This is Laurie's story...

You could say rugby has been a part of my life in some fashion since I was a 5 year old little girl growing up in Missoula, Montana! With great fondness, I remember intently watching a handful of the University of Montana football team play rugby in the off season. Fast forward 16 years and my younger brother started playing while attending Eastern Washington University. (At the age of 55, he has had to put on the "red shorts" and swallow his pride!!) I always knew if I had a son, he would play rugby. It is a brotherhood; a life-long fraternity whose members extend across all oceans and land. I could not wait for my son to become a rugby player!

Orca player Zach and his rugby playing Uncle photo

In Fall 2019, Zach joined Orca Youth Rugby. Not only were we impressed with the caliber of the coaches, but the family vibe of the entire club was so refreshing!! Zach had found his sport, and we had found a "new family!"

Orca Youth Rugby player Zach in action photo

As we all know, everything came to a screeching halt in March of 2020. As we all thought how could life get much worse (on- line learning, no sports, loved ones battling COVID-19, unemployment, fear, TP shortage) I received some very bad news. Those 3 words you pray you never hear....YOU HAVE CANCER!! A routine mammogram detected a mass. So in the middle of a pandemic, I faced the uphill battle of fighting breast cancer. As I learned from the tough rugby players I watched when I was 5, I headed into the battle with a determination that I would win and firmly kick Cancer square in the backside! Well... 2 surgeries, 2 rounds of stem cells, 4 rounds of chemo, 50 + lymph edema therapy sessions, and countless doctor visits....I have achieved my goal and am happy to report I AM CANCER FREE !!

Laurie and Zach Hanna photo

During my battle, our Orca family was there helping me through my difficult journey. It is my time to give back to Orca by helping further Sarah's memory, promoting this amazing sport and showcasing the brotherhood and sisterhood of rugby.

Together we can create a lasting legacy for Orca Youth Rugby.

Orca Youth Rugby mom's photo

With extreme gratitude,

Laurie Hanna


Help Laurie give back to youth rugby, help her further Sara's memory and promote the amazing sport and brotherhood/sisterhood of Rugby by making a donation!


Orca Youth Rugby is a non-profit organization currently operating under Ventura County Rugby Club (501c3 Charity Tax ID #22-0883268).
If you would like a letter acknowledging your donation please contact: treasurer@orcayouthrugby.org