When Hannah Kritzeck was born with dwarfism, her mother put her up for adoption immediately. Hannah’s life was starting out complicated in every way.
She Spent Too Much Time Alone in the Beginning
Hannah got a new start when Larry and Jackie met her and instantly fell in love. While they knew that Hannah was meant to be part of their family, they had no idea where this journey was going to take them.
Her New Family was Loving and Caring
Her new adopted parents also included siblings that would love her too. Hannah now had a sister, Kelly, and two brothers, Matt and Mark. Their journey was never set to be easy, but the family loved her and knew that they’d somehow get through it all.
Hannah Knew She Didn’t Look Like Others
Hannah could clearly see that she didn’t look like or grow as fast as the kids around her. Since she wasn’t keeping up with the kids her age, her parents did their best to help her understand how she was different and the reasons for her differences. Primordial dwarfism only affects about 100 people in the world, so Hannah had to accept that people around her did not understand her condition.
High School was Tough
Her health was a concern because she was always dealing with heart conditions and brain aneurysms. On top of that, she had to deal with some pretty harsh words from people at school. A boy she had a crush on told her that no one would ever date her. People pointed and laughed at her because of her size.
Hannah’s Siblings Defended Her
Hannah’s biggest allies in school were her siblings that always stood up for her. While some kids may have had a difficult time accepting an adoptive sister with dwarfism in to their family, that was not the situation for Hannah’s family. Sometimes their defense of her even led to fights and problems at school. That just shows how important it was to the family that bullies stay away from Hannah even if it was a tough situation.
Hannah Began to Speak Out about It
Hannah began to explain how hard it was to grow up with normal sized siblings. It hurt her that people always thought that she was so young, even though she was getting older. She knew that she wasn’t that different than those around her, but her small size kept her being treated as if she was a baby.
She Also Continued with Health Issues
It wasn’t just how she was treated by others that caused her anxiety. Because of the dwarfism, Hannah spent lots of time at doctor’s appointments monitoring her health and previous conditions. Her scoliosis had to be corrected. She had to get dental implants to correct her teeth. On top of that, her heart was always a concern as well as her risk of aneurysms. Hannah’s life was anything but easy.
Her Family Got Her Through It
She was always safe from bullying and negativity with her family. They did everything they could to make sure Hannah knew she was at home and loved. Light switches were lowered for her and stools were placed around so she could reach everything. Her family gave her a safe space where she was comfortable. One day, it was discovered that Jackie, the mother that loved and adopted her, had polycystic kidney disease and would require a kidney transplant. Hannah immediately knew that she needed to do something to help her mother.
Everyone Works Together
Hannah took it upon herself to figure out if she was a potential donor for her mother. She went to a doctor on her own and learned that she was a match and could help. Being a match wasn’t enough in this situation though. The doctor that was considering it worried that Hannah’s dwarfism put her at too high of a risk to be a successful candidate. There were many possibly complications that made this option seem unrealistic.
She Had Big Goals Even Though She was Small
Hannah always dreamed of dancing her way to becoming a star. When she was two she started dance lessons and she added gymnastics to it when she was three. Dancing did put her pain because of her condition, but the reward and ability to express herself was worth it to her. She had goals of making it big.
She Worked Hard
She knew that she wanted to be an actress, singer, and dancer. This took lots of determination and hard work than Hannah was never afraid of. Her dance instructor commented about Hannah always being willing to put in extra hours.
Advice from Hannah
Hannah tells others that have difficult conditions that they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Going for her dreams helps her and dance is one of her mediums of therapy. She enjoys the freedom of freestyle dancing and uses ballet to calm her when she needs it.
She Enjoys Every Day
Instead of swelling on the fact that she has health problems and is constantly dealing with bullies, Hannah lives every day with passion and goals in mind. Her condition means that she probably won’t see to or past the age of 30, so she ensures that every day that she lives is working towards and goal or passion. She even included meeting her idol as one of her achievements.
Meeting a Star
Hannah had appeared on Maury Povich’s show to discuss her condition with the public. So, when he was thinking of making people’s dreams come true for his 2,500th episode, Hannah was a natural choice to receive something special. Maury arranged for Selena Gomez to surprise Hannah for her 18th birthday and she gave Hannah backstage passes to her concert.
She Became an Actress
Hannah still had a dream of becoming an actress and meeting Selena Gomez gave her more motivation. She started by appearing in minor roles on television and in movies, but then starred in a documentary called “Little and Looking for Love”. In this series, Hannah describes how love is hard to find with her size and condition, but she is not without affection and encouragement from those around her.
Boyfriends may be hard to find for Hannah, but she still has love from two people she calls her best friends. She loves spending time with Emily Tofte and Heidi Melgren, two people that encourage and love her the way that she is.
The Perfect Boyfriend
Hannah did find a match with a person that could understand her completely. Brad Jordan was a friend and companion to Hannah that also suffered from dwarfism. Brad and Hannah enjoyed each other’s company and attended formal events together.
Unfortunately, Hannah lost Brad to a heart attack in 2017. This not only broke her heart because she lost someone close, but it brought a reality to the seriousness of the condition that they both faced.
Hannah Still Looks Forward
Nothing about Hannah’s life ever seems easy, but that doesn’t stop her from looking towards a future with a family. Hannah wants a husband and children just like those around her.
She has a Wild Streak
She likes to have fun and enjoys being the center of attention. Hannah is invited to many events with her friends. She enjoys dancing, boating, and hanging out with those around her.
A Dancer and Singer
Along with having a family, Hannah also dreams of coaching others in singing and dancing for others around the world.
She is an Inspiration
Her mother, Jackie, constantly worries about Hannah and knows that sometimes the risks are scary but worth it. Hannah is an inspiration to others around the world that need to see that obstacles really can be overcome with the right determination and mindset.
A Role Model to Others
The bond that Jackie and Hannah share is different than most mother and daughter relationships. Jackie and Hannah have both done what was needed to save each other’s lives, but were brought together by adoption and not blood. Jackie feels that she has to do her best to let Hannah live the life that she wants to, but she worries about her side-kicks condition all of the time.
Mother and Daughter Bond
Jackie hopes that the bond that she and Hannah share will continue to grow. They have a special relationship that other’s might not quite understand. And, while knowing that Hannah may not grace the world as long as everyone hopes, it is important for them to focus on the present and not dwell on the hard times to come.
Potentials Foundation works to connect people with this condition and stand as a support group for those facing it. This group has done a lot for Hannah’s family and so Hannah’s family does a lot to try to return the generosity. Every year, Hannah attends the National Little People of America Conference and uses this time to discuss her condition, talk to others in similar situations, and meet with friends that she sees at these events.
Paying It Forward
Since the foundation had done so much for their family, Hannah’s family held a benefit to help them. Together, they continued to help many other family’s that needed it around the world.
Primordial Dwarfism Defined
With primordial dwarfism, Hannah grows much slower than those around her. Hannah stands at 39 inches talk and only ways 28 pounds. This makes her appear much younger and more childlike that she really is.
Primordial Dwarfism Around the World
There are only thought to be 100 cases of Hannah’s condition in the entire world. And, while every one is hoping she’ll overcome the odds, it is not expected that she will live past the age of 30.
Hannah speaking and being interviewed should inspire anyone that their obstacles shouldn’t get in their way. It is her attitude and positive outlook that continues to push her success and achievement of goals.
Every Day Should Be Lived
Hannah was able to donate her kidney to her mother and her surgery was successful. Even with this knowledge, Hannah still faces dangers and potential problems every day and chooses to continue her adventures. Every day is a memory in the making for her and those around her.