Daniella dreams of being a pediatric oncology nurse - not a common career ambition for a teenager. But Daniella is not your typical teen. The determined 16-year-old has faced a highly aggressive form of cancer and has been disease-free for three years.
At age 11, Daniella was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, a cancer known for its ability to spread rapidly. The family chose Nicklaus Children's for her care and has never looked back.
"The first year was the most difficult," recalls Regina, Daniella's mother. "We literally lived at Nicklaus Children's because Daniella was so sick." Despite her illness, Daniella loved the hospital environment. "Just the other day she was saying how much she missed the fun and camaraderie of the Oncology Unit. Everyone was so good to us there."
Regina also valued the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Cancer Center's team approach to care. "I loved the fact that we had four pediatric oncologists who met daily to discuss Daniella's progress - not just a single doctor as you find at other hospitals. With the combined perspectives these doctors offered, I knew Daniella was getting the best care."
Daniella believes her experience at Nicklaus Children's was the best possible training for a career as a pediatric oncology nurse. "I believe that I can give hope to children who are hospitalized with cancer. That's my goal," she said.