“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
- Jeremiah 29:11
Just a short time ago, Danielle’s life seemed to be filled with prosperity and hope. Like many women her age, Danielle felt that she had her whole life in front of her. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Grand Valley State University, she went on to receive a master’s degree in Sports Administration at Wayne State University. She received both degrees with honors and graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA while earning her masters degree.
Danielle began her professional career in college athletics at the University of Michigan, one of the most prominent universities and athletic departments in the country. She later would marry her husband, Eric Beverly, a professional football player with the Detroit Lions at the time. After a brief stint working in “Corporate America” as an auditor for Chrysler Financial, Danielle would eventually pursue her passion by working with children in the metro Detroit community. She then returned to Wayne State to obtain her teaching certificate and began coaching girl’s high school basketball. As the old cliché’ states, “Life was grand” and kept getting better for Danielle. She was doing exactly what she wanted to do in life and was involved in a sound, strong relationship that provided everything she needed.
At age 29, living as a former college student-athlete, breast cancer or any illness for that matter seemed unfathomable. However, in October 2003, Danielle was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma insitu (DCIS), non-invasive breast cancer. Many would refer to this as the "good" breast cancer. Because it was non-invasive, chemotherapy would not be needed, but a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction was a necessity.
Despite her diagnosis, Danielle continued to coach that fall and completed her courses towards her teaching certification. After successful surgery in January of 2004 and successful reconstructive surgery that June, life seemed to return to normal. She and her husband could now begin working on building their family together. However, in March of 2005, a little more than a year after her first reconstructive surgery, Danielle’s MRI and biopsy results were abnormal. The tests revealed DCIS was still present in the breast area and a second surgery would be necessary.
In April of 2005 Danielle had surgery once again and was informed that the cancer had become invasive, thus, meaning chemotherapy would be needed. At only 31 years of age, she was battling breast cancer for the second time in her short lived life.
On June 28th of 2005 Danielle began 6 months of intense chemotherapy treatment. December 13th was her last treatment, and 6 days later she and her husband not only celebrated her victory over cancer, they also celebrated her 32nd birthday.
The victory, however, was short lived. In June of 2007, at 36 weeks pregnant Danielle found a lump in her left breast. A biopsy was performed, and a cancerous diagnosis was delivered. Four weeks after giving birth to a healthy baby girl, Danielle had surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. On October 30, 2007 Danielle completed radiation treatment and began hormonal therapy.
Today, cancer free, she and Eric continue to learn what it means to live beyond breast cancer in full confidence that Christ has “plans to prosper them and not to harm them, plans to give them hope and a future.”