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A Success Story - Daniel Huber

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Daniel Huber 

Daniel is attending Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota,  double majoring in Criminal Justice and Spanish.  Even though cancer has kept Daniel from playing sports and joining the military, it has also made him more determined to live his life to its fullest.  He is a Wilms' Tumor (Nephroblastoma) survivor.  In his own words:

'Pressed But Not Crushed'

Cancer, just the word evokes terror in some and fear in others.  For some, the illness means long hospital stays.  For others, it means altering their lifestyles.  For a select few, it means death.  I was fortunate.  When I was four years old, I was diagnosed with Wilms' Tumor Cancer.  One day, I was a perfectly healthy child;  however, the next morning I went to the restroom, and I ended up having blood in my urine.  My mom took me to urgent care, thinking it was just an infection.  This was far from normal though, and the doctors called my parents back in.  That was when they diagnosed me with cancer.  It was Mothers' Day weekend, 1993.  Over the next year, I was in and out of the hospital for check-ups and chemotherapy.  When they took out the tumor, they found it was about the size of a softball.  They also ended up having to extract my right kidney.  My fifth birthday was that June, and I ended up having my party at McDonald's.  When all my friends were playing on the play set, I had to sit and watch because I did not have enough energy to join in their play.

Over the next year, I lost all of my hair on two different occasions.  I ended up having several different allergic reactions to the medications.  They had to monitor me closely.  Right after my cancer treatment, I had a keloid, which is a large raised area of scar tissue, at the chemo drug injection site.  I itched all of the time.  I had to go to a dermatologist to get injections, which helped shrink the keloid to fairly flat.  My parents were always worried and were praying for me everyday.  Over the next ten years, I had periodic checkups.  Three years ago was my last official annual checkup.  The doctor dismissed me with a clean bill of health. 

I am 6'3" and 220 pounds, so everywhere I go, people ask if I play football and suggest I would be great at it.  I have to explain to them that I am not able to play due to having only one kidney.  Doctors warned me that I would always have to stay away from contact sports and being too aggressive, so I can't play soccer, basketball, or hockey.  I am also not able to serve my country in the military.  Overall, my body is physically fit.  My eyesight is 20/20.  However, with one kidney, I am not allowed to join the armed forces.

Last year, I was a state qualifier in Powerlifting.  This is my fourth year lifting weights, and I could potentially win my weight class at the state level.  I am the president of the Spanish Honor Society and I am co-leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  I am a youth leader with our church youth group, helped establish a youth worship team, and have helped with the youth drama team.  I also play lead guitar on our church adult worship team and help out in any other way possible. 

I have many goals in my life.  My main dream for my life is to be a police officer.  I volunteer with the La Crosse Police Reserves about 25 hours per month.  Cancer may have stopped me from playing sports and joining the military; however, it will not stop me from living my life.  I have been pressed, but I am not crushed!  I plan on living the rest of my life to its fullest as a perfectly healthy human being. 

Receiving this scholarship has been very helpful in so many ways.  It means so much that someone recognizes how much of a battle it has been.  It is very encouraging that someone has come alongside me and helps me strive for excellence.  It has been an uphill battle.  Cancer Survivors' Fund believing in me gives me motivation to work harder and live up to these expectations.  I am excited that my story will help inspire others to reach their goals.

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