Hannah Joy Aldrich’s story is bigger than her powerful singing voice. Bigger than her success in graphic design. And it’s bigger than the cancer that consumed her thoughts more than a year ago.
Hannah, a 19-year-old Graphic Design student at CLC, is hard to miss. Her smile and bubbly personality brighten each classroom she enters at the college.
She’s been attending CLC since she was a PSEO student, driving an hour and a half from her home in McGregor to the Brainerd campus. Since she was in 8th grade, she’s been captivating small audiences with her voice.
“My dad is my biggest inspiration in music, he taught me everything I needed to know,” she said. “I grew up listening to the gospels and I still enjoy Christian music along with the alternative pop/Indies.”
She’s competed for three years in the Minnesota Sings Statewide Competition. (Most recent she placed 5th out of more than 50 contestants!)
But it was shortly after last year’s competition that Hannah received some devastating news: She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma stage 2 cancer.
“Cancer was a very intense battle in my life,” she said. “I almost gave up on school. I struggled with myself, mostly my faith. However, God proved himself powerful and the words, ‘There is no cancer detected on the scan’, came to us just a month in to treatments. It is truly a miracle! I still had a few more rounds of chemo to endure. I didn’t think I was going to make it through my classes but my teachers Leon, Julie and Jeremy were generous enough to help me finish my assignments.”
Since she was under 18 when she was first diagnosed with cancer, Hannah was able to do Make-A-Wish. Her wish: to become a recording artist. She hopes to finish her album soon.
Now celebrating a year cancer free, Hannah has some advice for other students in similar situations: “Stay strong, don’t give up so easily. Hold onto that hope for as long as you can and never let go. Support is always the key, whether is be from friends, family, or God the outcome is amazing.”
Hear Hannah sing: