I have company today, Daniela D. I would like to share her story.
Ten years ago, she called me and said, “I have bad news.”
By the tone of her voice, I knew this wasn’t going to be good. “Who is it? Your Dad?” I answered.
“No” she said. “Gianluca.”
Her 2 year old son was diagnosed with Leukaemia.
You know how toddlers get bruises because they are so active? Well, these bruises were in odd places, like on the inside of his arm or on his cheek. She went online and did some research.
The next day she and her husband were at the doctor’s office. The treatments started the day after the results of the blood test.
She recalls, so vividly, all the treatments. The first month of treatments was the worst. Then the lumbar punctures. They were awful. Eighteen to be exact. Seeing her little baby boy, an active toddler, stop speaking, become lethargic and have uncontrollable tantrums. All side effects from the harsh chemicals injected into his little body. A grueling 3 years in and out of the hospital. Her life changed forever. The family changed forever. She had to quit her job. Their 5 year old, Francesco, trying to understand and cope with everything. Luckily, they had support from her parents, brother and sister.
After knowing that her son was out of danger, she knew she had to give back. She started a foundation, The Vita Children’s Foundation. The first year, she raised $100,000.00 to help renovate the ward where her son was treated.
Today, Gianluca is a healthy 7th grader! Daniela D is back at work and though her relationship with her husband had been strained, they were able to work things out and now are happily raising their boys together.