When Hannah Storm makes her first television appearance in three weeks on Tuesday, things will be a bit different for her.
The popular ESPN anchor suffered second- and first-degree burns to her chest, hands, face and neck in a propane gas grill accident in December, but even that was not going to keep her from hosting the Rose Parade on ABC on New Year's Day.
According to ABC.com, Storm's gas grill exploded while she was cooking a few weeks ago, and she suffered second-degree burns to her chest and hands, first-degree burns to her face and neck and lost her eyebrows and much of her hair.
Three weeks isn't a long time to recover, and even though Storm knows she's going to look and feel a bit different when she steps in front of the camera on Tuesday, she is unafraid. Perhaps the most admirable aspect of her recovery from the accident is the way in which she has managed to maintain some perspective on it.
She told the Associated Press' Ben Walker:
My overarching thought was I've covered events with military members who have been through a lot worse than me, and they've come through. I kept thinking, "I can do this. I'm fortunate."
Storm talked to Walker about the new challenges she has encountered in the wake of the accident, some of which have made her job far more difficult than usual. Because of the burns on her hands, it is harder to turn the pages of her scripts, and she told Walker that applying makeup, dressing and showering are no longer the afterthoughts they once were. "I'm a little nervous about things I used to take for granted," she told the AP.
But her nerves weren't going to stop her on Tuesday. She has spearheaded coverage of the Rose Parade for five years, and this one would be no exception.
Plenty of Storm's sportscasting contemporaries had words of support for her via Twitter. ESPN.com's Jemele Hill tweeted:
Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 31, 2012
CBS' Gregg Doyel added:
Hannah Storm, burn victim, coming back. Had no idea. Rooting for this nice woman. News huff.to/S2qMHo— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelCBS) January 1, 2013
And Storm, the picture of positivity, of course responded accordingly as she prepared for Tuesday's broadcast:
Storm could have dwelled on such a horrifying accident, and she certainly could have taken more time to recover, considering her career is centered upon appearing on camera. But instead, she's focusing on how lucky she is—to have escaped further injury, to be able to cover one of the events she loves.
She told Walker, "More than anything, I feel gratitude. Something like this really makes you appreciate everything you have, even the chance to wake up on New Year's Day and do your job."
It's hard not to admire that.