Hannah Joya, born and raised in sunny San Diego, California, made a promise to tell the world about her Father’s life story. In 2018 her Dad’s life was cut short after his battle with GBS-CIDP (Guillain Barre Syndrome-Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy), a chronic and progressive condition where the body essentially attacks itself, causing permanent nerve damage over time. At the age of twenty-nine, her dreams finally became a reality. Being able to tell the story about her Father’s perseverance, his mentality, his can-do and will-do attitude and his fight until the very end, has always been close to her heart.
She was a firsthand witness to all the struggles and joy of her Father’s journey. There is no doubt that Hannah’s support system comes from the family that surrounds her; their strength fuels her strength and continues to be a driving factor in her life. Her family once organized the first 5K Run to support the GBS-CIDP foundation held in San Diego and ended up raising enough funds to exceed any set expectations and help fuel further research into this debilitating disease.
Hannah lived in a world where the only vision of her Father she had ever known was of him confined to a wheelchair. She never had the privilege of seeing him walk, run, swim or dance, but that didn’t stop her from living life to the fullest for her father and eventually for herself. Her passion for helping others transpired into various volunteer opportunities all over the San Diego area. She joined a peace team in 2017 with Saddleback Church to assist in bringing relief to hurricane Harvey victims and worked with several outreach programs that focused on serving the homeless community.
Her true source of happiness is to inspire those around her and help them cope with pain, loss, and heartache. In helping people understand that behind sorrow lies purpose and finding hope in hopeless moments. Her mission is to keep her Dad’s legacy alive and with this book, she plans to do just that.
Did you enjoy this episode? Listen to Episode 5 about multi-racial families with Wendy Kim.