Hannah Coston

Hannah’s Journey

“I have seen a miracle”

In August, 2005, Darlene Coston received a call from her daughter’s third grade teacher. Her daughter, Hannah, was disrupting class.

“I thought she must have Hannah confused with another child,” said Darlene. “I had never heard anything negative about Hannah. She was always a quiet child.”

Soon thereafter, Hannah’s vision failed and she became forgetful. “She couldn’t dress herself,” said Darlene. “She forgot which way to put her pants on. Hannah was also drinking much more water and urinating frequently.

“Hannah was not acting like my little girl,” said Darlene. “I didn’t know this little person anymore. We took her to the doctor. Even though some people thought I was paranoid, I knew deep in my heart something was wrong.”

After a series of tests, a CT scan finally scan showed that Hannah had an inoperable brain tumor. Soon after, her brain swelled and she became paralyzed on one side. She wore diapers and could barely talk. Doctors also discovered she had diabetes incipidus, a condition caused by the tumor, producing more sodium than her body could process. At the time, she was eight years old.

“She would communicate with me through hand signals and strange sounds,” said Darlene. “It was scary to watch.” Hannah underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments followed by monthly blood transfusions. Gradually, she started to improve. “I would watch her cheeks and lips turn red and see her start to feel better,” said Darlene.

Today, Hannah is a ten year old at Cherrydale Elementary. She has 20-20 vision and likes to sing and dance. She also talks about her cancer journey with others. She was a guest speaker for Relay For Life and Hillcrest High School. She is happy to be alive.

“My husband had always been a big blood donor,” said Darlene. “This meant a lot more to us as we watched Hannah receive blood donations. When she sings Amazing Grace today it has such a special meaning. She once was blind, but now she can see. She couldn’t walk, talk or rollover. She was like an infant…I have seen a miracle.”