1/24/03 - Road to Recovery

Wednesday we told you the story of Kevin Govero, a man who is overcoming a rare form of cancer.

Thursday we had the story of a young girl who's overcoming another type of cancer, a form of bone cancer called Ewing's sarcoma. Hannah McClellan's battle with cancer started when she was only nine years old, more than a year later, she's healthier and wiser beyond her ten years. Now she wants to give back to the people who helped her.

"It was kind of an overwhelming experience, crazy," Hannah says. "I didn't know what to think." Her mom, Kathy says, "There's not an answer to what causes childhood cancer. It just happens. It's not supposed to but it does."

Playing the piano in her home is something Hannah hasn't been able to do in a long time. She and her mom just got back from a 13 month stay at St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis. "She was getting ready for a dance recital and I noticed a lump," her mother says. "Other than that we had no indication." They soon found out, the lump was cancerous. She had Ewing sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Hannah's lump was bigger than a grapefruit. It was in her left rib cage and as the tumor grew, it pushed her ribs out and her heart aside. "In her case since the tumor was sizeable they did radiation to shrink the tumor to a size it could be removed more easily," her mom says. "They said I was going to go through chemo, radiation, and surgery," Hannah says.

Now Hannah wants to give back to the people who helped her, participating in fund raisers for the hospital. She drew a picture for St. Jude's 2003 calendar. "You just meet so many people there who are your friends," Hannah says. Friends who are like Hannah, out of the hospital and getting back to life. "She's cancer free. We take everyday as a blessing and a gift from God," her mom says.

Hannah has blood tests done twice a week and she's on an antibiotic. She goes back to St. Jude for her final scans on Monday, but right now everything looks good.