A Young Cancer Patients Dream Lives On
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.
Photo Caption: Pictured above is one of the many patients at Vannie Cook who will benefit from the three new VeinViewers.
- May 14, 2013
- 'Off-the-shelf' virus-specific T-cells fight viral infections in stem cell transplant patients
Viral infections present deadly threats to patients who have received donor blood, marrow and cord stem cells transplants and are immune deficient while their transplants begin to work.
- April 9, 2013
- BCM major part of new pediatric cancer Dream Team initiative
Baylor College of Medicine is part of a Dream Team of childhood cancer researchers that will focus on melding the fields of genomics and immunotherapy to advance treatment for pediatric cancer.
- March 28, 2013
- Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer donates $75,000 to Texas Children’s Cancer Center
The grant will be used to fund a research project on neuroblastoma, an aggressive pediatric cancer that strikes approximately 650 children a year in the U.S., usually before age 5.
- March 1, 2013
- Fundraiser supports pediatric cancer in South Texas
Actor Diego Boneta, top right, helped raised $90,000 for the Vannie Cook Children’s Cancer Clinic in South Texas at the 2013 Radiothon.
- February 27, 2013
- Hematology-oncology faculty members receive renewed NIH funding to enhance T cell therapy for cancer
Hematology-oncology faculty members from the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT) have received a $11.3 million renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance the development of more effective and less toxic targeted T cell therapies for children and adults with cancer.
- February 1, 2013
- Grant funds developmental therapeutics program
A five-year, $1.75 million grant from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was awarded to Texas Children’s Cancer Center to establish the Developmental Therapeutics Center of Excellence.
- January 4, 2013
- Houston Radio Host Kevin Kline Completes his 62,000 Step Stair Run
Kevin Kline, Houston morning radio host on The New 93Q, ran 62,000 Stairs at Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters Baseball team in Sugarland, TX.
- December 12, 2012
- Vegetable compound could become ingredient to treating leukemia
A concentrated form of a compound called sulforaphane found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables has been shown to reduce the number of acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells in the lab setting, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine. The findings appear in the current edition of PLOS ONE.
- December 11, 2012
- Montblanc and Texas Children’s Cancer Center encourage families to give a gift that counts this holiday season
Montblanc and Texas Children’s Cancer Center have launched a new initiative allowing people across the United States to show their support for children and adolescents fighting cancer by providing an opportunity to purchase a specially designed bracelet to be given to the parent of a pediatric cancer patient this holiday season.
- December 6, 2012
- Q&A: Sharon Plon on Baylor College of Medicine's First Year of Clinical Exome Sequencing
As a member of Baylor College of Medicine's Whole Genome Laboratory management committee, Sharon Plon has been a leader in establishing Baylor's clinical exome sequencing diagnostic test, which was launched last November.
This is part one of a two-part interview. Part two will appear in next week's issue.