Tweeting for treatment and support

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Danielle Hall and Graeme Holdsworth (Photo by Heather Davidson)

Over the past few weeks, #Daniellestrong has been popping up on the Twitter feeds of those in the Waterloo community and perhaps even beyond.

The campaign has Wilfrid Laurier University students in particular reaching out with the hashtag to bring awareness to Danielle Hall, a Conestoga College graduate who has just been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Hall and her boyfriend, Graeme Holdsworth, a fifth-year arts student at Laurier, started the campaign, which they called ‘Danielle Strong,’ to help promote Hall and her fight against cancer.

Hall was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on Sept. 19 of this year. The cancer is not typical, as it’s located in her lungs rather than the lymph nodes. Beforehand, the doctors told Hall her itchy skin and chest pains were due to ammonia, but after more tests were done she was diagnosed with the disease.

So far, Hall has only had one treatment and will have her second one on Oct. 24. The treatment will continue for another six months.

Hall claims the campaign started as a way to express herself and the fight she would be facing in the next six months. ‘Danielle Strong’ was first displayed on t-shirts but evolved on Twitter through the help of her followers and peers.

“It’s amazing to see how many people are affected by cancer and how many people the ‘Danielle Strong’ campaign has gotten to,” Hall said.

Kelsey Quigley, a second-year archaeology student, believes the campaign will definitely get more attention through the use of social media.

“Twitter is probably one of the best ways to get awareness considering how popular the site is. There’s so many possibilities they can do with it if they try to use awareness to raise money for Danielle.”

Along with the promotion of the campaign, Holdsworth has been reaching out to community charities and sports teams to get them to support Hill and her journey. So far, people have been tweeting

‘#Daniellestrong” and have been sending pictures of their shirts to Holdsworth and Hall.

Holdsworth believes the campaign will help not only Hill, but others who are going through their own illnesses.

“I think it’ll allow other people who are struggling through things, who don’t know how to deal with it, step forward and reach out to their peers and communities, he said

According to Holdsworth, the Indianapolis Colts football team inspired the ‘Danielle Strong’ campaign. The coach, Charles “Chuck” Pagano, was diagnosed with Leukemia and had to take a leave of absence in 2012. The Colt football players shaved their heads as part of their campaign, ‘CHUCKSTRONG’, to raise awareness for Pagano.

Laurier’s own football team and their coach, Michael Faulds, have reached out to Hall and Holdsworth. They are currently planning to put in their team in the Laurier University Charity Kouncil (LUCK) flag-football tournament to raise awareness for Hope Springs, a local cancer support centre. The tournament is planned for Nov. 3 and tickets are being sold in the Concourse all week.

Along with the football tournament, Hall and Holdsworth are planning to have a booth in the Concourse to sell merchandise and raise awareness about the campaign.

They will be selling ‘Danielle Strong’ t-shirts, bracelets, and other items.. They will also be selling merchandise at the LUCK flag-football tournament.

“Just to feel that support from the campaign has been very helpful during my treatment,” Hall concluded.

*This article has been updated since its original publishing date. * 

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