pass along an increased risk of cancer to a baby.
“So, that’s been another journey in itself, but I think, you know, I’ve been through a lot of things in my past, and I know that this is just another one that we’ll get through together,” Hanna said.
Even now at age 29, Hanna hasn’t forgotten the Rochester community, who she says, helped her reach this point.
“I’ve always felt like I have this whole army of people behind me,” she said.
Even though she’s not a kid anymore, Hanna will always be Rochester’s Kid With Courage.
If there’s a Kid With Courage Caitlin should meet, email her at email@example.com.
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