This is a special thank you because it is going out to a cancer survivor! She always is happy to donate to cancer research because she knows how much it can help. Dani believes that everyone deserves a second chance like the one she has been lucky to have.
Instead of take a fun picture in honor of her donation, I just wanted to show HER because she is truly an inspiration.
Dani was diagnosed at the age of 15, only a sophomore in high school, with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She found out when she had gone to the doctor for a burn and had pointed out how swollen her lymph nodes were. The doctors did a biopsy in which they confirmed her diagnosis. Dani had to go through 8 rounds of chemo and a month of radiation treatment. Thankfully, she was finally in remission on October 1, 2001.
Dani was always active in high school and even though she lost her hair and lost a lot of weight, she still played field hockey and was on the ski team. Despite her active lifestyle, she never considered herself a runner. The most she had run was 4 miles and never imagined running any farther. When she heard of Team in Training (TNT), she decided to celebrate her 10 year anniversary of her remission doing something she has never done or thought she could ever do-run a half marathon! She signed up for the Nike Women’s half marathon 2011 in San Francisco and raised $3000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Through the TNT experience, she met amazing people and had access to coaches and mentors who were there to provide support, water stops, and inspiration to keep running. It was inspirational and comforting to be surrounded by people who have gone through similar experiences or who have known close friends and family that have gone through similar experiences.
She was able to raise above and beyond the minimum fundraising amount and had one of the best experiences of her life. Every time she thinks back upon it, she gets a little teary just thinking about it! The race was hard for her, but she kept thinking, “If I can beat cancer once, I can run 13.1 miles!” And she DID!
After Dani’s race, she became a mentor with Team in Training so she could help others look to fight blood cancers. On top of that, Dani is currently training for her second (and even potentially her third!) half marathon. She admitted that if her training keeps going well, she might even consider doing a full marathon! I can’t wait to see what challenge she takes on next, and I’m happy to raise money to help give others the second chance that they deserve like Dani!
Are you feeling inspired by Dani’s story? Help out by donating towards my PMC fundraising for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute!