A Brave and Dedicated Mother's Lasting Legacy
In 2021, Parmenter provided funding to a new grantee organization, Runway for Recovery, which provides families with a continuum of support along their journeys with breast cancer. Our grant award was directed in part to a legacy video project to help terminal moms make lasting keepsakes for their children. With the help of a trained therapist and a skilled video team, Runway for Recovery produces beautiful legacy videos for women living with metastatic breast cancer.
In 2016, wife and mom, Hannah Earle, was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, when she was just 31 years old and had two children under five years old. She was immersed in her life as a mom, building a community of other mothers and piloting the day-to-day activities of her children. She powered through, as she strove to speak openly and honestly with her children about her illness. “[I told them] mommy is sick, getting medicine, I’m going to lose my hair,” Hannah says.
Then just two years later, in 2018, Hannah faced a devastating re-diagnosis; this time with metastatic breast cancer. Now four year later, Hannah is doing well as part of a clinical trial, undergoing immunotherapy and continuing to take daily medication.
While there is no “normal” experience when living with cancer, Hannah continually works to ensure her children live their lives largely unaffected by their mother’s diagnosis. Hannah says, “[My kids] are the driving force in everything I do.” While the reality of her disease is always there, it is not a common topic in their household. In fact, Hannah says it doesn’t come up often anymore, but of course, she will always engage in an open conversation with her children should they ask. “I want my kids’ memory of me to be ‘she did her best to make our lives as normal as possible’. Regardless of when I pass away, I don’t want [my kids] looking back and thinking ‘my mom was sick, my childhood was colored by cancer,’” she says.
When Hannah feels she is no longer responding to treatment, but before she is really sick, she plans to make a video for her family through the Runway for Recovery Legacy Video project. Hannah believes that a video will help serve as an everlasting reminder of her essence, as well as a vehicle through which she can preserve her thoughts, dreams, and wishes for her children. “I want my memory to live on through my kids, my friends, and my community,” Hannah says
Hannah Earl at a Runway for Recovery Fashion Show