Monday, March 7, 2011

Danielle DeLarso, you're my HERO!

I am thrilled to introduce you to my newest TEEN HERO! This beautiful 17 year old has made an impression on the lives of everyone she meets.

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.


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 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!


Cheryl Granieri said...

This is absolutely wonderful! I typically do not read blogs, but am so glad I stopped to read this one!

Susie Miller said...

I normally don't read blogs. When I read this it touch my heart deeply. I am glad I could contribute and know about this amazing girl..

Amy Z said...

This is awesome! I know who she is through our local baseball league, but didn't know the whole was inspiring to read about her and what an amazing girl she is! I would love to help & pray and post this for ALL to read! Many blessings to you Michelle!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting about Danielle...what an amazing girl! Her family is blessed to have people like you to help get the word out- we will be praying and I'll spread the word. Miracles most certainly do happen! God bless Danielle and her family and God bless you Michelle!
The Larsons

My Semblance of Sanity said...

Thank you all for stopping by and getting to know Danielle!
Thank you for your prayers!
Keep spreading the word!

My Semblance of Sanity said...

Thank you all for stopping by and getting to know Danielle!
Thank you for your prayers!
Keep spreading the word!

Jackson Family said...

This blog was amazing. Our family will pray for Danielle and the DeLarso Family. Keep positive as Miracles do happen!

Alexis said...

This is really amazing for you to write about. Danielle goes to my school and in fact lives right down the street from me. I went to prom with her last year and even though I don't know her that well my heart goes out to her and her family. Thanks for posting about her.

Anonymous said...

I dont know her but this is very said R.I.P danielle i know u will be missed and ur story inspired so many...u put in a great fight.. <3

Anonymous said...

She will always be missed. RIP.

Diane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane said...

This is such a nice blog! If only they had enough time to have the "Girl's Weekend" trip or the Disney trip they were planning. Thanks for creating this very sweet dedication to Danielle!!

Anonymous said...

The Pequea Valley class of 2012 will not be the same without Danielle. She has been an inspiration to me personally with her grace, dignity and selflessness. She will be in all of our thoughts as we walk the halls of PV. God bless you Danielle, we are all sad but glad that you are at peace and in a place where we all wish to end up.

Anonymous said...

Danielle is was a student at my school. She was beautiful, talented, and selfless. Not many would have lasted as long as she did. The night sky will shine brighter now thanks to Danielle. We love you!

Anonymous said...

This girl is a fighter I go to her school I'm in her brothers class this past Saturday danielle passed away. She is a amazing girl and I wear her braclet with pride knowing that she will always be near.

Anonymous said...

Danielle was an amazing girl and has changed our school forever. Today in her memory we all wore red it was really touching and just goes to show how wonderful she was and how much she had meant to us. I still can't believe she is gone and I hope and pray her family can get through this hard time. Pequea Valley will never be the same and she will be greatly missed. This article truely was touching and made me cry even knowing what had happened.

Raffaella said...

I have been blessed to know Linda but sadly I did not meet Danielle. I was able to get a puppy which we love named Bailey. I have continued to stay in touch with Linda and now we have a new addition Dixie which is Baileys mommy. I feel in many ways I know Danielle in the way and words in which Linda talks of her. Danielle was meant for greatness a job she could only complete as an angel. Even though she was only 17 years old she has what seems to be an old soul, wiser above her years. I can only pray that I can be just like her in faith, life and love. I admire Danielle for her courage and wisdom that continues through her family. Even though it is not the same without her here on earth, she sure makes heavan a more beautiful place. God Bless

Anonymous said...

I'm a guy who went to danielles school and actually got to know her the spring before she was diagnosed and I always think about her now and then and I just googled the name and this popped up and I'm so glad it did. I miss you Danielle, thank you for all you've done...

Alexis said...

Hello I was wondering if I could use a quote from this blog post about Danielle. It is for a college paper of mine. I wanted to ask permission first before I took anything. Thank you very much!

~ Alexis (former classmate of Danielle's)