Danielle Hankey’s Journey


Emma Morton, Editor in Chief

Danielle Hankey is a junior at Tuscarora High School. She’s attended THS since her Freshman year, and has always been beloved by all her peers. She’s a good student and has done very well in several advanced classes. She had plans to play field hockey this year and was really looking forward to it. However, all of that changed when she was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. Ewing Sarcoma is a very rare form of bone cancer that is most often diagnosed in people between 10-20 years old, and only about 200 people are diagnosed with it every year in the U.S. 

Danielle first knew something was wrong when she started to feel unbearable pain in her arm one day and she was unable to move it. She went to FMH (Frederick Memorial Hospital) and was tested to find out what was going on. Danielle said that she really knew something was wrong when she was going through ultrasound and “they kept bringing different doctors in to look at it.” This was months before diagnosis, and Danielle had to go through several other tests before they figured out what it was, because it was so rare.

After she was diagnosed, Danielle had to start going through chemotherapy and radiation to help treat the cancer. The chemotherapy made her really sick at first, but now that she’s been doing it for so long, her body has gotten used to it. Recently, however, Danielle had to have an intense 12 hour surgery on her arm. The purpose of the surgery was to remove all of the infected tissue that caused the cancer. They had to remove the tumors in her arm as well as some soft tissue and even parts of her bone. This resulted in her arm being put in a brace and immobilized. She had to relearn how to do simple things such as writing and getting dressed, which made her life at home and in school even harder. Danielle admitted that she was extremely depressed for the first few weeks after her surgery.

Fortunately, though, the surgery successfully removed the cancer, and Danielle is cancer free as of right now. She’s going to continue doing chemotherapy to ensure that the cancer stays away, but as of right now she anticipates that the treatment will be completely finished by the end of this year. After that, she’ll get checkups every three months to ensure the cancer doesn’t return. Obviously the cost of these medical treatments has had a significant impact on Danielle and her family. But the Titan community has rallied around her and set up several ways to help the family out financially. If you want to know how you can help, click the link below:

Community rallies around student in need!