by MICHELLE TREMBLAY
photos by Soul of Photography

Finding Strengh In The Struggle

Hannah Nancarrow’s father, Loran Nancarrow was someone whom she had always admired. She credits her father – who was a well-known and beloved San Diego TV journalist – for her career choice. “Choosing to study journalism in college was a natural, easy choice for me and I was fortunate enough to have the best mentor in the business as my dad,” shared Hannah.

After working for some time at Fox 5 San Diego, Hannah left the TV industry to pursue another passion of hers: writing – more specifically, blogging. “I’d heard the saying ‘if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life,’ so I started Hannah Jane Media,” said Hannah of her consulting business, which helps small businesses and prospective business owners build and write blogs. “Although I started the company on a whim, blogging has turned out to be one of the most impactful skills of my life thus far,” she stated.

On Jan. 28, 2013, Hannah’s life was turned upside-down when her father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given only a short while to live. But in her darkest moment, Hannah found light; and together with her father did what she did best: she started blogging. “On that day, in his ICU room, The Nancarrow Project blog was born,” recalled Hannah. “We started the blog as a way of sharing our story and communicating with friends and family – what it became was so much more significant and rewarding than we could’ve ever dreamed.” Through those eleven months of blogging, father and daughter were able to find a connection with people who shared similar stories, providing them both with an overwhelming feeling of support. What’s more is that the life lessons Hannah took away from her father in his final months of his life have not only strengthened her initiative to explore her own passions, but have fueled her desire to help others.

“In the final blog my dad posted, he wrote: ‘One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that happiness lies in discovering your passions and exploring them fiercely…Wherever they are, whatever they may be, seek out your passions and cultivate them.’ I very much echo that sentiment,” offered Hannah. In August, she plans to climb Mt. Whitney and in October is rappelling down the Manchester Grand Hyatt as part of a fundraiser event for Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. “Most terrifying of all, I’m a contestant for Miss California USA 2015 in January!” she added.

“When my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer, I realized that I wanted to help others going through similar circumstances,” said Hannah. “Since then, my family has partnered with Scripps Health to fundraise for ‘The Loren Nancarrow Healing Garden’ at the Scripps Radiation Therapy Center at Torrey Pines.” Today, she and her family have raised over $250,000 for the Scripps cancer patients. Her additional volunteer work with The San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation, The American Cancer Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, has helped to raise more than $15,000 for cancer patients and their families. “I’m always open and eager to get involved with organizations that touch me!” exclaimed Hannah.

For all of her efforts, Hannah has been awarded “Top Fundraiser” for The San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation’s Take A Step event. “Having lost my grandpa to complications from a brain tumor and both my grandma and dad to brain cancer, it was the most meaningful award imaginable,” she shared. Most recently, Hannah was the keynote speaker at a San Diego Women’s Week event. “It was an incredible night that could only have been made better by my dad being there,” noted Hannah, “but I know he was watching.”


 AT-A-GLANCE

Name: Hannah Jane Nancarrow
Profession: Writer, blogger, and social media consultant
Community: I’ve lived in North County San Diego (Encinitas) for my entire life. I moved to Solana Beach last year to be close to my dad.
Hobbies/Interests: My dog (Django), writing, live music, hiking, spinning, running and tap dancing!
Favorite Local Spots: The Belly Up Tavern, Torrey Pines State Reserve, and Solana Hills Trail (just to name a few)