Fund Childhood Cancer Research in Honor of Rally Kid Danielle

Fund Childhood Cancer Research in Honor of Rally Kid Danielle

Danielle’s Cancer Journey

Danielle was 7 years old when diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the early morning hours of January 11, 2011. She had a week of off and on low grade fevers and was a bit more tired than normal leading up to our trip to the ER after a couple of visits to the pediatrician with no real answers. She was classified as high risk upon diagnosis based on her incredibly high WBC. Her very high WBC was combined with very low RBC and platelet so low that the number still makes me sick to my stomach.

About a month into treatment, we got her genetic testing results back. At the time, her oncologist explained that they were looking at 4 main genetic factors. One was considered favorable to have and three were considered unfavorable to have. Unfortunately, Danielle did not have the favorable one and had all three unfavorable markers. But the silver lining was that she was already in remission when we received these results and was considered an early rapid responder.

Danielle spent 59 nights in the hospital between January 2011 and May 2013. Some were planned admissions for chemos, but the vast majority were unplanned and due to neutropenic fevers. Her treatment was not with hiccups (delays, hospital stays, broken bones due to steroids, etc.), but for the most part proceeded as the protocol planned. Most leukemia patients lose their hair a 1 or 2 times, but she is among the few who get to experience it more often. She lost her hair 5 times during her treatment. I only mention this because of the emotional impact each loss had on her.

Danielle finished treatment in May 2013; we just celebrated 10 years off treatment a few weeks ago. Danielle had her survivorship clinic appointment this week and is in good health.

Danielle is now almost 20 years old and a student at Marshall University in West Virginia. She will be starting classes for her Master’s degree in Athletic Training in just a few weeks.

We became a Rally Family towards the end of Danielle’s treatment when I finally got around to signing her up as a Rally Kid. She participated in the Rally On the Runway fundraiser as a model in 2013. Since then we have attended Rally events and volunteered in many ways. Danielle has even volunteered and appeared as the Rally mascot, Rally Bear. I joined the Rally staff on a very limited, part-time basis in February of 2022 doing work from home and coordinating volunteers at the two largest Rally fundraising events. In November of 2022, the opportunity to join the Rally staff full-time presented itself, and I didn’t hesitate to make the move. It has been a joy to be a part of this team for the last 8 months!

Here is a link to our CaringBridge site. I don’t update there anymore, but it is available if you would like to read any more about our story from that time in treatment.

Also, a short and easy read is the blog post I recently wrote from Rally.

Shop Now
Danielle’s 47 Faces Sticker

Volunteers are the heart of Rally's mission!


Enter your email below to receive details about our volunteer opportunities.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Rally! You should receive an email shortly with additional details.