Realizing Futures

Diann’s Defenders – 8+ Years Cancer Free

Survivor DiannBeating the odds, Diann has Overcome Leukemia and Has Remained Cancer Free for 8 Years

Diann was 5-years-old, entering kindergarten, when her mother took her for a routine exam at the doctor’s office. After the exam, she was told to immediately take her to CHOC because of anemia and enlargement of her pancreas and liver.  Later that day, they were told that Diann had leukemia.  That night she began her 2½ year protocol of treatments which included chemotherapy, steroids, surgeries, and hospital stays.  It was a challenging time, but Diann remained positive through it all.  They spent many holidays in the hospital with fevers, colds, and even pneumonia.  In January of 2007, Diann completed her chemo and headed on the path to a healthy cancer free life. Diann has worked hard to overcome her days away from school and friends.

It’s now been 8+ years since completing her treatment and she’s a healthy, active, smart, and beautiful girl inside and out. This active teen loves to swim in her local swim team, play basketball, and gets straight A’s in her honors classes at school.  Most importantly, she has remained cancer free and is now considered cured from the disease.

Diann’s family has participated in PCRF’s “Run for the Cure” by leading the Diann’s Defenders team for the past 10 years.  Her mother says: “We attribute Diann’s cancer survival to the research and improvements related to children’s cancer treatment by organizations like PCRF. Thank you!”

Her story does not stop there!

Diann is now in high school and paying it forward.  She has started a club to support pediatric cancer research and most impressively she has agreed to serve as a Youth Ambassador for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation!  This warrior is always ready to tell her story and show how important research is to having the best possible outcome in the worst possible situation.  Diann’s vibrant smile and cheerful spirit inspire everyone around her.

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When you are young and healthy, it never occurs to you that in a single second your whole life could change. – Annette Funicello