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Daniela is back on her feet after blood cancer

Can you imagine this – you’ve just moved to a foreign country, without your support network of family and friends.

Suddenly, a blood cancer diagnosis. Treatment is urgent.

This is exactly what Daniela Kohutova faced. She was just 24 and had recently immigrated to Australia from Slovakia before she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer called lymphoma.

Daniela
Daniela enjoying time outdoors

Daniela was working in a Brisbane restaurant and studying English when she started having lower back pain and head spins.

When her blood tests came back, Daniela had almost no white blood cells, red blood cells or platelets.

She was diagnosed with lymphoma, a general term for cancers that develop in the lymphatic system, which is made up of a vast network of vessels (similar to blood vessels) that branch out into all the tissues of the body.

Daniela went through seven months of treatment and spent most of that time in hospital, going home only for a few days between cycles of intensive chemotherapy.

“Back in Slovakia, I was a biology teacher. I’d studied the human body and thought I knew about everything. Then I came to hospital and realised everybody hears about chemo, but nobody knows what it is,” said Daniela.

“The side-effects and what it does to you, that’s a completely different story.”

Coping with treatment

This is where your support, and the support of so many bighearted Australians like you, comes in.

Daniela was helped during her treatment by a visit from a Leukaemia Foundation blood cancer support coordinator while she was in hospital.

“I was helped out with some bills and also was able to attend a support group,” said Daniela.

Daniela was also amongst the first group of people to benefit from the Fit to Thrive exercise program, a free 12-week exercise program helping patients of all ages cope with treatment and get back to normal life, faster.

Daniela’s remission continues and she is so grateful for the support she received.