Patient of the Month: Daniela

September 2021

Daniel noticed his daughter, Daniela, was developing a small bump on her neck and took her to the emergency room at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Due to a rare underlying condition known as xeroderma pigmentosum, in which the body lacks an enzyme to fix any skin damage and predisposes her to develop skin malignancies, it was suspected that Daniela’s bump could be a tumor. Daniela returned to her home country of Costa Rica to undergo a biopsy of the bump and received a melanoma diagnosis, the most serious type of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce skin color pigmentation.

Daniela underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but after three months, it came back. This time, the bump covered an entire side of her face and doctors in Costa Rica told Daniela’s family that she only had about four or five months to live. That’s when Daniel brought his daughter Daniela back to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, where doctors devised a comprehensive treatment and care plan.

Today, eight months after she was told she only had four to five months left to live, Daniela is on the road to recovery and receives ongoing care.

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