Fact Check

Hannah Garman

A four-year-old named Hannah Garman, who is dying from cancer, wants to receive Christmas cards?

Published Dec 17, 2008


Claim:   A four-year-old girl named Hannah Garman, who is dying from cancer, wants to receive Christmas cards.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, December 2008]

Many of you may remember my dear friend, Chris Garman, who lost her battle with breast cancer 2 years ago. When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she was pregnant with her third child. Her doctors didn't think Chris would live through her pregnancy without treatment, so they took a chance & gave her chemo while she was pregnant. Chris survived her pregnancy & had a beautiful, healthy little girl named Hannah Faith.

Chris died when Hannah was three.

Hannah is almost five, and this breaks my heart all over again, but In October, Hannah has been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and incurable brain tumor. She was given about 12 weeks to live. She was going to be the flower girl in a wedding in May, but was diagnosed A week after she was asked.

Right now she has lost most of her motor skills. She is confined to bed And cannot really do anything or play with the gifts she is getting from people, but she LOVES getting cards - she has gotten so many from people she does not know and just loves to have grandma read about the people who send them and see their pictures and is so proud of all her cards. Her room is just filled with cards.

When asked what she wants for Christmas she said she wants to see how Many Christmas cards she can get. Many people have passed this wish along to their churches, prayer groups, friends and family. There are school groups where children are making her cards. People are including pictures so she can see who it is that is sending her the card.

If you would like to help with her wish, please send her a card at:

Hannah Garman
704 Orchard Rd
Lititz, PA 17543

THANKS! Feel free to pass this along to your own prayer group, church, school, etc. Let's see if we can have the cards coming in big postal bags for her this Christmas, since it will be her last holiday.

Please pray for her family. Her older brother & sister watched their mom go through this just two short years ago, and now they are watching their baby sister.

P.S. You can also send my email to anyone you forward this to, if they have questions. sheripie@hotmail.com

Read more about Hannah, see pics, & stay updated on her progress at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/hannahgarman


Origins:   The CaringBridge entry established for Hannah Garman notes that:

Hannah was diagnosed in late October 2008 with a rare and aggressive cancerous brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme. To date (November 20) she has had 2 surgeries to remove the tumors. She is in therapy to work on her walking, which has been effected by the tumor. She has frequent headaches from the pressure on the brain. She is on steroids to help with the inflammation, which is causing her to gain weight rapidly. The doctors have given Hannah 2-3 months to live without treatment and approximately 11 months with radiation. She needs a miracle! Hannah's father's name is Darin and she has two older siblings - Brittany and Jordan. She has 3 sets of grandparents, 2 sets of great-grandparents and a large extended family and supportive church family. Her mother, Chris, passed away several years ago from cancer. Please pray for the family as they deal with cancer in the family once again.

Sheri Phautz, who is Hannah's cousin and is the point of contact listed above (and in the CaringBridge entry established for Hannah), said in response to an inquiry about this item:

this is true. Hannah is my 2nd cousin. she got 700 cards today, so word is really getting around! I spent an hour with her today opening some of the cards. It is really neat to see everyone praying and supporting her during this time

The Lancaster New Era and Intelligencer Journal newspapers also reported:

Hannah's wish for Christmas this year was to get lots of cards.

That wish went out in an e-mail late last week. Her family believes it was sent by someone who knows them but they are not sure.

It would be an understatement

to say that Hannah's wish has been granted.

Within days, cards began trickling into the Lititz home of her grandparents, who are helping to care for her. The trickle became a stream, then a torrent, then a flood of hundreds of cards from all over the world, as the e-mail spread over the Internet.

School children made cards. Churches sent them. Families and kids and everybody and his brother, from Canada to Mexico to Singapore, has gotten in on the action.

Despite three surgeries and other treatments at Johns Hopkins and Hershey medical centers and plans to begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments later this month, the Garmans are measuring Hannah's remaining time in weeks.

And they want to make sure those weeks are good ones.

"Three or four days ago, her spirits were very low," Mrs. Garman said. "But now she's happy and smiling. She's been like a changed girl through all of this. But some of it's coming back.

"She's just a sweetheart."

Opening Christmas cards is "one thing she can do," Mrs. Garman said. "She's a little stronger, and she's ripping them open herself. She loves looking at the pictures, and we read every card to her."

Unfortunately, 2008 was indeed Hannah Garman's last Christmas on Earth; she passed away on 16 June 2009.

Additional information:

    Hannah Garman Event Hannah Garman Event   (WGAL-TV)
    Hannah Garman Event Lancaster County Grants Hannah's Wish   (WGAL-TV)

Last updated:   16 June 2009


    di Fonzo, Carla.   "Cards Brighten Girl's Christmas."

    Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.   19 December 2008.

    Knapp, Tom.   "Ill Child Has Christmas Wish — Cards, and Plenty of Them."

    Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.   18 December 2008.

    Stauffer, Cindy.   "Hannah's Wish."

    Lancaster New Era.   19 December 2008.

    WGAL-TV.   "Dying Wish of 4-Year-Old Girl."

    18 December 2008.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.