Danielle Bartlett of Richwood, Nicholas County, was a typical 10-year-old when she got the news that would change her life forever. In June 2009, doctors at West Virginia University Children’s Hospital told Danielle and her parents, Eddie and Robin, that she had been living with a brain tumor since birth.
This year, Danielle will represent West Virginia and join other child ambassadors from every state as a part of the Children’s Miracle Network program Champions Across America presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club. The program brings attention to the work of children’s hospitals by honoring remarkable children who have overcome severe medical challenges.
For several years leading up to the diagnosis, Danielle was constantly thirsty. The results of multiple tests came back normal. Her family doctor referred her to specialists at WVU Children’s Hospital. While at the hospital, Danielle underwent an MRI, which led to the discovery of the brain tumor.
“She had something called a germinoma, which is fortunately treatable and curable in children. For that she was treated with chemotherapy and radiation,” Stephan Paul, M.D., chief of pediatric hematology/oncology at WVU, said. “I think she has a very good chance of having this tumor remain in remission, hopefully forever, and we anticipate that she will have a normal life span and do anything she would otherwise be able to do. We anticipate that she will have great things ahead of her.”
Along with her fellow champions representing the 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals each year, Danielle, now 11, will travel to Washington, D.C., in June where they will visit the White House and Capitol Hill. In November, they will travel to Orlando, Fla., for the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort to share their stories of medical victory.
Since 1987, Children’s Miracle Network and Walmart have worked together to help children by raising money for children’s hospitals. Walmart and Sam’s Club employees, customers and members have raised and contributed more than $500 million for children’s hospitals.
WVU Children’s Hospital is the only Children’s Miracle Network hospital in West Virginia. Each year, WVU Children’s Hospital provides care to more than 7,000 newborns and children, who come from every county in West Virginia and also from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio. On average, 1,600 babies are born annually at WVU Children’s Hospital. Almost three-quarters of the deliveries are high-risk. WVU Children’s Hospital physicians provide care for children at the hospital in Morgantown and at clinics throughout the state.
For more information on WVU Children’s Hospital, see www.wvukids.com.
CONTACT: Angela Jones, HSC News Service