We use cookies to provide you with the best possible online experience. Read more

Helping rewrite the future. Now. And for generations to come.

Danica’s story

At the age of 18 Danica was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma, and wasn’t supposed to survive. During chemo treatment she was so weak that, breathing was difficult, yet alone being able to walk. After chemo the Leukaemia Foundation, through its Young Bloods program, assisted Danica by providing and an experienced exercise physiologist who worked with her to get back on her feet.

These exercise sessions helped Danica build her strength and lung capacity, get back on her feet and start living a normal life. Danica defied the odds of her diagnosis and now she regularly runs and is a qualified metaphysical healer and business owner.

The Charitable Foundation provided a $65,000 grant to the Leukaemia Foundation for the Young Bloods program. This program provided support to others like Danica who are aged under 25 and are enduring a blood cancer to get the support they need during their treatment.


  


Danica: I had been misdiagnosed for over two years. So part of it was just having that relief that I’ve got a name to what’s going on but then the second part is I’m not supposed to survive. 

So… that’s really heartbreaking in itself because I was barely eighteen. 

I was so sick. Like my immune system was shot. I had neuropathy. All my muscles had wasted away. 

I couldn’t feel my fingertips. Kind of crazy because I mean I could barely walk let alone… I wouldn’t have been able to jump two centimetres off the floor, like my calf muscles were absolutely shot. I couldn’t have done any of that. 

I wouldn’t have even been able to walk because I couldn’t even breathe. 

Youngbloods is a grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation to the Leukaemia Foundation, for young people going through blood cancer. 

I was lucky enough to have an exercise physiologist who really worked with me, from the beginning to relearn everything.  

It’s being able to get me back on my feet. Being able to go throughout my day without feeling exhausted.  

That’s the real turning point for me was just being able to have that help to get there and get back into life.

I felt like I was able to get back on my feet and start living a normal life.

Danica, Young Bloods program participant.

The journey

Danica was a busy and active teenager, she was a good student and played touch football, netball, a member of the Umina Surf Life Saving Club and had been accepted into the Central Coast Academy of Sport for netball umpiring. Danica began to notice that things just weren’t quite right, she regularly felt unwell, couldn’t concentrate and was continually fatigued.

After two years of misdiagnosis and at barely 18 years old she was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma. There was an immediate feeling of relief that there was finally a name for the change to Danica’s health which quickly moved to devastation.

I was barely 18 and I wasn’t meant to survive
- Danica, Young Bloods program participant.

Danica’s treatment left her so weak she could barely breathe, let alone walk and she became severely underweight and deconditioned. Following her treatment, the Leukaemia Foundation, through its Young Bloods program, provided a specialised exercise physiologist to help rebuild Danica’s strength and lung capacity again. These sessions proved invaluable to helping Danica get back on her feet and return to normal life.

Danica defied the odds of her diagnosis and is now active again. She runs regularly and has completed her qualifications as a metaphysical healer. She now runs her own business helping others to lead their best life.

About Leukaemia Foundation

The Leukaemia Foundation is the only national organisation dedicated to helping those with blood cancers, such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma live a better quality of life. They assist families across regional and rural Australia to attend life savings treatment at major hospitals through providing transport and accommodation for appointments and ensuring they can get the medicines needed to beat the blood cancer.

The Leukaemia Foundation has received $261,000 from the Charitable Foundation of which $65,000 assisted the Young Bloods program. Young Bloods helps those aged under 25 with a blood cancer or affected by a blood cancer to overcome their life changing circumstances, by making services such as psychologists, academic tutoring, personal training or any other support they may need.

Helping others

  • npbs icon Quality of life Leukaemia Foundation provides practical support for people living with blood cancer.
  • staff volunteering Building strength Access to a physiologist helped Danica get back on her feet.
  • happy lives Defying the odds Danica has overcome her blood cancer and is now strong.
  • Funding Icon Grant funding Since 2007 we have provided $261,000 to fund five Leukaemia Foundation projects.