By John Lauritsen

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Each of us faces challenges in our daily lives and 16-year-old Hannah Kritzeck is no different. But Hannah’s challenges are far more complex. Hannah is celebrating her 16th birthday. At just over 3 feet tall and weighing about 30 pounds, Hannah is ready to celebrate in a very big way.

Hannah has a type of dwarfism, called primordial dwarfism, which is so rare that she shares it with just 200 people in the world. But being a little person isn’t stopping Hannah from doing big things.

“Hannah is really outgoing; she’s very fun. This is the person you really want to know,” said friend Lauren DeVinny.

Because of the risk factors that come with primordial dwarfism, her family and friends think Hannah’s Sweet 16 is a milestone. So they got a limo and arrived at the Como Zoo Conservatory in style ready to take some pictures, have a few laughs and celebrate Hannah’s life.

“When I grow up, I want to be an artist. I love to do art. I love to draw pictures,” said Hannah.

Jackie Kritzeck adopted Hannah when she was a baby and noticed almost immediately that Hannah wasn’t growing. Doctors found out that the MOPD 2 gene was the cause.

After they diagnosed Hannah, they realized she was the only person in the state of Minnesota to have this condition and one of only 200 people in the entire world.

“She is an inspiration. She is just amazing,” said Jackie. “She goes through the staring every day and the people pointing and all that kind of stuff. A lot of times she doesn’t see it and a lot of times it does. When she was little it would bother her, but as she got older she just realized that that’s the way life is going to be.”

But if you think it holds her back, think again. Despite having scoliosis, Hannah is a hip-hop dancer and back flip extraordinaire.

Over the course of 16 years, her friends have started looking up to her.

“I’ve known Hannah for a long time and I just like her a lot. She’s my hero,” said friend McKenna Mansfield.

What she lacks in height, this birthday girl more than makes up for in heart.

“Just be yourself and who cares if you’re small like me because I’m short. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t. But I’m OK. People don’t pick on me,” said Hannah.

A couple of years ago, Hannah had two titanium rods inserted into her back to help with her scoliosis. People with her condition are also prone to brain aneurysms.

Hannah is an actress on the side and has traveled around the world. She has also appeared on the Discovery Channel, TLC and other popular talk shows including Maury Povich and Tyra Banks.

Hannah Kritzeck Today
Potentials Foundation
Primordial Dwarfism

Comments (6)
  1. Victim Du Jour says:

    Maybe she can be Lady Gaga’s mini-me, it’s cool she is taking up acting.

  2. Nate Hoffmann says:

    SPAM anyone?

  3. Mary Lehan says:

    God is the Creator of all things, including people. He makes no mistakes. Hannah, I am proud of who you are in the Lord. You have a lot of courage, and have overcome a lot of obstacles. But continue your journey just knowing you are loved,
    adored, and perfect in the sight of God. LOVE YOU.

  4. Judy says:

    Hannah you have grown up to be quite the Sweet Sixteen year old. I watched TLC when you were just a youngster. Even then you were all bubly and full of life. You are a girl that will go somewhere in life. Im so happy for this article updating the many of us that enjoyed watching and learning from you. Continue just being yourself we all love you just as you are! Wishing you the very best in whatever you decide to do with your life and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  5. Sarah in Outstate MN says:

    Happy belated Birthday Hannah.

  6. Kathleen Riley Daniels says:

    Happy Birthday Hannah! It was great fun working with you last summer in Stillwater!

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