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Dayna's Story

Since the day Dayna was born in her hometown of Bronx, New York, her family knew right off the bat that she would have a long road ahead of her.


As a baby, Dayna had many sporadic fevers and difficulties walking due to pain as she became a toddler. Time progressed and Dayna’s family noticed that she was unable to speak properly. It was soon discovered that she was born deaf. At only fourteen months, Dayna endured a surgery that required tubes to be inserted into her ears in order to expand the canals of her ears. But Dayna's journey had only begun. Dayna was having issues walking; when she began to take her first steps, at seventeen months, Dayna’s baby sitter noticed she appeared to be in pain with each step. Dayna’s parents insisted that her body pains were not typical, but doctors continuously claimed that these were simply growing pains.


By the age of 6, Dayna and her family moved to Central Florida and although she continued to struggle with her illness, she attended school and excelled with honors.

Dayna at age Three.

During the spring of 2008, Dayna, being an active second grader, participated in a fundraiser that required kids to run laps to raise money for their school. In the midst of the fundraiser, Dayna fell and had been trampled on by many of her classmates, resulting in being taken to the hospital. She was put on bed rest for three weeks to fully recover and it was then that her parents finally had their answers. After reviewing her MRI and blood work, Dayna was diagnosed with JRA and Chiari Malformation. Dayna received Chemo and Embrel injections three times a week along with weekly blood work in order to treat her conditions.


Following four years of slow progress, in 2012 Dayna was involved in a six car accident on the high way with her friend’s family. Six months before Dayna’s accident her health had been improving and she was slowly improving. This accident resulted in a huge medical set back; her health quickly declined and became worse than she had ever previously been. As a result of the accident, her medications had to be re-adjusted. She began receiving Orencia infusions at Shands Hospital (this procedure required her to have a port implanted into her body due to her veins collapsing and excessively being used) and other pre-med medications. In total, Dayna has been admitted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for weeks at a time over twenty separate occasions in the past two years.


More recently, in August of 2013, she had to have her gallbladder removed due to massive inflammation that caused it to shut down. In November of 2013, she was diagnosed with Cardzol Deficiency and Pseudotumor Celebri. Since then, more medications have been prescribed to her to treat the Pseudotumor Cerebri. She is also now getting infusions of Actemeran every month to treat her diseases. With all these medications come many risks and dangerous side effects which Dayna endures every day. These side effects include a range of everyday low risk difficulties to high risk outcomes, including cancer. Due to her health issues and the side effects of her medications, Dayna has not been able to go a day without pain.  


Since then, Dayna has been on numerous medications and has made many visits into the hospital due to her disease. She continues to fight and make the best of every day.  

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