About the Author

My name is Hannah Thompson. I recently graduated from Elmhurst College with a B.A. in Communication. You can read about my college days at Hannah's College Adventures. I am a motivational speaker encouraging people to do their impossible. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and that does not stop me from doing anything! I am changing the world one audience at a time!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Awaiting Adventures

Hawaii was amazing! We went to a Luau which was my personal highlight. They literally throw fire at each other. I don't think my family will ever forget that. The real gift of Hawaii was how many laughs we had as a family. Goodness! At every dinner, we probably laughed for 30 minutes of each dinner. David created a new way to carry me (pictured below), it reminded me of how precious my family is.

Best brother in the world!

On a volcanic mountain top

Back home, I was so excited to get back to Loyola. I missed my group of friends and the professors. When my professor announced that he had proposed to his girlfriend, I asked for every detail. When my friends and I didn't know the teams playing in the Super Bowl, I thought to myself, these are my people. When my winter coat falls off and a random student stops and helps, I feel at home. When the librarian hugs me and thanks me for the Christmas card, I know Loyola is my home.

In 2018, I know a lot of adventures a wait. I cannot wait for engagement announcements, invitations to weddings, and maybe some babies. My friends and I are in exciting seasons of life. I'm still waiting to meet a guy but that doesn't have mean life is any less adventurous. I am doing online dating which is interesting to say the least. However, my main focus is school and service. I mentor kids in high school and the little girl I met at the Hillary Clinton event. It's so fun!

I wish you adventures and blessings in 2018!


Friday, December 29, 2017

Thank You, Readers!

Dear Readers,
Thank you for supporting me every step of the way this year.

To everyone who supported the idea of graduate school, thank you.

To Loyola, thank you.

To the people who help me travel, thank you.

Everyone plays a critical role. I am in awe of you, readers. The fact that people are this interested in my life humbles me to no end. My heart explodes every time I think about how many people are reading this blog.

I hope to bring you more smiles in 2018! I can't wait for the adventures!

Happy New Year,

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thank you to my Team!

I had my physical recently and I got a clean bill of health. I consider that a huge blessing because it takes a team. 

This is what has to happen every year to get that clean bill of health. 

Approximately, I go to 106 physical therapy sessions. I walk on the treadmill for twenty minutes, I walk in my walker, and stretch. My primary physical therapist is Joanne. I love her a lot however, she receives a lot of eye rolls from me. I love Joanne but I don't and never will like physical therapy. It's worth every minute but it can get boring! If you're a kid or teenager reading this, therapy is absolutely worth every second of it, keep going because independence is so very worth it! Don't complain, just do it! 

This year, I started having my primary assistant stretch my hamstrings and quads every day that I don't have physical therapy. My therapist notices a difference which is all that matters. 

I started occupational therapy for shoulder pain from the dystonia. My therapist is awesome about realistic expectations of exercises I can do at home. Marylu understands the quicker, the better. All my therapists understand that I need to get back to my day. 

I have committed to standing in my walker a few nights a week. This helps everything in my body. I turn on Ellen and stand for about thirty minutes. It's easy and I should be serving my body since my body is so amazing and why I can live the life I want. 

A huge thank you to Mom and Dad who were so adamant about therapy. I take the responsibility of going to therapy very seriously because of them. 

Finally, Dr. Geotz is my neurologist and manages my dystonia spectacularly. He has been a resource, support, and overall encouragement for my family and I. 

Thank you to Nurse Luci and Nurse Carmen for always being there. I certainly don't need you on a regular basis but when I do, you're there!

This is why I can dance like a nut at a wedding, this is why I can walk a mile, this is why I can go to DC and advocate, and this is why I can live independently. I'm so thankful for the dedicated people who are watching my body. 

I've mentioned a sliver of my team. You ALL contribute and I wholeheartedly appreciate it. 
Let's do it all again in 2018!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

All the Anjas of the World

Mom and I were seated in the Auditorium Theater anticipating Hillary Clinton's arrival. It was so very surreal. I couldn't believe that Secretary Clinton would be in my sight any minute. 

If I could have I would have given her a standing ovation. She graced the stage with humility, poise, and a level of grace I aspire to have one day. She conveyed that she was truly worried about the state of our country. Everyone in the crowd echoed her
Before the big moment1
sentiment. She was very humorous and kept a lighthearted tone. 

We were seated near a little girl named Anja. She has a disability and she wants to be president in 2040. Secretary Clinton took her question which was about her becoming president one day. After Secretary Clinton left, Anja and I talked as well as our moms. I hope she is reading this post because Anja's a game changer!

Women have to lift each other up right now. We have a president that thinks sexual harassment is something to be proud of. In reality, it's disgusting. He's unbelievable, a bully, and ultimately infuriating. I have women and men in my life that are actual role models and extraordinary role models at that. There people who believe in the good of humanity, people who could care less that I have a disability, people who remind me that love trumps hate. The pun is so intended.

This post is the dedicated to all the Anjas of the world. Dream big, girlfriend! 

Lift Each Other Up,

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Kindness is my Normal

On Sunday, I went to church. When the collection for the hurricane relief efforts began, I went to the back of the church and a greater helped me grab the dollar amount out of my wallet. This is not typical because I do not usually give at church but with the hurricanes, I felt absolutely compelled because all those who have been affected by the hurricane do not have a church to physically go to. That fact hit me like a brick.

My friends who happened to be there helped me with drinking the wine. All I need is a bendy straw and a few extra seconds. This had not ever happened but my sneaker fell off. People who were sitting nearby took care of me. I'm always grateful for my church but this is my normal. Kindness is my normal. 

On Monday morning, I woke up to the tragedies of Vegas. I will not recap, everyone knows what happened. I don't know how to respond in this blog. I don't know how to even begin expressing how awful I've felt all week. I knew it was time to write the blog and wanted to provide a respite from the news. I’m trying my best.

The most joyful event of my week was a friend’s wedding. Hannah is a sorority sister of mine and we get together once a month. She was a theater major in college and the groom plays guitar in church. The bride and groom both sang songs from musical theater productions and the groom serenaded his bride many times. It was like being in a bubble of joy and love.

I hope kindness is your normal. We can all brighten the world with kindness.

Peace and Love,

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hello, Loyola!

Orientation was from 9:00 in the morning until 6:00 at night. The department I'm in is called the Institute of Pastoral Studies. Their orientation consisted of getting to know our advisor and the professors along with the technology as well as a tour of the campus. We sat with people who were in the same degree program. I immediately had four friends; they were feeding me during happy hour at the end of the day. Yeah. These people get me.

On the first day of class, my assistant was forty minutes late due to a train. My stress level was through the roof. I was a few minutes late but nobody seemed to care. I think when you are physically disabled and pursuing a master's degree, people know you're not joking around. It's nice to be around people who automatically assume I'm bright. Usually, it's the other way around. At Loyola, people have been wonderful about everything.

During class, we talked about how you can't practice justice without reflection. The professor's point was if all we do is create theories in the ivory tower of a world of justice, when we put it into practice, we'll fall flat. However, if all we do is practice justice, we're not stepping back and saying how can we get better? It was very interesting especially after personally being out of school for five years, to be back and for the professor to talk about that was interesting. 

I'm getting to know the campus in the physical sense. It's very accessible! I was walking around after class and I could get wherever I wanted. I applaud the University for that! 

This post is going to be short because I am exhausted from night classes and the commute. I'm a part time student so I chose two classes per semester. I will have a Masters in Social Justice in three years. For now, I'm going to bed because I have about 20 hours of homework to do. I'm glad to be busy again. 

I haven't been too busy to ignore Hurricane Harvey. It's unfathomable and devastating. Two weeks ago, we were focusing on racism and how Heather Heyer's life was taken due to ignorance and fear. Now, we are seeing solidarity because people simply want to help victims of the Hurricane. I pray that victims feel the love of the country, that they feel a sense of peace in turmoil, and that this solidarity is our anthem from now on. We are so much better than racism. 


Monday, July 31, 2017

Soldier and Citizen

Soldier and Citizen

You are a soldier.
You face fires everyday
You face the sounds of bombs everyday
You face poor hygiene everyday
You face the boys and girls of Iraq who call you heroes
You face not seeing your family everyday
You face knowing you might have to hurt someone everyday
You face having your brother’s life on the line everyday
You face having your life on the line everyday
I am an American citizen
I am thankful for a peaceful Independence Day
I am thankful there is not a draft
I am thankful for your family’s selflessness
I am thankful for what you face everyday.
I am thankful that you are a soldier.

This is a very simple poem I wrote when I was a teenager. Let's be grateful we are Americans.