Lanna Nicole Hamann was born on October 16, 1997 and she passed away on June 14, 2014.
Lanna was the type of person that you only meet only once in your lifetime. We all know somebody who can light up a room the second they walk in, and Lanna was one of those people. I first met her when I was in 8th grade, and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was the new kid and didn't have any friends at this school; Lanna was one of my first friends there. She always made sure I had someone to sit with at lunch and hang out with at recess. Lanna made it seem like we had been friends for years, and to have someone like that while going through a tough time of transitioning schools was so important to me. I didn't know it yet but she would be someone who would change my life.
The day she passed away still feels like yesterday. She passed away while vacationing in Mexico from a heart attack. I remember going upstairs to check my phone that day only to see I had many missed calls and text messages from friends. I got a hold of one of the girls that Lanna and I hung out with in 8th grade and she let me know what had happened. It took me a few minutes to really process that I would never see Lanna again, and I would never have another conversation with her. I thought about all the memories we shared in 8th grade and throughout freshman year and then all I thought to do was cry.
That night, all of us who were friends with her and those who wanted to show support arrived to hike Mt. Lanna and share some memories. That night, there was so many people there just to celebrate Lanna, and it was such a good feeling to know that she impacted so many people. Listening to everyone's memories with her made me realize how truly remarkable of a person she was. We found out that they would return the body for a large sum of money so we all banded together to get her body back. More importantly we banded together to form a community to celebrate her and be there for each other -- just like Lanna would have done for us. As the third anniversary rolls around, I am constantly reminded to Live Like Lanna, to keep moving forward, and most importantly to show love to everyone I meet. I know that is how Lanna would have wanted it and how she would have acted toward everyone.
Lanna Hamann can only be described as a fun loving, adventure seeking, compassionate, and a friendly human being. She touched everyone she came into contact with and made sure everyone felt welcome. Lanna was the type of person that you could call at 3 o'clock in the morning and she would answer just listen to you or talk if you needed advice. Lanna would make sure you were okay before hanging up the phone. She loved to have fun and she made sure to live her life to the fullest, and I believe that she did that up until the very last second of her life. We all took an oath that day to Live Like Lanna and take every moment as the last.