After a bone marrow transplant, Daniela got the attention of Texas First Lady Anita Perry. In a very short time, Daniela raised enough money to purchase a VienViewer for The Vannie Cook Clinic in McAllen, Texas.
It is hard to believe that more than five years have gone by since a brave young cancer patient at The Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic made her dream a reality. Daniela Villarreal was just 9 years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. After a relapse, Daniela had to go to Texas Children’s Hospital for a bone marrow transplant and it was there that she saw a VienViewer for the first time. The ViewViewer allows the clinician to see through the skin to the veins making the blood drawing process more accurate and comfortable to the patient. Upon her return, Daniela was determined to get a VeinViewer for her Clinic at home. She started a letter writing campaign to raise funds for this purpose. She even got the attention of Texas First Lady Anita Perry. In a very short time, Daniela raised enough money to purchase a VienViewer for The Vannie Cook Clinic.
Unfortunately, after five years of use the machine stopped working and needed repairs. This prompted Stefany Levrier, Operations Manager for the Vannie Cook Clinic, to call Christie Medical Holdings, Inc. to see if they would be willing to repair the broken machine. To Stefany’s surprise Christie Medical Holdings decided to donate three brand new VeinViewers in honor of Daniela and her fundraising efforts to help children like her.
“We were all touched by Daniela’s efforts during the initial fundraising for VeinViewer in 2007. Telling her story is one of the most tearful and motivational at Christie still to this day. When the CARES team asked me what we could do to continue to honor her memory, it was an easy decision,” said Chris Schnee, General Manager at Christie. “Because of Daniela, VeinViewer is still helping these patients avoid the pain of multiple sticks.”
“I think it’s great that her dream continues to be a reality for the Clinic. Here we are five years later, and the work she did still lives on. I got the phone call close to Daniela’s birthday, and I took as a sign, the wound of losing a child is never going to heal but knowing there are good people just like Daniela who want to give back is very touching,” said Dolly Villarreal, Daniela’s mother.
The Vannie Cook Clinic would like to thank Christie Medical Holdings, Inc. for their compassion and generosity. The three new VeinViewers will help so many young children who are battling cancer and serious blood disorders in the Rio Grande Valley.
Daniela lost her battle but not before celebrating her success with family, staff and VienViewer representatives at an unveiling ceremony. There was not a dry eye in the room on that special day at The Vannie Cook Clinic five years ago.