A few days into a new school year, most parents are posting the ever popular 'first day of school' pictures. But last week, Lori Sames from Clifton Park, used her personal Facebook page to post something a little different about a new school year.  Lori's post was a heartfelt, powerful, personal plea to her daughter Hannah's new classmates.  A message that has since spread well beyond Clifton Park, and into the hearts of thousands throughout the entire Capital Region.

In her mind, 14 year old Hannah Sames is just a normal teenager entering 9th grade at Shenendehowah High School West.  She's smart, compassionate, witty and sweet; the kind of kid we all hope to raise. The reality, however, is that she is a little different.  Hannah suffers from Giant Axonal Neuropathy (known as GAN) a very rare children's disease that causes her to have an altered speech pattern and limits her ability to use her legs.  As a result, life for this teenager is a bit different.  There are times when she feels somewhat disconnected from other classmates. Naturally, other children around her who may not be aware of her story or situation, may be a little reluctant to strike up a conversation or crack jokes with Hannah (any any kid for that matter) who may be sitting alone at lunch, or walking a little bit slower in the hallway.

As Hannah was set to begin year one in a big new school filled with unfamiliar faces, her mom Lori wrote a powerful, emotional plea to her daughter's classmates. It's a message that encourages them to show her daughter empathy, kindness, patience and decency. I'm thankful that it was passed along to me.  

The beautiful thing about this written message is that Hannah had no idea that her mom wrote it.  All she knows is that her first week at a new school went great!   Lori explained to me that when she asked Hannah how school was, Hannah was all smiles explaining how everyone had been so friendly and nice to her.

I hope you take 30 seconds out of your day to read Lori's message. This isn't just about Hannah or her classmates, this about Humanity. Share it with your friends and apply it to your own life - and most importantly - to your children's lives as well.  I know I will.

If you'd like to learn more about Hannah Sames and the Hanna's Hope Fund, or to make a contribution to the fight for a cure, visit HannasHopeFund.org


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