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Hannah's Hopeful Hearts
Grace Church
Bainbridge Island, WA
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Hannah's Hopeful Hearts
Hannah's Hopeful Hearts (HHH) is comprised of family, friends and community members with the goal of helping to raise awareness and funds towards a cure for brain cancer, in honor of Hannah Hunt.

In Hannah's memory, HHH supports research to find more effective and less toxic treatment for childhood cancer. We are thrilled that for the first time ever, Dr. Jim Olson and Dr. Mike Jensen graciously agreed to come together in one special night to update our community and garner further support for their complementary and cutting edge work in childhood cancer research. This new HHH event will take place on Friday, April 10, 2015 at Grace Church on Bainbridge Island. Following presentations and a moderated discussion with Jim and Mike, local band St. Paul de Vence  a contributor to Jim's research-supporting "Violet Sessions" CD - will perform a concert. Wine and beer, hors d'oeuvres and a simple dessert will be provided. We hope you will join us for this heartfelt and inspirational evening.

Drs. Jensen and Olson and their colleagues depend upon funds raised by parents, friends and community members as national funding for childhood cancer research is tragically poor; a mere 3% of the total cancer research budget. We believe that the research of Olson and Jensen are our best hope for realizing REAL CURES FOR REAL KIDS with cancer.

Can't attend the event, but want to support the cause? Please contact Megen Strand at 206-987-4823 or and she'd be happy to assist you. Donations may be directed to either Dr. Olson or Dr. Jensen, or split evenly between them.

Tickets may be purchased here or at the door. On the night of the event, following the docs' presentations, a paddle call for donations will take place. Several matching gifts have been presented which will enable donors to improve their donations that night. Also, please check to see if your company may have a gift-matching program that may double your donation! If you are interested in offering a matching gift for the event, please contact Reba. With special thanks to the generosity of our title sponsor, Windermere Real Estate Bainbridge Island, 100 % of the tickets sales and donations will go to Jim and Mike's research.

Hannah's Story

Hannah was a bright, active, healthy girl who loved her friends, her family, her pets and school. In the fall of 2007, when she was 9-years old, she suddenly began having severe headaches, poor balance and double vision.  After weeks of visits to the doctor, a CT revealed that Hannah had a brain tumor. Following neurosurgery to remove the golf-ball-sized tumor, it was determined that the tumor was a high-risk medulloblastoma, the most common cancerous brain tumor in children. Hannah required one month of inpatient rehabilitation due to the resulting effects of the tumor and the surgery. Due to the aggressive nature of her cancer, Hannah also participated in a research study -  chaired by Dr. Olson - augmenting the standard treatment for this tumor (6 weeks of daily brain and spinal radiation) with daily chemotherapy. After an additional 15 months of intense chemo, where Hannah was frequently in the hospital for secondary treatment complications and consequently missed nearly the entire year of school, she appeared to be cancer-free.

But 18 months from diagnosis, an MRI revealed that the cancer had returned. The prognosis for a relapsed medulloblastoma is currently very poor and usually fatal. With the help of the pediatric neuro-oncologists at Seattle Children's, including Dr. Olson, Hannah began new and unproven chemotherapy regiments - including gamma knife radiation - bravely believing that she could beat the cancer again. The cumulative and toxic effects of nearly 3 years of treatment and surgery were extremely debilitating to Hannah's cognitive, physical and emotional functioning.  Hannah needed PT, OT and speech therapy to recover lost skills. The treatment may have robbed Hannah of her independence but never her spirit. Until the last few weeks of her life, Hannah believed that she would survive.

Finally, in the summer of 2010, as the cancer progressed and we ran out of viable treatment options, we realized that we would lose our precious daughter. A few weeks past her 12th birthday, Hannah died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family. We were grateful to Seattle Children's and Hospice of Kitsap County who helped us through the worst nightmare of losing a child. We hope and pray that in the future, no child has to suffer the devastating effects of brain cancer and its current treatment, and that no parent would have to lose their child in this way.

Katie's Story

Katie was outgoing, funny, creative, strong-willed and devoted to her older brother, David. She loved movies, television and reading. Her dreams of growing up included being a model, actress, author, wife and mother. We were shocked to learn that 11 -year-old Katie had cancer, because she had been happily hiking, running, and playing in drama camp all summer. After three weeks of symptoms of a virus, she was admitted to Seattle Children's Hospital on Oct 10, 2006, and subsequently diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma, an extremely rare childhood cancer.

Katie bravely endured five rounds of chemotherapy with all of its debilitating side effects (including nausea, weakness, hair loss and depression) and the horrors of other necessary medications. The surgery to remove the tumor took place on Feb. 21-22, 2007 with Drs. Waldhausen and Cohen successfully removing all of it, including some of her organs which the cancer had invaded: one of her adrenal glands, one of her kidneys, her entire inferior vena cava and a lobe of her liver. They also successfully removed it from her heart. They took 18 hours and 70 units of blood products to safely accomplish this.

Katie spent three weeks recuperating in the intensive care unit, and an additional three weeks on the surgical ward, regaining the strength to sit up, stand, walk and eat. On April 1, 2007 she was discharged to go home  for good. The following month, Katie's PET scan showed microscopic bits of cancer in her upper back; this was not a cause for alarm, as she was on a maintenance chemotherapy regimen. In June, Katie began to have pain in her lower back and legs. She had massage and physical therapy, but the pain increased in strength and frequency. In July, a CT scan revealed a new tumor, which had spread to Katie's bones, spinal cord and liver. Dr. Park told us that there were no further treatment options which offered a cure. Hospice was called, and we were given medicines to help keep Katie comfortable. We went home to try to accept the news that she was going to die.

Katie experienced increasing weakness and pain, which we managed with the help of hospice care, and after three weeks, she lost the ability to move her legs. One week after that, on August 16, she passed away peacefully, with her brother and parents, Karen and Gregg, at her side. The entire cancer journey took just a little over 10 months.

James Olson, MD PhD
Attending physician
Hematology-Oncology, Seattle Children's Hospital
Director of Project Violet, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Caring for a caseload of kids at Seattle Children's, some terminal with no current hope of a cure, drives Dr. Jim Olson's research to find better treatments for children diagnosed with cancer.

Project Violet, named for a patient of Dr. Olson's who died of an inoperable brain stem tumor, is an innovative research program at Fred Hutch, aimed at developing drugs to treat cancer and other diseases once thought incurable. Project Violet aspires to develop a new class of nature-derived anti-cancer compounds that attack cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched. One of those compounds, Tumor Paint, which is derived from scorpion venom, intends to improve the outcome of cancer surgeries. Tumor paint "lights up" cancerous cells, enabling surgeons to differentiate disease from healthy tissue, which results in a more precise and complete surgical removal of cancer while sparing surrounding normal tissue. The first Tumor Paint product, BLZ-100, is currently in clinical trials in the US.

Michael Jensen, MD
Director, Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research
Seattle Children's Hospital, Strong Against Cancer Initiative

Affiliated with Seattle Children's Hospital, The Ben Towne Center was founded in memory of Jeff and Carin Towne's son, Ben, who died of neuroblastoma in 2008. Under the direction of Dr. Jensen, a Bainbridge Island resident, the Ben Towne Center has achieved great success with their immunotherapy research in just a few short years. Targeting the most common childhood cancers - leukemia, neuroblastoma, brain tumors and sarcomas - Dr. Jensen and his colleagues have begun clinical trials with children whose relapsed cancer carries a very poor prognosis with current treatments. Currently, 11 children in the phase 1 relapsed leukemia trial are cancer-free; the neuroblastoma trial is beginning, and there is hopeful progress in targeting brain tumors. Dr. Jensen has also garnered the support of Seahawk QB Russell Wilson in the Strong Against Cancer drive to cure childhood cancer.

Additionally, Dr. Mike Jensen's research was the beneficiary of fundraising by a young team of cyclists in the 2014 RAAM (Race Across America).  Two of these cyclists were classmates of Hannah Hunt.

Can't attend the event, but want to support the cause? Please contact Megen Strand at 206-987-4823 or and she'd be happy to assist you. Donations may be directed to either Dr. Olson or Dr. Jensen, or split evenly between them.

For more information, please contact Reba Ferguson at 206-949-7771 or


Grace Church (View)
8595 NE Day Road
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
United States


Music > All Ages
Other > Charity
Other > Family-Friendly
Other > Fundraisers

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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