As you know cycling tops our list of activities! So it is only fitting that a cyclist becomes our first person featured in our “In the Spotlight” section.
Hannah Jordan is a 14-year old who has given new meaning to the word determination! She serves as an inspiration for all of us by doing what she was told “would be impossible’ or “it’s just not going to happen.”
Hannah is a true-blooded cyclist, not only is she competitive on her bike, but she’s been fighting for her life since birth.
It was originally thought that Hannah’s health issues were related to a rare growth disorder called RSS (Russell Silver Syndrome – a very rare form or primordial dwarfism). She began giving herself her own shots at age four. Her original height predictions were extremely short and thankfully, her growth disorder responded well to the use of growth hormones and she was able to stop using the drug a few years ago. However internally she was dealing with life threatening issues that were from an inborn error of her metabolism that made her very medically complicated. Her body simply stopped storing enough glycogen and producing an adequate amount of glucose. Consequently, there have been times that she has required blood sugar checks as often as ten times a day. At the age of 6, it was discovered in the ICU that there was a critical drug that Hannah did not respond to and it became necessary to have a g-tube surgically inserted into her stomach to pump a dextrose solution into her. She suffers from severe hypoglycemia, constant spilling of ketones and some very scary episodes of severe acidosis. Without this special solution Hannah would run the risk of a severe episode which could kill her. At night Hannah is hooked up to an IV pole which is used to provide her metabolic needs. While this happens Hannah charges her portable pump. During the day she has a special backpack that she wears which includes her pump and her “Super Juice” as she calls it! She has had surgery on both of her eyes three separate times. She previously had braces on her feet and a lift in her shoe because one leg was significantly shorter than the other. Much of her life was spent in and out of the hospital as she dealt with multi system organ issues.
Despite all of this she is one really amazing, talented and special girl!
Hannah’s passion for cycling out shines her health issues.
“I like the daringness of it. They speed up, I speed up, it’s kind of like drag racing on bikes,” she said about riding her bike.
Since she’s taken up cycling, she rides 100 to 150 miles a week and she competes in sanctioned races as well as just pedaling around town.
She’s been riding for less than a year and she likes to be in front. All along their ride, the guys behind her keep encouraging her to slow down, but that never happens. Hannah is speed on wheels!
Imagine, when she was eight, doctors were so confounded by her condition she went on a Make-A-Wish trip, now she does triathlons, cycling races and will soon be cycling in Iceland.
Her racing accomplishments are stacking up and quite impressive for someone who only has been cycling for less than a year. Hannah has gone on to:
- 8th place in her age group and second female in Tulsa Tough’s Crybaby Hill Criterium
- 3rd place in the Tulsa Tough’s Brady District Criterium
- 1st place in the Oklahoma State Time Trial
- 12 Podium Finishes and Three State Championships (Road, TT, and CX)
- Completed her first century ride of 101 miles in 5hrs and 18 minutes (averages of over 19 mph)
- Raced a train and was the youngest rider to ever beat the train in Race the Rail (32 miles with averages over 21 mph)
Hannah currently holds a Cat 4 license. Sometimes to challenge herself Hannah races in the Cat 3 / 4 races rather than the junior category. Her competitiveness shines through!
Click here for a complete list of Hannah’s cycling accomplishments and racing results.
“… I like the adrenaline rush. I like the competition.” She said as it shows in her achievements.
Her parents call her a walking miracle, and it’s hard to disagree. “She spent half her life in the hospital, and now she is trying to make up for it….”
Outside of cycling, Hannah loves God and going to church, her family, friends, and music. She has a heart to help others and is currently collecting bikes and helmets to give to kids in the poorest parts of their community. She also hopes to go on some missions trip, one day. Having a big brother with autism, Hannah has acquired some practice in becoming a person of compassion. She is very protective of Braxton. She also somehow finds the time to help her mom around the house who is battling with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Their family motto is “Odds Don’t Determine Outcome” and Hannah hopes that her story instills hope in the lives of others as they encounter challenges in life..
Needless to say, we are honored to have Hannah as our first “In the Spotlight” person.
Lastly if you would like to donate something to Hannah’s cause please visit her Giveforward page.