7-Year-Old Shaves Head, Supports Sister with Cancer
byKaitlin StanfordOct 29, 2014
As far as sisters go, Natalie and Hannah Gorsengner are as thick as thieves. The’ve been there for each other through pretty much everything life has thrown their way—and trust us, these last few years haven’t been easy.
It all started two years ago, when now-5-year-old Natalie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Big sis Hannah, now 7, was there to hold her hand through it all.
In an email to The Huffington Post, mom Andrea Gorsengner recently explained how the girls’ bond grew stronger and stronger each day. “She adjusted to everything and just accepted everything," she wrote. “I remember this one time when Hannah had just gotten home from school, I was making dinner for the girls when Natalie began vomiting blood (with blood steaming out of her nose as well). Hannah was only 5 years old at the time, and instead of crying along with Natalie being totally freaked out, she held Natalie's hand next to me, stroked her head and kept saying over and over, 'It's OK, sweet girl, Mommy is right there with you.'"
Thankfully, the family pulled through it all, and are beside themselves with happiness now that Natalie is finishing up her last rounds of chemotherapy and considered to be in remission. But up until last week, her big sister Hannah had one last show of solidarity to make: She shaved her head.
While bravely standing before a crowd on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, the second-grader’s long, beautiful locks were donated to Wigs for Kids. It was all part of the “Shave for a Cure" event, hosted by the Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Shortly after, the 7-year-old stood before a cheering crowd, showing off her newly bald head and watching as glitter was poured over her in celebration.
"If there is a word stronger than 'proud,' then that is how I feel about Hannah," her mom Andrea later said. "I've always been proud of her, as Hannah's constantly doing things to help others, or to make others happy, but this just blew me away. I have never seen Hannah so confident. … The pride she feels within herself is boundless which makes me so happy and honored to be her mother."
But because we all know that kids can, well, be kids, there was the worry that Hannah would head back to her second-grade classroom and face a bout of teasing. So to nip that in the bud before it could even start, four suit-clad Merrill Lynch employees honorably stepped in to escort Hannah back to school on her first day. There, they explained to her classmates just why she made the decision to donate her hair—and were sure to point out that they were sitting with a “hero.”
From her classmates, Hannah was met with another round of cheers and applause.