Hannah Grace Doesn’t Let Her Disability Define Her
Children’s Cerebral Palsy Movement has been honored to interview the gorgeous Hannah Grace and her family. Hannah Grace proves that living with Cerebral Palsy doesn’t mean she cannot live out her dreams. She is pursuing her passion for tennis by playing on the club team at Texas A&M.
We are so moved by her will never to give up. She has lived out what CCPM truly believes, that Cerebral Palsy is a diagnosis, not a destiny.
Learn about Hannah Grace’s inspiring life:
CCPM: Explain Hannah Grace’s journey with CP.
Hannah Grace was born on December 6, 2001 and was a happy, precious baby. However, as she grew, she began missing important developmental milestones, the first of which being when Vickie (her mother) was having her one-year-old pictures taken and wanted to pose Hannah Grace and she found herself being faced with how Hannah Grace was unable to sit up or grasp props. Many doctors and specialist later over the next few years and Hannah Grace was finally diagnosed with hypotonic Cerebral Palsy. She spent time in the hospital with petit mal seizures, sensory integration therapy to learn to eat and use a fork, and numerous therapies such as hydrotherapy, occupational, and hippotherapy. Hannah Grace could not walk until she was five or read until she was eight – now being a varsity tennis athlete and an honors student in high school!
CCPM: What has been the most difficult feat that your family had to overcome with CP?
The most difficult challenge our family has overcome was making absolutely certain Hannah Grace never felt she was at a disadvantage or was anything less than exactly what God created her to be, even when people around our family could be judgmental or even cruel. Be it her older sisters helping Hannah Grace walk up stairs or her great-grandmother making reinforced bloomers for Hannah Grace to scoot around the floor on, our family learned to give grace to ourselves and to others- that may judge or make fun of Hannah Grace for her special needs.
CCPM: When did Hannah Grace begin to play tennis? How has it impacted her life?
Hannah Grace grew up watching her mother and two older sisters play. Hannah was attending tennis matches for her oldest sister Jennifer before she was even born – traveling nationally to watch her play. Hannah Grace began playing at age 11. She has been a three-time varsity letterman and been to regionals and placed her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. She has won singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles as well. She will be playing her last year of high school tennis as a senior in the upcoming year and continuing her winning ways. Her oldest sister and Hannah Grace train together and play sister/sister doubles. Hannah Grace plans on playing club tennis at Texas A&M University where she will study either nursing or architecture.
Tennis has impacted Hannah Grace’s life by giving her confidence. She learned to be determined and practice hard for the goals she sets, knowing this will be useful for her later on in life. She has met triumph and defeat and treated both of them just the same – as learning tools.
CCPM: How has Hannah Grace inspired others?
Hannah Grace refuses to let her disability define her and that is the most inspirational part of her. She may have to work longer and harder than some, on the tennis court, in the classroom, or just in life in general, but she’s not going to let that slow her down or discourage her. She doesn’t want anyone to see her as disabled or “the girl with Cerebral Palsy”, rather the girl who plays honestly, fairly, and gives her all, no matter the outcome.
CCPM: What inspires Hannah Grace to live her life to the fullest?
Hannah Grace is inspired by her relationship with her Creator, knowing that He made her fearfully and wonderfully. She is exactly how He created her and she is precious in His sight.
CCPM: What would your family like to tell others who have children or family members with CP?
Even in the darkest times of despair, look for the light and the positive. Struggles build character and builds hope. Take joy in the smallest of victories, knowing that they are all building blocks. Know to be still and know that He is God, knowing He is in control.
Hannah Grace is so thankful and excited she is able to share her story and share her life. To all of the children who have been diagnosed with CP she wants to say to never give up and never lose hope. CP does not define Hannah Grace and she doesn’t want anyone to feel like they are a diagnosis or a disease – they are precious, special, and strong.
It is stories like Hannah Grace’s that impact our entire CP community.
The Children’s Cerebral Palsy Movement is all about connection – bringing parents, children, friends, and family together to learn, support, and grow together. Connect with us here.