“I’ve never been so excited to be alive.”

When I posted about Hannah’s story on Thursday evening, I was not expecting to have raised $300 within 6 hours.

I knew that y’all were a generous, wonderful bunch, but you have floored even me.

But you know what?

It is so not about the money.

Well, not completely. I mean, it’s a really awesome tool for what we need to get done.

And I’ll admit, when I first started planning this, it was totally about raising the money. But it’s kind of transformed into something far more beautiful this week.

It’s become a transformational process for Hannah. She is finally getting the chance to take something that was painful and awful – something she often tried to run away from and ignore – and turn it into something positive.

She gets to share her story and have it touch people’s lives. She gets to share her story and connect with others who went through similar experiences.

But most importantly, she’s opened herself up to receive support.

Hannah was completely beside herself last night when I called her and told her everything that was happening. She didn’t even know what to say. She described it as being full of movement and yet completely still at the same time. She keeps thinking she’ll wake up from this wonderful dream.

No one has ever supported her before. Here on PEI, friends didn’t even know of her dream. Her boyfriend only knew of it in passing. So to have me find out and then be all “Omg, of course you should dance!” (as I’m wont to do) was this crazy new experience for her.

Complete and total strangers are encouraging her to follow her dream. Complete and total strangers believe in her enough to open their wallets and hand her over $100.

Her mind? It’s blown.

But sometimes even more moving are the ones who can’t afford to donate much – maybe $2 – but want to do whatever they can because they believe in her dream.

By supporting her with your words and your love, you are changing the way she sees the world. You are showing her that life can be amazing and that people are cheering for you. That there are people out there who want you to win.

It is the most inspiring thing to watch.

I spent an hour on the phone with her this morning. She is so full of hope and excitement. And then she said these words, which got me pretty damn teary-eyed:

“When I was younger, I never thought I’d live past 18. I didn’t want to live past 18 –  I thought my life would be awful. Now here I am, 22, and I have never been so excited to be alive.”

I am so proud of her for starting to create a life that she loves. I’m honoured that I get to be a small part of that.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. To you, they may be small, simple gestures of support, but for her, it feels like a miracle.

Let’s keep that love rolling in!

Go here to read the whole story and make a donation if you feel so inclined.