Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
A more than year-long battle with acute leukaemia, cancer of the blood, would leave most adults overwhelmed but it was little more than a high hurdle for 13-year-old Danielle Carr.
Having being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2008 little Danielle had to drop out of the Dunrobin Primary School for treatment.
The illness caused her to suffer rapid weight loss among other complications which lead to her having to contend with losing her hair while she was receiving treatment.
"I felt scared and I cried when I heard about my illness. I was in a lot of pain all over my body.
"I went through a lot. If anyone touched me it would burn, I had nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and at one point I had wheezing as well.
"It was terrible, but everyone around me was supportive so I managed to pull through," Danielle told The Sunday Gleaner.
She was able to return to school after one year of treatment and had to repeat grade five so that she could catch up on her schoolwork in preparation for Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
But going back into a school with hundreds of little children was not the easiest thing.
While her former classmates had been prepared for her return, sending her post cards and get-well wishes not every child was ready to deal with the bald-headed girl who was repeating grade five.
"Being back at school was really hard. It was hard because people would laugh and stare because I had no hair. People would also say that I repeated grade five because I was dunce and it was really hard to be asking students who were younger than me to help me because I didn't know anything, but I put my pride aside and do it and it worked out good for me," she explained.
Despite her setback, the future surgeon placed her struggles behind and took on the dreaded GSAT.
She scored 95 in language arts, 95 in mathematics, 93 in social studies, 88 in science and 10 out of 12 in communication task to earn at place at Ardenne High School.
Her mother, Karen Lee, told The Sunday Gleaner that the dark days during her daughter's illness was a devastating period for her.
"It was hard for me because it was me alone. It was shocking when I heard the news, and it was even harder as we found out the same week of her birthday.
"I lost weight, I was stressed, I had to be back and forth to the hospital and so it wasn't a good time for us," she explained.
"But she motivated me. Every single person at the hospital loved her and she was the only cancer patient at the Bustamante Hospital for Children at the time who survived," said Lee.
Even though Danielle has more than a year left to get chemotherapy, her mother is breathing a sigh of relief and is giving God thanks that her daughter has survived.
"I am happy she is now better. She has done well in her exam and even though that wasn't her wish she did well anyway," added Lee.