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Fighting for Hannah

Jazz for a?Cause to benefit student battling cancer

— Submitted photo Webster City High School sophomore Hannah Brandt, pictured with her mother Lisa Anderson, was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in December and began a 13-week regime of chemotherapy in January. Before she can continue with her treatment, her blood count must improve after experiencing a bout of Influenza A. The Webster City High School and Middle School bands are dedicating their jazz concert on Tuesday, Feb. 25 to Hannah.

As Webster City High School sophomore Hannah Brandt fights cancer, WC band members are fighting for Hannah.

The Jazz Concert scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at the Middle School has been dedicated to Hannah by the Band Department and its 6th – 12th grade band members.

Jazz for a Cause will serve as a fundraiser for Hannah and her family as she battles Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that she was diagnosed with in December 2019.

“Hannah was diagnosed with cancer and the Band Department wants to make sure she knows she is not alone in her fight against cancer,” announced WC Middle School Band Director Ashton Reams during the Middle School band concert on Feb. 18.

Combining the upcoming jazz concert with a fundraiser seemed to be a perfect way to show support.

— Submitted photo Hannah Brand has been active in Webster City band throughout her middle and high school career. Hannah plays the clarinet and the saxophone in the Jazz band. In 8th Grade, Hannah was chosen and participated in the All Iowa Honor Band. She also was chosen to serve on the Iowa State Honor Band last year and this year, but due to the development of the Ewing's Sarcoma tumor on her cheekbone, she was unable to participate in the honor band this school year. Band members are selling support bracelets to benefit Hannah and her family. All sales will be matched 100 percent by the Band Boosters, according to Middle School band director Ashton Reams.

“We always have a performance in February, but this year, one of our own was diagnosed with cancer,” explained Reams.  “As a result, Rachel Daum and myself felt that this would be a wonderful opportunity to hold a fundraiser.”

In addition to dedicating the concert as a fundraiser, band members are selling “Fight for Hannah” wristbands.  All sales will be matched 100 percent by the WC Band Boosters, said Reams.

“Hannah is and has always been very active in the band department – often visiting the middle school since becoming a high school student,” explained Reams.  “She has always gone above and beyond to help those around her, so we felt we needed to so the same for her.”

Daum devised the idea of wearing yellow ribbons in support of Hannah in conjunction with band members selling the wristbands.

Hannah is an excellent musician, said Reams.  She plays the clarinet in the high school concert band and the alto saxophone in the jazz band.  Her skills have earned her a spot on the All-Iowa 8th Grade Honor Band.  In addition, she has participated in the All-State Auditions and other high school honor bands.  

“Hannah has been very active in the music department this year and it’s a place where she feels right at home,” said Reams.

Ewing’s Sarcoma is a rare cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around bones.  It is more common in youth between the ages of 10 – 20 years, but it can occur at any age.

Hannah was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in December 2019 and in January 2020, she began treatment, said her mother Lisa Anderson.  

She began chemotherapy at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN on January 21 for two days of the week.  Then she returned the first week in February for five days of treatment.  Those treatments were scheduled to continue for a 13-week cycle as long as her blood work stayed in a normal range.  

Unfortunately, Hannah caught Influenza A and she was hospitalized in Algona from Feb. 13 – 17.

While Hannah and her family wait for blood work to return to an acceptable range so that her chemotherapy treatment can resume, the teen continues to be upbeat.

“Hannah is very kind, respectful and helpful to anyone and everyone,” said her mother Lisa.  “She always has smile on her face and she is a big goofball.  There is never a dull moment when in her company.” 

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