LESLIE, Mich. (WLNS) — Virginia Hannahs has spent her entire career working in the medical field, but now focuses on volunteering.
Virginia is from Leslie and is one of the finalists for this year’s “Remarkable Woman” competition.
“I’ve had a blessed life and enjoyed everything I’ve done,” Virginia said.
She was a licensed nurse for more than 50 years, following in her mother’s footsteps.
“I was so proud of her and wanted to be like my mom and so that’s why I went into nursing.”
Her experience made her the go-to person in her family and friend circles for teaching CPR and First Aid.
“My dad always said ‘you’re going to be a teacher,’ and I said ‘no, I’m going to be a nurse,’ then I got to do both. So, that was fun.”
When she wasn’t in the hospital, Virginia spent time as an amateur radio operator with her husband, Jim.
“He was involved in it before I was, and then I kept seeing all the neat things that he and his organizations were doing,” Virginia said.
One of the biggest events they helped with is the annual ‘Silver Bells in the City Parade.’
She also has dedicated more than 30 years as a medical care coordinator for the Michigan Special Olympics state poly hockey and bowling tournament athletes.
“We always use to say every year, we gain so much more from the athletes than we give them. It’s just so rewarding,” Virginia said.
And even with everything she does to give back to the community, she was shocked and honored when she was nominated for the ‘Remarkable Woman’ award.
“I think most women are remarkable,” Virginia said.
Her husband Jim believes she is more than deserving.
“Actually, when I proposed to her, my mother said, ‘you know how mother say the girls not good enough? Nope, I’m not good enough for her,'”” Jim said.
Together they have two daughters, who both volunteer like their parents.
“It makes us feel great that our kids have gone and done such great things for themselves,” Jim said.
And her dedication to the community has no end in sight. Recently, she was having constant headaches, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. And a day later, a brain aneurysm.
But she wasn’t worried.
“She had no problem thinking everything would come out perfect and I question sometimes because I just know what happens,” Jim said.
“Yeah that’s hard. That’s hard being the patient. I always want to be the one who is there supporting the patient, not me being the patient,” Virginia said.
But this diagnosis still hasn’t slowed her down, and through religion she’s been able to continue doing all this work.
“I think if everybody treated each other as if how they wanted to be treated, the world would be a much better place,” Virginia said.