NEWPORT, VT - This has been a tough week for Danielle (Bathalon) Wright of Coventry. It is the week she began to lose her beautiful head of hair to the ravages of her cancer treatment.
â€śMy hair is beginning to fall out in clumps,â€ť Danielle said. â€śWell, at least it will grow back. At least that is what I keep telling myself.â€ť
The cancer can rob her of her hair but she is determined it wonâ€™t rob her of her life or her spirit. Hair or no hair, she plans to continue her life as an active wife and mother. She has been fitted for a wig that will cover up her baldness while she fights the battle of her life.
If there is one good thing that has come out of her cancer, she said it is that she and her husband Donald and their children, 14-year-old son Coty and 12-year-old daughter Kylie, have found out just how much their family, friends, co-workers, community members, and even strangers care about them.
â€śIâ€™m very appreciative of everybody and all they are doing,â€ť Danielle said. â€śOur appreciation is so heartfelt and we are so grateful. Our hearts are just filled. I feel very loved."
A person who likes to help others in need, she said she isnâ€™t used to having to rely on others.
â€śIâ€™m still having a hard time with how much people are helping me,â€ť she said. â€śIâ€™m used to helping other people; now having so many people help me is a little hard for me to grasp.â€ť
However, for those in her life, helping her is no trouble at all. It is something they want to do.
â€śMany of us have been working together for a long time and we wanted to help her,â€ť Tiffany McCormick of Barton said. Tiffany, who is one of the organizers of a fundraising effort to help Danielle, works at LandVest in Derby where Danielle works as the Administrative Supervisor for the Timberland Division of LandVest.
â€śDanielle is more than my co-worker, she is also one of my best friends,â€ť Tiffany said. â€śShe was even in my wedding.â€ť
A 1993 graduate of North Country Union High School in Newport and the daughter of Jean and Yvette Bathalon of Irasburg, life was good for Danielle. Then several months ago she noticed she was having trouble breathing. She was diagnosed with a possible case of asthma, but when her condition didnâ€™t improve, shortly before Christmas she traveled to the Dartmouth Medical Center for tests. Never in her worst dreams did she expect the doctor to tell her what they told her.
â€śInstead of asthmas, it was actually a big mass in my chest cutting off my airway and pressing on an artery to my heart,â€ť Danielle said. She was suffering from Non-Hodgkinâ€™s Lymphoma, horrible news to receive at the most joyous time of year. However, not all the news was bad. With a combination of six months of chemotherapy followed by a period of radiation, her doctor has told her she has good odds of winning her battle.
Meanwhile, she better get used to the idea of people helping her, because her family and friends have no intention of allowing her to fight the battle on her own.
A benefit spaghetti dinner and raffle are being held for Danielle on Sunday, Jan. 22, at Brendaâ€™s Home Style Cookinâ€™ on the Derby Road in Derby. It's being hosted by Rhonda Patenaude, the owner of the restaurant and a co-worker of Danielleâ€™s at LandVest. Danielleâ€™s former co-workers at Community National Bank are also firmly behind her. The meal is $10 per person with the proceeds going to help cover the cost of uninsured expenses associated with her cancer treatment. There are three separate seatings: 3:30, 5:00, and 6:30 PM.Â
To reserve a seat in one of the three time slots, please call the restaurant at (802) 766-2324. Also, people and businesses interested in donating items for a raffle can call Tiffany McCormick at (802) 525-4643 or at (802) 334-8402. She can also be reached at email@example.com.
People unable to make it to the event but who would like to donate, can send a check or money order to LandVest, in care of Tiffany McCormick, at 5086 US RT5 Suite 2 Newport, VT 05855. Make checks payable to Donald or Danielle Wright.