Seven-year-old Danielle has a hero in her life—someone she looks up to when her medical challenges seem too tough to face. Who is it? “ME!” she proclaimed. “I’m my own hero because I’m brave and I’m strong and I’m fearless.”
She is all those things indeed. Danielle’s courageous traits have served her well over the last year in her fight against Langerhans cell histiocytosis, a rare disorder that attacks Danielle’s skin, bones, and other systems throughout her body. Her treatment requires her to undergo a rigorous course of chemotherapy, plus lots of pokes, scans, and other not-very-fun tests.
The Joyful Side
Amid it all, Danielle’s Chemo Pal Jessica is a bright spot. The two love to play with Barbies, build LEGOs, and dress up in wacky outfits. “It’s so fun to watch them connect,” said Danielle’s mom Shannon. “Jessica really brings out the joyful side of Danielle.”
That joy is evident to everyone who meets this spunky little princess—even the Portland Trail Blazers. CCA sent Danielle and her family to a game, where she served as an honorary captain for the team. While she didn’t offer the players any coaching advice, she gave them something even better. “I gave out lots of high fives and hugs,” she laughed.
From CCA Hero to Wonder Woman
Given Danielle’s heroic attitude, her choice of career should come as no surprise. “I want to be a superhero when I grow up, just like Wonder Woman,” she said.
In her mom’s eyes, Danielle has already achieved superhero status. “She’s so tough and resilient—I don’t think I could go through what she’s going through and maintain such a positive attitude. Her strength teaches me something every day.”
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