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stories of hope

Hannah Marchbanks

Following in Her Sister’s Footsteps

Knowing someone has faith and belief in me motivates me to be the best student I can be.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I loved playing doctor, caring for people, and helping people,” says Hannah Marchbanks. “Anytime someone in the family was sick, they would call me because they knew I would help.”

When her sister, Kellsie, was diagnosed with cancer at age 16, Hannah learned the critical role nursing plays in the healing process for the entire family. Over the next five years, as Kellsie battled osteosarcoma, a cancer that originates in the bones, Hannah was inspired by her sister and the nurses caring for her.

“As my sister went through her battle with cancer, I saw everything you could possibly see,” Hannah says. “Kellsie’s nurses became our hospital family. They called her ‘the Princess’ and they treated her like one. It really just inspired me.”

In the midst of her treatments and relapses, Kellsie followed her own dream to become a nurse and enrolled at Goldfarb. Two weeks into classes, her cancer returned. A year later, she died surrounded by her family and the nurses who went above and beyond to make her feel special.

“It was such an inspiration to see Kellsie be so strong and plan the rest of her life as she was going through cancer,” Hannah says. “She couldn’t be the nurse she wanted to be. So now I want to make her proud by becoming a nurse.”

Hannah decided to pick up where Kellsie left off and enrolled at Goldfarb, where she received a scholarship through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The support motivates her.

“It makes me feel like all the hard work I put into school is being recognized,” Hannah says. “Knowing someone has faith and belief in me motivates me to be the best student I can be.”

Hannah keeps a special memento to keep her sister by her side.