Posts by Danielle A. Cloakey

Survivor, Neuroblastoma, Stage 4

When I was 15 and a half months old, I was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, and given only a 10-40% chance of living until my 6th birthday. After 2 major surgeries, chemo, and radiation, when I was two, I came down with viral encephalitis. My immune system could not fight it because it was wiped out by chemo, and the infection ended up damaging my brain stem. I had two horrible ear infections that nobody caught, so maybe that had something to do with it as well. After this, I lost my strength, my voice, most of my hearing, and my ability to swallow. I always thank God that I’m not an only child because I don’t like to think about where I’d be without my two younger brothers and my sister, who helped show me the way back to myself. People always think I have cerebral palsy, but I wasn’t born with it. It is very similar to it though. I struggle daily with my side effects from treatment, which include disabilities, hearing loss, a speech impairment, radiation-induced scoliosis, I graduated in June 2004 from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in English (literature). I have always love writing because it gives me a clear voice. In late 2010, I learned the truth about childhood cancer and I have been an advocate ever since.

You Give Strangers a Reason to be Friends

by Danielle A. Cloakey December 16, 2019

Dear Cancer, Sometimes I imagine you as an animated character, like the chef in the Little Mermaid, the one that chases Sebastian the crab everywhere, wanting to boil him alive. You’re unrelenting, like that chef, and you keep coming and coming. It’s not fair. And what’s more, you keep wanting to boil CHILDREN, not crabs. […]

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Not Like the Other Kids

by Danielle A. Cloakey September 16, 2019

I was not like the other kids, my grandma once told me. Her old cat, Cinder, always preferred me to my siblings and cousins, because I was gentle and I wasn’t constantly grabbing at him. The Christmas after I turned two, which was the Christmas after I was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, my other […]

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My Childhood Cancer Story

by Danielle A. Cloakey March 7, 2019

Imagine that you are a toddler with cancer, only you don’t know that you have cancer, and you don’t know why your parents keep taking you to the cold scary place where people in masks poke at you with gloved hands.

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