Five year cancer survivor celebrates by fundraising for UI Stead Family Children's Hospital

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -- Hannah Bormann, a former patient of the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital will soon celebrate five years of being cancer-free. To celebrate, the now Kirkwood college student is hoping to show how grateful she is by raising money for children currently in the hospital.

Hannah Bormann is celebrating beating cancer by raising money to donate to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. Sunday, January 26, 2020 (AARON HOSMAN//KCRG)

A little over five years ago, Bormann didn’t know what life had planned ahead.

“I was like passing out randomly, I was getting really bad headaches that kept me from doing activities at school and stuff,” she said.

Bormann started having health problems that kept her from playing school sports and many doctors blamed her symptoms on puberty, something she’d grow out of. That was until one doctor suggested an MRI scan, which lead to a discovery in her brain.

“We saw something abnormal on the scan, it’s kind of like a glowing spot, we don’t really know what it is,” Bormann said, recounting what doctors told her.

For a year, doctors monitored that glowing spot, only to find that Bormann would require brain surgery at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. However, one surgery wasn’t enough.
“Your tumor is cancerous and we have to go back,” she said describing when doctors told her the news.

Bormann was already recovering from her first surgery, but she has to start the process all over again. Bormann said it was the recovery time and a nurse at UI that lead her to where she is now, studying nursing.

“She (her nurse) just went above and beyond her job to make sure that I was comfortable and getting everything that I needed and just trying to be a positive influence during my time there,” Bormann said.

Now, with her five year anniversary of beating cancer approaching, Bormann wants to give back to the hospital that helped her. That’s why she started what she calls, the Sunshine Project, bright t-shirts she designed to raise money and inspiration for the children in the hospital today.

“I want to make this like my five-year mark, I want to show that how grateful I am that I have been able to be cancer-free for five years now,” Bormann said.

After just a month, Bormann’s project is off to a good start.
“Within two hours it had 250 shares on Facebook…People I just didn’t even know were just sharing it. And then the Iowa basketball team and then an NFL player was sharing. It was reaching people I never thought it would reach,” she said.

Bormann said she was inspired by her favorite quote.

“When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine,” she said. “I wanted to be able to help kids like my nurses helped me. I felt like that helped me find my passion in life and helping others and seeing other people progress is my passion.”

Bormann’s fundraiser is set to end on Monday, January 26th, 2020. Anyone wanting to support Bormann’s fundraiser can visit CustomInk.com and search for “The Sunshine Project." Bormann is also accepting donations to give to the hospital. Those can be made through Venmo and directed to @hannahbormann