Seventeen-year-old Hannah has been around horses her whole life and loves to compete in horse-riding competitions. The animals act as a much needed distraction from her battle wish cystic fibrosis. Hannah's most heartfelt wish was to have a barrel horse of her own, and to her surprise, that wish came true in front of her entire community.
Life hasn't been easy for 17-year-old Hannah. Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, her day to day routine is a constant battle to stay healthy and maintain lung function. But when she's around horses, all of that stress disappears.
Hannah has been around farm animals her whole life and describes herself as someone who is "never indoors." And while she loves all animals, horses have always held a special place in her heart. She is the proud owner of one horse already, who she takes care of and rides every chance she gets. She event competes in horse-riding competitions and hopes to be a trainer and barrel racer one day. "When I see a horse that enjoys their job as much as a barrel horse, it is amazing," she said. "I can watch them do this for hours!"
When Make-A-Wish volunteers visited Hannah and asked her what her heartfelt wish would be, she shared, "It's my biggest dream to barrel race with a horse of my own."
Right away, plans were set in motion to make Hannah's wish come true, and all the while, the details were kept a secret from her. Hannah's wish reveal would be a surprise she would never forget.
The Big Reveal
On Labor Day weekend, Hannah and her family made their way to the Hickory Hall Polo Club in Indianapolis. The Make-A-Wish team had invited them there to watch a special polo match benefiting local wish kids. As a special honor, Hannah had even been asked to sing the National Anthem before the game.
Hannah's excitement grew as more and more people arrived at the event. A natural performer, Hannah couldn't wait for her moment in the spotlight in front of the entire community.
Hannah's performance was followed by an eruption of applause from the crowd, and she found a seat with her family to enjoy the match.
As the first half came to a close, Hannah was escorted to center field, where a cherry red Maserati awaited her. She climbed into the car and took a lap around the field, waving to the spectators. Little did she know her brand new horse was being brought out at that very moment!
As the car pulled in front of the stands, the announcer declared that Hannah's wish was about to be granted, and her new horse stepped forward. Overcome with emotion, Hannah greeted her new companion.
Hannah's incredible wish marked the 15,000th wish granted by Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana. This milestone could not have been reached without the support of countless volunteers, staff, donors, medical professionals and other community members.
To watch Hannah's wish reveal, click here.
To make a donation in celebration of the 15,000th wish, click here.