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Address: Daniela Conte Foundation
64 Randolph Dr.
     Dix Hills, NY 11746

 

​Open Weekdays 9Am - 5PM EST

info@danielacontefoundation.org

631-332-9367

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Remembering Daniela


“Here it is……the day. The day that is unlike any other day of the year; the day we kissed Daniela goodbye.


It’s been three years – 1,095 days – since I felt the warmth of Daniela’s body as I cradled her in my arms, and yet, somehow it also seems like it was just seconds ago. It’s been an eternity since I smelled that intoxicatingly sweet scent of my baby girl’s head, or since I was able to gaze into the deep stars of those big, brown eyes. Today my memories alternate between seeming so distant in one moment, and then in the next, so close that I am certain I can reach out to touch her. Days like today are the ones where you don’t know what to do or what to feel. It’s a day you muddle through, knowing that dormant memories will awaken to sucker punch you in the gut when you least expect them.


While Daniela was in treatment we received cards, letters, drawings, holy water, prayer beads, good luck charms, and talismans from all around the world. These auspices of many different faiths let us know how many people were storming whoever answered their prayers on Daniela’s behalf. It was humbling to see how many people Daniela inspired and to know how many people were praying for her fight to have a happy ending. This combined with all the lucky coincidences that happened around her, which were too often to be called coincidental, led my heart to believe that despite all odds, she was going to make it. I was certain that my little dancer, my little artist would come home to her family again soon and grow up to achieve every dream she ever dreamed. After all, how couldn’t she?


As we know, Daniela’s story didn’t end the way we wanted. To be honest, I still can’t quite believe it. Every morning I wake up and reconcile that she is no longer with us; that she doesn’t need me to wake her up to go to school she loved so much and see her teacher and friends whom she loves so much. Every morning, I have to wonder, did it really happen?

Three years later, what I hold on to is that the Daniela Conte Foundation is Daniela’s legacy, giving purpose to her existence and continuing her battle in the name of other pediatric cancer patients. I know Daniela is proud of the work we’re doing because one of her last wishes was to help other kids like her. When Daniela was diagnosed, I poured myself into research and self-education about this deadly disease. Do you know what her oncologist told me when I asked her why more people didn’t know that pediatric cancer is the number one disease that kills kids in the U.S.? She said it’s because children don’t have the same voice as adults. I remember the very moment these words landed. It was just a few days after Daniela’s diagnosis and I was looking over the doctor’s shoulder at Daniela, struck with the reality that she was now one of the 15,000 American children diagnosed with pediatric cancer that year. That’s a big number and a lot of tiny voices that weren’t being heard. These kids, just like every other child, are our future. They are our future peacemakers, researchers, artists, and leaders, and they need our help. It’s our collective responsibility to do everything we can to protect them, particularly from their leading cause of death by disease. And that is why we formed the Daniela Conte Foundation.


In a way, Daniela’s story hasn’t really ended, has it? Maybe her story is just beginning… beginning through others. The oncologist told me children don’t have voices like adults, but because of you, Daniela’s voice is stronger now than ever before. Her story lives on, and her message is amplified by your support. Through your generous donations, wearing gold in September, giving blood, and participating in events like our 5k, and Gala you have spoken for her and thousands of other pediatric cancer patients.


If you have children, give them an extra dose of love today. As the African proverb goes, ‘If you want to go somewhere quick, go alone. If you want to go somewhere far, go together.’


Let’s go far places, together.”


Written by: Katia Conte – Daniela’s Mom & DCF President/Co-Founder




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