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Local student raises $5,800 for research with help of school community

Photo by Julie Nagem
Hannah Warren and her mother, Sabrina, with Westminster Academy Headmaster Ralph Janikowsky at the MDA Walk on Saturday?.?

In May 2014, Hannah Warren of Germantown was officially diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy, a form of Muscular Dystrophy.

“It was something we were suspecting for months because her father was diagnosed in 1997,” said Sabrina Warren, Hannah’s mother.

After a back surgery exacerbated her symptoms in 2015, the Warrens thought they would have to keep Hannah home from school for the foreseeable future, but they found hope and support in the community at Westminster Academy.

“The faculty and administration at Westminster bent over backwards to accommodate Hannah’s needs because they want to see her succeed,” said Sabrina.

In the time since her diagnosis, Hannah has continued in her studies at Westminster Academy, sometimes attending school with her oxygen tanks in tow.

Her illness has opened the door for growth among her classmates by creating an environment of compassion and support.

“Through her daily perseverance and courage, she has taught us to be far more empathetic and other-directed,” said Westminster Headmaster Ralph Janikowsky. “Her class is the most caring and compassionate class at Westminster Academy due to Hannah’s friendship and selfless, humble attitude.”

Photo by Julie Nagem Hannah Warren and her mother, Sabrina, with Westminster Academy Headmaster Ralph Janikowsky at the MDA Walk on Saturday?.?

Photo by Julie Nagem
Hannah Warren and her mother, Sabrina, with Westminster Academy Headmaster Ralph Janikowsky at the MDA Walk on Saturday?.?

As a way to cope with her diagnosis and help find a cure, Hannah formed a team for the MDA walk at Lichterman Nature Center.

Her classmates and the community at the school came together by designing t-shirts, raising funds, and putting on a carwash to support her cause.

So far, over $5,800 has been raised towards research for MDA and muscular disorders.

Hannah’s father, Don Warren, is also living with MD and thankful for the support his daughter has found.

“It is encouraging to have a community that rallies behind Hannah and comes alongside her on the path that is marked out before her.”

For more information about supporting Hannah’s team and MDA research, visit mdamusclewalk.org and search for Hannah’s Hope team in the Memphis area.