Hannah’s story is a testament to just how far a great attitude, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to keep on pushing through life’s challenges can take you. Come along with us as we explore Hannah’s amazing story, including the shocking choice she made that would change the life of her family members forever.
Left Without A Family
As a baby with dwarfism, Hannah Kritzeck was given away by her birth mother immediately and went without a family for months. Sadly, it seemed that this wasn’t going to change anytime soon until Larry and Jackie Kritzeck. The two were not scared away by her primordial dwarfism and loved her instantly regardless of what the future might bring.
Loved By A Family
Hannah knew that she was loved before she ever realized that she was different. She not only had loving parents but siblings, too. She had an older sister named Kelly and a pair of brothers, Matt and Mark. Although raising a special needs child was difficult, Larry and Jackie were determined to make her feel loved, supported, and accepted. One day, Hannah would return the favor when they needed it most.
A Very Rare Condition
As a child, it didn’t take very long for young Hannah to understand that she was different from other boys and girls her age. She did not keep up with her siblings’ growth or that of her peers at school. When she got older, her parents helped her to understand primordial dwarfism, a rare condition that only about 100 people in the world are afflicted by.
Bullied And Picked On
Children can be very cruel to those who are different, and Hannah’s condition meant that she was an easy target. While growing up, many kids were nice to her, but there were always those that snickered, laughed, or just stared. Even at 19 years old, people would point at her and say she looked like a child. One time, a boy she had a crush on even said no one would ever date her.
An Army Of Four
Even if the kids at school weren’t always nice, Hannah had the unwavering support of her three siblings, who stuck up for her time after time when others were mean to her. Even if they had to fight to do so, her sister and brothers would stand up for Hannah whenever they were needed to do so. She knew that she was never truly alone.
Growing Up Different
As an adult, Hannah has expressed her gratitude that her parents helped her to have a normal childhood, even though she knew she was different from her siblings and other kids. Still, life was hard. “Everyone thinks I’m five years old when they see me and it’s frustrating, because I’m not a baby,” Hannah said. “Just because I’m smaller, doesn’t mean I’m any different.”
Life was consistently difficult for Hannah, who had to see doctors and specialists constantly and get all kinds of tests, scans, and treatments on a regular basis. She was at risk of developing aneurysms and had to have two titanium rods put in her back to help her with scoliosis. She also had to have dental implants because her teeth were too small. And that’s just a part of what she faced!
Someone To Lean On
Hannah was sometimes alienated and left out by the world, but her family never treated her that way. She had people who loved her that she could lean on when times were tough. Her parents made life easier for her by lowering light switches and placing stools around the house, for instance. But everything took a surprising turn for the worse when she learned that her mother, Jackie, had polycystic kidney disease.
Little Person, Big Dreams
Hannah may have been limited physically by primordial dwarfism, but her dreams had no limits. She wanted to be a star from a young age, taking up dancing at two years old and gymnastics at three. When she danced, her body sometimes ached, but she loved it so much that she could forget who she was and what people thought and just feel free.
The Girl Can Dance
Hannah was certainly not scared by the idea of hard work and put in many hours of time to work on her singing and dancing. Her dance instructor said that not only did Hannah’s size not deter her, but that she even outperformed some of his other dancers in freestyle dancing. She was also quite an inspiration to the other members of her dance team.
How Hannah Lives
Hannah lives her life by refusing to give up or quit on herself. “My advice to anyone living with the condition would be to never give up on your dream and keep trying,” she said when asked to give advice to others with primordial dwarfism. She also said she loves dancing because different styles help her with different things. “I love hip hop it keeps me strong and ballet calms me down,” Hannah said.
Making The Most Of Each Day
Hannah is definitely not one to watch life idly pass her by. Since her condition is known to limit life spans dramatically, she lives life with true urgency and always makes the most of her time. She has goals she wants to achieve and things that she wants to do, and she’s focused on meeting those goals no matter what she has to do to achieve them.
Meeting Selena Gomez
Hannah was once featured on Maury Povich’s talk show. Later on, he decided to have her back on the show and make one of her dreams come true: that of meeting pop star Selena Gomez. For the special episode, Selena surprised Hannah, wishing her a happy 18th birthday and giving her backstage passes to one of her upcoming concert appearances.
Hannah always wanted to act, and she’s actually been cast in small roles in a few movies and TV shows. most recently, she starred in a 2014 documentary about her life called Little and Looking for Love. In the documentary, she shared the fact that while she was happy with much of her life, she was sad to see her other friends have relationships while she was unable to find love.
Although her love life may not be what she wants it to be, Hannah does have a couple of really good friends in her life. Her best friends, Emily and Heidi, are who she spends most of her free time with. Along with her family and other friends, Hannah always has the support that she needs to continue pursuing her dreams and getting through her struggles.
Hannah is now grown up, and so are her sister and two brothers. As such, she how has nieces and nephews that she absolutely adores. Some of them are even old enough to carry her! When asked about her family and what they mean to her, she absolutely beams with pride and says that she is comforted by the fact that her family will always be there for her.
A Love Connection
Hannah met a friend named Brad who also had the same condition as her: primordial dwarfism. They became really good friends, went to prom together, and even flirted with the idea of a romantic relationship. Brad invited Hannah as his guest to his sister’s wedding and everything was going really well. Unfortunately, though, things wouldn’t ultimately go their way.
Promordial dwarfism is very hard on your body, and Brad shockingly passed away after suffering a heart attack in March of 2017. Hannah was absolutely devastated at the thought of losing such a close friend. Beyond that, the situation also affected her because it forced her to confront the issue of her own mortality due to her condition.
Looking For Love
You might think that the experience would keep Hannah from looking for love, but you’d be wrong. She said that her ideal man would have brown hair, blue eyes, and a wild hairstyle such as a mohawk. She said that she loves the idea of marrying and having a family, although her medical condition will obviously make that very difficult for her.
Stepping Up To The Plate
Hannah was more than ready to step up to the plate in her mother’s time of need. She knew her mom needed a transplant and booked an appointment to see if she was a viable kidney donor. She was, but her doctor was concerned about the risks due to her health problems. Hannah decided to do it anyway. She wanted to return the love her mother had given her over all the years.
Life’s A Party
Hannah is not afraid to let loose and have a little fun. As such, Hannah is always on the invite list when her friends decide they want to have an adventure. She particularly enjoys going on the boat of a friend of hers for fun parties. Of course, when it comes to going out on the town, you can always expect to find Hannah on the dance floor.
Wants To See The World
Hannah said that one of her dreams is to travel the world, especially if she can do it while performing as a dancer. She also said that she would enjoy being a vocal coach and teaching others to be better singers. She would certainly be a great coach, since she knows how important it is to never give up and continue working hard to reach your dreams.
A Mother’s Love
Hannah’s mother Jackie is always concerned for her well being, even if she knows that Hannah is smart and knows how to take care of herself. She knows that her daughter is a very persistent, dedicated person and although she loves the idea that Hannah is living her life to the fullest, she is also regularly worried about her.
Facing The Future
To Jackie, Hannah is like a best friend and sidekick all rolled into one. Jackie said that she expects that her and her daughter will continue to strengthen their relationship in the years to come. She also admits that she’s concerned about Hannah’s somewhat limited life expectancy. “I don’t like to talk about it but do need to face it,” Jackie said.
A Life Saver
One of the most amazing parts of Hannah’s life story is that she was able to save the life of her mother after her mother and father gave her a loving home. This has undoubtedly given the two of them a very special relationship that few parents and children can really replicate.
When it comes to charitable causes, Potentials Foundation is very near and dear to Hannah and her family’s hearts. The foundation helps people with primordial dwarfism. In addition, Hannah regularly attends the National Little People of America Conference, where they have helpful seminars and Hannah can reconnect with friends.
Hannah and her family are so passionate about the work of Potentials Foundation that they decided to do a benefit for it. The motto of their fundraiser was “Size never defines potential.” The non-profit organization has continued to grow and now has a presence in 19 states and 10 foreign countries, helping a total of 50 families overall.
Understanding Primordial Dwarfism
When a person is afflicted with primordial dwarfism, they often look much younger than people their age. Their height and weight lags significantly behind that of their peers as well, which is quite evident by looking at Hannah. As a full-grown adult, Hannah is 39 inches tall and weighs under 30 pounds, which is pretty incredible. There are just 100 recorded cases right now worldwide, and most who have primordial dwarfism aren’t expected to live past 30 years old.
A Positive Message
Hannah has lived her entire life knowing that she was different, but also determined not to let that difference ruin her life. She is proof that positive thinking can help you to live a healthy, happy life no matter how different you are than others. She has also shown that hard work can always make your dreams come true.
Life Is Precious
Hannah knows that she is never promised another day, so she lives her life to the fullest. She knows that life is precious and yet she was willing to donate a kidney to her mother when she needed it. Hannah and her family are hopeful that medical advances will help Hannah continue to live a happy life for many more years to come.