Mile #44 Danielle
I was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma a few months after my first birthday, in 1983. After surgeries, chemo, and radiation, I came down with viral encephalitis. I could not fight it because my immune system was compromised because of chemotherapy. The infection damaged my brain stem, leaving me with physical disabilities, much like cerebral palsy. I also wear hearing aids because I lost most of my hearing and I have a speech impairment, as well as radiation induced scoliosis. I am a childhood cancer advocate today because I think the way it is underfunded is completely unacceptable, and I also think that targeted treatments for children is a must. I wouldn't wish what I went through as a child on anybody else.