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Inspirational Stories

Danielle "Dani"

acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

My daughter was a professional dancer out on tour when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She was 25 years old dancing in Detroit, Michigan, at the time, feeling short of breath and having night sweats. Being a dancer, you are in the best shape of your life, and you know when something is going on with your body. So as a mom not knowing what was wrong, I started to panic and told her to start at the urgent care. Two days later I was on a plane heading to Detroit where they told her they thought she had leukemia. We came back to my hometown, Mobile, Alabama, and had her treated there for three years under the pediatric protocol. She was cancer-free for two years, and in that time, she was engaged and got married to an amazing young man. Two years later she relapsed; they told her the only option was a bone marrow transplant. It was successful for one year. Exactly one year out, she relapsed. She had her second bone marrow transplant on November 12, 2021.

Today is day +42. I am here to report she is doing exceptionally well. Her donor was her first cousin who was a half-match haploidentical transplant. The first transplant was an unrelated full-match donor. We had several bone marrow drives trying to find that perfect match to no avail. So, the doctor told us time was of the essence, and we had to go with what we had. The doctors are quite pleased with all of her numbers, and she is doing quite well. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Be The Match all came together to help us find that perfect match. Even though we were not able to use an unrelated donor, my daughter is still getting the word out for everyone to go be tested to help all leukemia patients. She is an amazingly strong young lady.