Dana Freund | CaringBridge

Dana Freund Don't Worry, Be Happy

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Dana's story..where to begin.  I'll start my saying I asked Dana what we should call this site and she recited...don't worry, be happy.  That is just a perfect example of who Dana is and who we all strive to exemplify.  Dana is not only my sister, she is a mom of Zach (14) and Alex (11), daughter to Frank and Sally, wife to Adam, and friend to many.  She is also that person with a smile on her face no matter what life has handed her.  In just 1st grade Dana started having petit mal seizures.  Those slowly went away but then in junior high she was diagnosed with scoliosis and had to wear  a brace that covered her hips all the way up to her chin throughout the rough adolescent years.  She wore this without any complaints, sleeping in it and even playing softball with the brace on.  In high school Dana met her older boyfriend, Adam, and they married in 2001.  She worked in a daycare facility until they first had Zach and later Alex.  Alex began having seizures as an infant, could not keep food down, and was diagnosed as failure to thrive all at less than a year old.  This  brought us searching for answer to various doctors and even Mayo Clinic until we finally got the devastating diagnosis of Rett Syndrome.  Rett Syndrome is primarily a female disease as it attacks the X chromosome.  It is a rare neurological disease that has limited Alex from every talking or walking.  Through genetic testing we found out that Dana also has the same genetic mutation that Alex has, making her a very highly functioning person with Rett Syndrome.  Our Dad developed multiple myeloma six years ago, went through a stem cell transplant and is still fighting his battle.  Just two years ago as it got harder and harder for both Dana and Adam and our parents to take care of Alex in their home, we were blessed to find Little Angels Home in Elgin, where Alex now resides with nursing treatment 24/7.  He is happy there, taken good care of, and visited regularly.  Dana has been able to get a little bit of time for herself back.  Just a couple weeks ago she noticed something not right with her breast and asked to see a doctor.  We were blown away at first to find out that her mammogram showed cancer in her breast and lymph nodes.  We have since been more blown away to find out that her cancer has spread to her bones and is now considered stage 4.  Dana is an optimist.  She is going to get through her treatment and plans to live each day fully.  Her infectious laugh and her smile is a constant reminder for us to stay strong and as positive for her. 

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