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Obituary of Hannah Marie Graber
Hannah Marie Graber, 21, left her earthly home for a heavenly one surrounded by her family on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.
Hannah, the first-born child of Dave and Dawn Graber, was born on September 12, 1997 in Ames, Iowa. Shortly after birth, it was discovered that a severe fetal/maternal bleed nearly took her life and later caused multiple lifelong health challenges including cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Hannah's physical challenges gave her the opportunity to meet many wonderful doctors, nurses, teachers, therapists, caregivers, prayer warriors, and other children with special needs. Her parents were given the education of a lifetime in medical jargon and treatments and how to navigate resources to advocate for Hannah's best interests.
Hannah had a smile that could light up a room and when the smiles turned into belly laughs, it was contagious! Some of her favorite things to smile about were her dad drumming on her wheelchair tray, listening to music ranging from Irish jigs to the Beatles, being read to, going for walks to listen for the cows, dogs, birds, and kids in the neighborhood, and attending Mass.
Sometimes Hannah's smiles were the giggly, silly kind and sometimes they were the little, peaceful, "Mona Lisa" smiles, as her parents called them, that showed that she felt loved and content. Having experienced much physical suffering, she could comfort others even though she was unable to speak. Her resilience was inspiring. Sitting with Hannah and holding her hand was a kind of therapeutic touch to many who loved her.
Six months before she left this world, she made a courageous leap into young adulthood by moving out of her family home in Tiffin, Iowa and into ChildServe, a pediatric skilled nursing facility, in Johnston, Iowa. She embraced this new adventure with a radiant smile, ready to meet new people and do new activities there like enjoying weekly aquatic therapy, hanging out at the nurses station, and smiling at a young man whom she enjoyed sitting next to in their wheelchairs.
Hannah was deeply loved by her family which includes her parents, her younger sisters Sophia and Magnolia, younger brother Samuel, grandmother Anna Mae Graber of Kalona, grandfather John Lewellen of Centerville, grandparents Kurt and Diane Herr of Centerville, as well as uncles, aunts, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandfather David Graber of Kalona and a younger brother Jude due to miscarriage.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Hannah's name.