Honored Kid

Daniel O. Bral

Age 31
Daniel O. Bral Kid Photo

Location

Boynton Beach, FL, US

Diagnosis

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Date of Diagnosis

January 2001

Status

In remission

Treated At

Mattel Children's Hospital

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My Story

As a young boy I loved to play basketball. I loved the ball-handling that the coaches taught us, I loved to teamwork that went into winning games, I loved the feeling of making a shot into the basket. Lastly, I loved the fact that I could outrun and out maneuver the other payers because I was small and nimble. But, that January of 2001 I did not like the game one bit. I was at tryouts for my middle school’s “Varsity” and “Jr. Varsity” basketball teams and of course I was so excited for the day to have finally come. But when the coaches started making everyone do drills and run, I had a very hard time with the running and with keeping up with the other boys. All I was doing was wheezing, feeling tightness in my chest, and being short of breath. I brushed it off to being a “coach potato” the entire summer but it did not get any better over the course of the 3-day long try-outs. This was the beginning of a journey I will never forget. After countless blood tests, x-rays, a PET scan, a CAT scan, a MRI, 7 misdiagnoses later, 8 doctors, and 8 weeks later I was in an emergency room hospital gurney at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. There I was laying on the gurney facing, unbeknownst to me, a Non-Hodgkin’s T-Cell Lymphoma diagnosis and a 2 year-long intensive chemotherapy regimen. As I was laid there waiting for the hospital to figure out my land or air transport to, what was going to be, my primary hospital, UCLA, I knew something big was happening, and my life would never be the same. I just never imagined it was cancer, something that only happened, in my innocent 11-year-old mind, on TV. I am now in remission, but my journey isn’t over. I am now 25, graduated high school, college, and graduate school, despite facing a heap of long term cognitive, emotional, and physical side effects, some of which only began surface during college. But, just like my treatment attitude, I realized that these new challenges, despite being beyond frustrating at times, only made life more exciting and the journey of life only more adventurous. However, no matter what happens, I know that I have proved to myself that I can do it and that I have at least two things going for me, which many do not have: persistence and determination. I have faced my own struggles and difficulties in my academic career, some of which would have made many give up on becoming a doctor, yet I harnessed that persistence and determination and pushed through. I am proud to say that I am a student physician at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. I know that I still have many hurdles ahead of me; however, by looking back at my successful attitude and my victories thus far, I can look forward and know I can jump all the hurdles in my way.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

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Children who are fighting or have fought cancer inspire others to be part of the Foundation's mission — to support the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

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