Stillwater sophomore returns to school after beating leukemia, gets special surprise

Updated: October 21, 2019 08:42 PM

Returning to school at the start of each new year is an exciting time for many students as they get to see their friends again. But it was especially exciting for Stillwater sophomore Danny Valerius.

At the age of 12, Valerius was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood cancer.


In the first month of treatment, Valerius said he lost 20 pounds. Meanwhile, his parents had to learn how to give him IV fluids and a feeding tube when at home, but he spent dozens of nights in the hospital.

Over the 2-year course of his treatment, he returned to school and his friends helped tutor him so he could catch up on his studies. He also became Student Council president in eighth grade.

Now cancer-free, Valerius returned back to school seeking a return to normalcy. On Monday, he was surprised with a shopping spree in Richfield, courtesy of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Burlington stores, offering child survivors new clothes.

"Danny, we want to say 'thank you' to you! You inspire all of us," the manager of the Burlington store in Richfield said over the store's intercom.

"Giving me just money to spend not on a specific thing just go crazy with it, yeah, I've never had that before," Valerius said.

"I'm grateful every single day for it because there are kids who don't win the fight against cancer every day," he added.

As Valerius was in treatment, his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, another reason The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Burlington wanted to do something good for the family.

"So his family was really battling a lot at that time and we're happy to announce today that they're both in remission and that's what we're here celebrating," Sonja Ejups said, with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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KSTP/Matt Belanger

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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