Wise beyond his years, Daniel Gomez was an amazing 3 year old. He could melt your heart and make you think, all while telling you more than you ever needed to know about the characters of Thomas the Tank Engine. His smile lit up the room, and there was always just something about him that made you know he was destined for great things. Like most little ones, he enjoyed building Lego towers and playing with toy cars, but there was much more to Daniel than that. Always curious, everything about his world intrigued him. Even at a very young age he wanted to help with cooking, fixing things, gardening, and activities that wouldn't usually attract the attention of other kids his age.
Daniel's carefree toddlers years were abruptly interrupted on June 8, 2011, when he was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). One month after diagnosis, doctors discovered that Daniel had a rare type of ALL caused by the chromosomal translocation t(17;19). This type of ALL is diagnosed in less than 1% of ALL patients each year. What does this mean for Daniel, and other kids like him? It means that standard treatments do not work. It means that each treatment is an experiment, a guessing game with life hanging in the balance. Hope for a cure for Daniel’s rare leukemia was elusive, but he, his family, and his medical team never gave up. After nine months of brutal treatment, leukemia stole Daniel from this world on February 17, 2012. Throughout his fight, Daniel inspired thousands who followed his story with his persistent smile and unfaltering courage.