Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle White.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Danielle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Never Walk Alone was created while I was an Ulcerative Colitis patient at Texas Children’s Hospital. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the age of 15 in the year 2000. Not only was this life-changing for me as a teenager but it was life-changing for my mother who now had a daughter with an acute disease.
Immediately I began to assist and learn about ulcerative colitis by joining the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and became their Youth Ambassador. During my time as the youth ambassador for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, I recall going to one support group in the Houston area and only ages 30 plus were present.
At that moment I felt completely alone of who I could share my thoughts and feelings with. Also, that moment I knew I wanted to create an organization where patients and their family members would gain assistance and mentoring for their diagnosis. Don’t get me wrong I had an amazing mother who was with me along the way but I desired for a like-minded patient who I could share my daily challenges with. For example, when it was time for me to have my colon removed I would have loved to have an individual besides my doctor’s share with me of what was to come.
After diagnosis, I still had goals which I wanted to achieve but I knew by living with a diagnosis some challenges would come. I was no longer a “normal” kid but as I would say unique. I continued to achieve all my goals of attending the University of Houston – Downtown and gaining a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and even just completed my masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lamar University. My goal is to share knowledge with the patients and families I encounter to understand that even though life may have their challenges you will Never Walk Alone.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not. Even though Never Walk Alone was created in the year 2001, I was having my own health challenges and did not have the time or energy to put it into motion. It seemed every time I thought I was going to be able to begin Never Walk Alone, I was informed I needed another surgery. After a total of 19 years and completing my education, I believe it was the perfect time for me to share my idea and make it come to fruition.
Never Walk Alone – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Never Walk Alone is a mentoring and educational organization where families will be able to gain the support of how they will experience their life during diagnosis… Our goal is to have no patient or their family members feel alone on their healthcare journey.
Living with a diagnosis can be life-changing but with the support of Never Walk Alone, it can be a bit better. We thrive to have patients become educated about what their diagnosis is as well as gain understanding of how they can have the best quality of life for themselves.
Never Walk Alone consist of many different survivors who have a diagnosis from ulcerative colitis, sickle cell, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. This alone sets us apart from other support health groups. Never Walk Alone has connections with mental health professionals as well as nurses and doctors who will be able to educate in different panel discussions. Never Walk Alone is an organization which is reachable which I believe is my most proudest asset to the company. For example, if a patient is having a surgery or procedure, Never Walk Alone will be there to answer any questions and assist you along your journey.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of the proudest moments for Never Walk Alone is after Hurricane Harvey, Never Walk Alone collected ostomy supplies and other medical items for patients who had lost items in the storm. Another proud moment for Never Walk Alone would be the kick-off event which took place this past April at the Health Museum. Never Walk Alone presented a panel discussion which consisted of 3 patients and 3 medical professionals.
The topic of discussion was Life after diagnosis; Living with an Autoimmune Disease. I am happy to say Never Walk Alone reached over 100 Houstonians and even created a buzz in the Houston area of how to help families. Never Walk Alone was able to share how the importance of community support and communication can shed light to diagnosis which usually goes silent.
- Website: www.neverwalkalone.us
- Phone: 9179941923
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: _never.walk.alone & Danilovenwa
Senator Boris Miles, State Representative Harold Dutton, Pastor Aventer Gray, Chief Surgical Officer for Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Dr. Allen Milewicz