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Rally Kid Danielle is Looking to the Future

Nov 17, 2020 | Rally Blog, Rally Research | 0 comments

Photo by Kaptured by Knight Photography

When you give to Rally, you help kids like Danielle see a future beyond cancer. A future where they can grow up, go to college and make a difference for others. A future where they can achieve their dreams.

Prior to her cancer battle, Danielle was a healthy, active child who enjoyed basketball and gymnastics. She had only been sick twice in seven years before she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). For Danielle’s family, life will always be defined as “before cancer” and “after cancer”.

Danielle, two days after diagnosis, waiting for her port insertion surgery and the beginning of chemo.

Danielle was “lucky” to only spend 59 nights in the hospital during her two and a half years of treatment. Overall, she saw the hospital and the outpatient clinic as a happy place—a place to go see her friends. The nurses and fellow patients served as Danielle’s social life, which had been taken away by cancer.

Seven months into cancer treatment, Danielle celebrated her 8th birthday at the hospital.

Cancer didn’t just steal childhood experiences from Danielle. Her older brothers, 10 and 12 at the time, are still dealing with the toll it took on their family dynamic.

Then and now: Danielle with her brothers, Bryan and Brandon.

Even though ALL is considered the “good” cancer, the consequences of the harsh treatments can be severe.

Danielle’s mom, Amy, says her daughter is blessed not to suffer from many physical side effects. She is slightly shorter than expected and has some loose tendon issues that require her to wear a brace while playing sports.

Due to side effects from chemotherapy, Danielle must wear a brace while playing sports, but she doesn’t let it hold her back!

Cognitively, Danielle was not as lucky. “She has an official diagnosis of Neurocognitive Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition,” says Amy. “In plain English, that means that chemo messed with her brain and she has to work harder and smarter to achieve the same results as her peers.”

Despite these challenges, Danielle is excelling in both schoolwork and sports. She recently finished her senior volleyball season and was named to the state all-star team. She is also active in student leadership and her church.

L to R: Danielle posing before Homecoming 2020, celebrating with a fellow 2020 State Volleyball All-Star and enjoying a mission trip in West Virginia

Danielle is dual enrolled in college classes and will graduate high school in May. She plans to attend Marshall University next fall to study nursing. Her dream is one day to take care of kids fighting cancer—something she knows all too much about already.

Danielle and her family have been involved with Rally for many years, participating in a variety of social events, fundraising campaigns and outreach programs. Says Amy, “We stay involved because we believe that research is the key to better answers for our kids.”

Danielle and her family at Disney in December 2019

We couldn’t agree more. Children like Danielle deserve the best treatments we can find—treatments that are tailored to their specific disease, with fewer harsh effects on their growing and changing bodies. Please donate today to fund cutting-edge childhood cancer research and help us make a difference #ForTheirFuture.

1 Comment

  1. Dawn

    Thank you so much for sharing Danielle’s story! My daughter completed treatment for ALL a year ago and is currently being tested for “chemo brain!” I wish there were more awareness of this issue and that she did not have to undergo four hours of testing and over $1000 to get extra time to take an algebra test!! Thank you, Rally, for all that you do!!

    Reply

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