Not only a star athlete with dreams of joining the Air Force, Danielle is a caring and responsible daughter and sibling who LOVES her family, enjoys charity work and volunteering, youth group, traveling, sight seeing and history.
Why am I introducing you to Danielle? Why do I consider her a hero?
Danielle's story begins with having some shortness of breath at the end of May, beginning of June. She was diagnosed with pneumonia on June 15,2010, and scheduled for a follow up appt. for the following Monday June 21,2010.
At this appt. is where the concern started as the doctor felt the lung sounds hadn't changed and also having a lump on the right side of the back and sent us to the local hospital for STAT x-rays. Doctors could not tell from the xray if there was residual fluid from the pneumonia or if there was a mass. But blood work confirmed Danielle's family's worst fear... there was a mass.
CT scans also showed that Danielle's right lung was completely flattened to the front of her chest wall because her right pleural cavity (area between the lung and chest wall) was filled with fluid. That being so filled with fluid caused her left lung, her heart etc. to be pushed to the left side. And what caused her shortness of breath wasn't even the fact that she was working with one lung, it was the fact that the pressure was causing her left bronchial tube to be bent (the right one was flattened like her right lung).
The doctors where all amazed when they saw her lab work and CT scans that she was still so 'unaffected' so to speak. Her oxygenation was fine, her color was good, and her shortness of breath was not severe. They attributed that to her condition as an athlete and that left lung was so strong that it was doing the job by itself.
Danielle was formally diagnosed on June 21, 2010 with Stage 4 Clear Cell Sarcoma. Until this family's crisis, Danielle had promising field hockey career and is still getting recruit inquiries from college coaches. Instead of scheduling those coaches' visits, Danielle received 30 rounds of external radiation and 8 rounds of Chemotherapy. The worst news for Danielle and her family was that her right lung must be removed along with right chest wall. She also had Brachy Therapy (internal radiation beads).
When Danielle first returned home from her initial diagnosis, did she crawl into bed and blame the world for what was happening to her? No, that is not Danielle's style...she decided to do something for someone else.
LOCKS OF LOVE!
When Danielle was so ill from the chemotherapy, Danielle's mom Linda recalls her daughter saying she was so glad this was happening to her and not one of her siblings, " I couldn't handle watching them go through this."
Linda says, "She is the most selfless person I know. She has a very strong faith in God and His plan for her life."
Danielle touches everyone with her sweet spirit! Nurses LOVE her!
In January, the DeLarso family prayed for a miracle as Danielle was to return to the hospital for scans to confirm her cancer had not returned. However, the scans showed return of chest wall tumors, enlarged tumor under diaphragm and tumors in additional places. With not many options available she was sent home to start a daily oral Chemo.
The DeLarso family has been put in touch with hospice care which as you know is a mountainous expense. In these strained economic times this family could use your help.
I have placed a ChipIn widget at the top of the right sidebar for anyone to literally "Chip In" to help this family with their growing expenses. This is a time when their focus needs to be on their family, not the stacks of bills piling on the counter. This is when they need to be planning trips to make special memories, not worried how they will pay for those trips.
Of course, we are INSISTING on a miracle for Danielle's health, but those bills still pile up.
My request and my hope for everyone who comes to read about Danielle is that when you are moved to donate, whether it is $1... $1,000... or anything in between, whether it is to help fund the GIRLFRIEND Get-A-Way that Linda is planning for Danielle and her friends or to help with medical bills, I would love for you to take a couple minutes and PRAY! On your knees, PRAY! Pray for a miracle. Pray for their family. Pray for Danielle's body.
It is not unheard of for someone to return to a doctor and have them say, "I can't explain this but...you are healed... there is no evidence of your disease." THAT is what we are praying for!
That is why I have called our Chip In fundraiser, Danielle's Miracle! We will see one!
Please forward this blog address to everyone you know would take this to heart. Put a link on your facebook. Tweet, blog, email whatever you do when you have a need... do it for Danielle, for her parents Linda and Joe, for her brother Nick and her sister Sophia! Do it for their FAMILY!
ChipIn goes right to the DeLarso family by way of PayPal. It is a secure way of donating.
When you have that feeling, "I wish there was something I could do..." You can! Don't think of it as, "It's not personal, I want to bake a meal, make a blanket, etc..." Not that those things aren't lovely and I am sure appreciated, but right now, a meal won't help Linda pay for the gas to get her and the girls to their GIRLS WEEKEND destination, it won't touch the medical expenses. It is the most personal gift you can give right now. And pair that gift of money with PRAYER - that's the perfect gift!
Thank you for reading about Danielle. Thank you for praying for her family.
You can follow Danielle's story on her CARINGBRIDGE site. I will also be posting updates and prayer requests as we watch this Miracle in Motion!
Love you DeLarsos!