It is so rare to find someone so young and so wise, yet so fresh and informed. Hannah’s aura shined through any dark room, gloomy day, bad game, or social event just by remaining positive no matter what. She was someone who constantly put others before herself, despite her situation, and continues to put others first through the little signs she sends every day.
I first met Hannah on our soccer team, the Neptune Stingrays. I was intimidated by her because at such a young age, she was so passionate and good at soccer. (I, on the other hand, could care less about soccer as I was more worried about annihilating my teammates in games like high-lo piccolo on the sidelines). All that changed when I met her. Anyone who knew her, knew she had a competitive spark like no one else, and was an athlete way before her time. Hannah was someone that could go into the game last minute, score 2-3 goals, and then come off the field mad that she couldn't do more. She made it look SO EASY at the same time. She gave one hundred and ten percent until the very last whistle even if we were losing.
One memory I have with Hannah, that I will never forget, is playing with her after she got diagnosed with cancer. She came to our tournament ready to go like nothing at all was happening outside of soccer. I remember her reassuring our team it was going to be okay because she had a concussion prevention headband. Our coaches at the time only put her in for a few minutes out of fear she might go too hard, and hurt herself. Of course, this upset her, but this memory proves the type of fierce character she had. She was someone who embraced everything head on and treated cancer like it had a jersey and was the competition. When God blew the last whistle, and Hannah received her wings, (which were probably soccer ball themed or purple) our team became a huge family bonded by the impact she left upon us. We wore blue and purple socks, ribbons in our hair, stitched the number 3 patch on our jerseys, and screamed, “Hannah on three”, before and after every game. We continued to play for her, and became an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.
It’s insane to think she feared being forgotten. She made a mark on the world that couldn’t be erased. I strive to be like her every day. In her worst moments, she emanated warmth and love and spread it like wildfire. I carry this and her with me every day and try to be a better daughter, sister, friend, athlete, and student because you never truly know whose life you are going to change, and I am so happy she changed mine.