Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Monday 20 May |
Saint of the Day: Mary, Mother of the Church
Aleteia logo
Inspiring Stories
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Jessica Hanna, who opted for life over treatment, passes away

Jessica Hanna-blessed_by_cancer-Facebook

© Jessica Hanna blessed_by_cancer via Facebook

Cerith Gardiner - published on 04/10/24

Diagnosed with cancer while pregnant, the mom-of-four refused an abortion to save her unborn child.

Being a mother is a wonderful mix of sacrifice and reward, and this was certainly the case for Jessica Hanna, a devout Catholic and mother to four children.

While 14 weeks pregnant with her fourth child Thomas, doctors discovered a 13 centimeter tumor in her breast. They went on to discover that 43 of her lymph nodes were also affected by cancer. Doctors advised the mom to have an abortion so they could carry out further tests to determine the exact extent of her cancer, according to EWTN.

In a case similar to St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Jessica refused her doctors’ advice in order to protect the baby growing inside her. And instead of medical intervention, she sought the intercession of Blessed Father Solanus Casey and prayed at his tomb after every round of chemotherapy.

A miraculous recovery

Incredibly, after her son was born, doctors carried out more scans and all signs of cancer in her body had disappeared. Sadly, however, two years later the cancer had returned and it was diagnosed with being at stage four.

With the devastating diagnosis, Jessica decided to use social media as a means to share her story and make sure her suffering didn’t go to waste. As she previously shared with EWTN Pro-Life Weekly:

“I thought no suffering should ever go to waste. I don’t know where God is taking me. Is he going to take me to the path where I need to show people how to die gracefully, with his grace and mercy? Or is he going to show a miracle? I decided to use the social media to show people that no matter what you think is going to happen, it’s trust in God that is the most important … That you are going to abandon your own desires and wants and you’re going to leave it at the foot of the cross and let him take care of it.”

Over the years she garnered over 45,000 followers and shared moving posts about her faith, combat, while also asking for prayers for others in need. She managed to survive one final Easter, sharing a moving and inspiring post on Good Friday:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jessica Hanna (@blessed_by_cancer)

Finally, the news of Jessica’s passing was shared by her husband Lamar Hanna on her Instagram account, blessed_by_cancer:

At 8:02 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, my beautiful bride Jessica peacefully went to her eternal reward. She received extreme unction and the apostolic pardon from Father Canon Sharpe [on] Thursday. On Saturday she was very peaceful, and surrounded by her loving family, she breathed her last. The cancer was just too aggressive. She suffered joyfully and without fear in her last days. Please keep our family in your prayers.”

Our prayers to Jessica’s family and to all those suffering with cancer.

Tags:
FaithFamilyHealth and WellnessPro-life
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Aleteia-Pilgrimage-300×250-1.png
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.