GREENSBORO, N.C. — A second-grade St. Pius School Catholic School student spent the last year in and out of the hospital due to cancer. Hannah Kloesz is urging people to obey the stay-at-home order and social distancing rules so that she and her family do not catch coronavirus.
Hannah was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the spring and it changed things for her family. The coronavirus pandemic made it more complex for the family and Hannah's ability to get to the treatment she needs to win her fight against cancer.
"I have to stay home because coronavirus has been going around and we need to try to stay safe and make sure that I don’t get the coronavirus," Hannah said in a video interview with her parents and sister. "It’s very important because it will be hard to fight the coronavirus and leukemia at the exact same time. I would have to stay in the hospital for a very long time."
"She is a really amazing person and she’s my best friend and I love her and it’s really hard because I hate seeing her like this," Hannah's sister Sophia said as she broke down in tears.
Sophia said she's doing all she can to help keep Hannah's mind off her illness.
"I'm just enjoying the times when she’s not in the hospital and when she’s in the hospital, bringing fun things to her even if it means dressing like a unicorn to go see her," she laughed.
The family, like many who have to care for children and relatives with underlying conditions, said it's become like an obstacle course when trying to carry out basic errands.
"Even having groceries delivered, going to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions to help with these complications were running into multiple people on multiple levels," said Hannah's mom Nicole Kloesz, who is a teacher at Northern Guilford Middle School.
Daily items that are needed for care and cleaning have also become unavailable. Supplies running low at home makes it more difficult for many special-needs families.
"One of the complications we experienced two weeks ago is we don’t have masks and gloves for ourselves as adults, so we're going to these medical facilities and we don’t have anything for ourselves. We have everything to protect her but we don’t have anything for ourselves, so that adds additional anxiety and stress or for us," Nicole Kloesz said.
"Immunosuppressed children, as well as adults, are currently faced with unbelievable risks. Hannah has endured a lot," Hannah's dad Chris Kloesz said in an email to WFMY.
Chris Kloesz is the principal at St. Pius School Catholic School.
"Stay home, wash your hands. Respect what we’re being told to do so that we can all band together and fight this, but also fight on behalf of others who may have a challenge that they can’t fight for themselves," he said.
The family said throughout Hannah's medical challenges, they've been fortunate to meet amazing health workers and cancer support advocates like the pediatric oncology team at Wake Forest Baptist Health Brenner Children's Hospital, Roc Solid Foundation, Kisses4Kate Organization, and the community.
"If everyone with cancer will keep fighting hard and soon before you know it you’ll be done with it," Hannah said.
The Kloesz family has set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help with Hannah's cancer treatment.
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