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East Tennessee nurse returns to work at children's hospital where she was a patient

In 2007, Hannah Lawson battled a brain tumor at just 7 years old. Now 14 years cancer free and a nurse, she's caring for young patients where she received treatment.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Nurturing patients is second nature for Hannah Lawson. She’s been perfecting her bedside manner since she was a patient at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

“I had a stage three brain tumor, so it was cancerous,” Hannah Lawson said.

Hannah was just 7 years old. Her dog, Frenchy, was the first to notice something wrong.

“All I remember is Frenchy pawing at my pillow,” she said.

That was 2007. Surgeons removed the brain tumor on Valentine’s Day.

WATCH 7-YEAR-OLD HANNAH LAWSON BRAVELY BATTLE CANCER

And, even during recovery, Hannah was thinking of others.

This is when 10News Anchor Beth Haynes first met the pint-sized inspiration and her infectious smile!

WBIR began following her journey in and out of hospitals.

Hannah battled radiation at Thompson Cancer Survival Center in Knoxville with a song and dance.

WATCH 7-YEAR-OLD HANNAH LAWSON OUTDANCE CANCER

All while reaching out to help comfort soldiers serving far from home.

“I created Hannah's Army Angels, which raised money for the pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, and we would also collect supplies to send to soldiers serving overseas," she said.

WBIR witnessed many toy deliveries.

WATCH HANNAH’S ARMY ANGELS DELIVER TOYS

Watched as Hannah first met her Army pen pal, helicopter pilot David Creech, who’d just returned from Kosovo.

And, followed along as Hannah won over the state house and the governor’s office.

Lawmakers recognized Hannah’s bravery and compassion with a proclamation on the Senate floor in Nashville.

WATCH PINT-SIZED HANNAH VISIT LAWMAKERS IN NASHVILLE

Her journey inspired others and guided her own career path.

“Pediatric oncology was always the goal, whatever that looked like,” Hannah said. “I just had so many awesome doctors and nurses that really shaped who I was. I wanted to be able to make a difference like they made a difference in my life."

Hannah studied nursing at East Tennessee State University.

Now 22, she does have some lasting reminders of cancer from left-sided weakness to permanent baldness on the right side of her head.

“I think one of the hardest things, honestly, is losing your hair, and that was a really hard thing for me,” she said.

But it’s proving to be one of her greatest connections to the young cancer patients she’s caring for at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, ironically on the same floor where she first received treatment.

“Coming full circle has been an absolute dream,” Hannah said. “It's been really cool to get to see people that really helped me through a hard time.”

For Hannah, 2022 is a year of fulfilling dreams… first nurse… and soon, wife as she gets married in October.

“I'm really excited for all the big life changes, and you know, they're gonna happen, so I might as well just have them all happen at once,” she said.

Oh, and Hannah’s hero dog, Frenchy, who saved her life? Well, she’s still by her side and will walk down the aisle as the flower dog on Hannah’s big day.

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