Danielle’s Story

Danielle Rinaldi Danielle Rinaldi contracted Leukemia in 1987 when she was 6 years old. You can imagine the shock experienced by the family upon learning of the diagnosis. Danielle fought the disease valiantly for 7 years, in and out of hospitals continuously, and ultimately overcame what was considered a terminal illness. Danielle was in remission but had numerous side effects, including stunted physical growth due to massive doses of radiation therapy which rendered her physically disabled. Her personality however was anything but stunted. She was happy, had an incredible will to live, enjoyed people enormously, and had a positive effect on everyone around her.

In 1991 Danielle’s friends and neighbors  got together and formed the Friends of Danielle (FOD), a charitable organization to help people with catastrophic illness. Even with the assistance of medical insurance catastrophic illness can be expensive, so FOD was formed to help people pay some of the expenses associated with their illness. In 2011, our non-profit mandate was officially broadened to provide funds for medical expenses and therapeutic programs which promote the treatment and rehabilitation of persons suffering from debilitating and/or catastrophic illnesses.

Unfortunately in 2008 while Danielle was being transported by medical van from one of her outside activities to her home, she fell out of her wheelchair, broke both femurs, and was hospitalized. The person operating the transport vehicle had neglected to fasten Danielle’s seat belt. Because of her compromised physical state she did not survive.


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