Danielle was born with Down Syndrome, but the majority of her medical problems started only a couple of years ago. She was hospitalized for pneumonia when she was six, during which time she was also diagnosed with diabetes and a blood clotting disorder. Months later, she suffered a stroke, which was caused by an extremely rare disorder called Moyamoya disease. The disease causes a narrowing of the blood vessels in the area of her neck and leading into her head. She had to undergo two surgeries to bypass blocked arteries that had prevented proper oxygenated blood flow to her brain.
Danielle faces future surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids to alleviate sleep apnea, a disorder that causes her to sometimes stop breathing while asleep. Throughout all the medical procedures and hospitalizations, Danielle has remained true to her positive attitude and she smiles through most of her treatments.
Danielle was alight with joy as she met all the characters from her videos: Barney, the princesses, the fairies, even Shrek and Donkey. She danced at her seat in the front row of the Barney show, and she really enjoyed participating in the Pirates Adventure Theater. She got to add to her collection of make-up and magic wands, both at the theme parks and with the huge box of goodies that Kids Wish Network sent to her.
“In true Danielle style, she organized all the things she received from Kids Wish Network like her make-up, lip glosses and princess goodies, and then lined up the dolls and named them after kids in her class,” her mother explained. “It all meant so much to her.”