Dayna is what most would consider a "normal" 20-something. She followed her dreams and went to a fashion business school in NYC. She graduated and went on to work at stores like Levi's, Bergdorf Goodman, and Free People. She had overcome adversity before and was on her way to establishing herself within her field.
But in January 2013, after a nagging cough and a bout of insomnia - she finally decided to visit a doctor. She was devastated to find out that she had Hodgkins Lymphoma. A fighter at heart, she underwent months of chemo and tried to balance having to move home with the need to be young & free. In August 2013 we got news that her scans came back clean and she would be scheduled to confirm her remission in January 2014. We celebrated Christmas with joy knowing that she could finally have the start that she deserved.
Our worst fears were confirmed a few weeks before she would be confirmed remission. Her cancer was back and it was restricting her breathing. She was admitted for an emergency round of chemo that was much more powerful than her previous dosage. As she sat in the hospital room hearing her prognosis after more intensive chemo, stem cell transplants, blood transfusions, and months more time in hospital rooms, she leaned over to me and said "I've lost my 20s...how come I have to lose this time in my life?" Heartbreaking as it is, she's fighting everyday to get better.
With all that pressure, she's had to tightly manager her own finances. After her state insurance dropped her coverage, she's been working on securing Medicaid to pay for the care she needs to survive. As her family, we continue to work our hardest to support whatever will make her better.
Since graduation, her peers from LIM have embarked on their own journeys in life and careers, managing to stay in contact throughout their day with the help of Facebook (of course). The news hit her peers hard. How could their friend be going through such an ordeal at a young age as her career began to flourish? As they begin to embark on their new independent lives in their young twenties, it is hard to understand why this young, beautiful and creative women had her journey stifled for so long.
Dayna has been in the hospital for weeks as part of an effort to collect her stem cells in preparation of her stem cell transplant. She was admitted on 5/21 to endure 6 long days of straight chemotherapy and will then need to recuperate for a full month on intensive care. Based on her prognosis, they will need to administer a second round of intensive chemo to include yet another stem cell collection and countless hours in a hospital bed.
Throughout it all, Dayna remains strong. Her friends, family and LIM College have joined together to host a fundraising event in her honor on Wednesday, June 25th to celebrate and support her. Through their selfless efforts, they've put together a fund rasier in the hopes of assisting her on a road to a speedy recovery. Join them for food, beverage, entertainment, and a silent auction.
Any support that anyone can provide has been appreciated beyond the point of words. While "thank you" will never suffice, it is all I can offer for now. Thank you.