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Daniella Doesn’t Let Beta Thalassemia Interfere with Her Acting Dreams

Diagnosed with a serious, rare blood disorder when she was only 4 months old, Daniella hasn’t let it stop her from living life to the fullest and pursuing her dream of becoming an actor. And she is thankful to blood donors for the part they’ve played in making it possible.

“Blood donors save lives and they've saved mine," Daniella said. "Having this illness has never stopped me from doing what I love to do."

Daniella, 31, has beta thalassemia major, an inherited blood disorder that affects her body’s ability to produce hemoglobin – a key blood component that carries oxygen to all the cells in your body. Beta thalassemia major is the most severe form, and Daniella will need blood transfusions her entire life.

Although she has come to terms with her illness, Daniella admits it hasn’t been easy. Not only does she have to deal with the effects of her disease, but also the side effects caused by frequent blood transfusions. Daniella has received 2 units of blood every 3 weeks since she was an infant, or more than 500 units so far in her lifetime.

“Growing up, I felt so different than my friends. While everyone was playing sports, my little fragile body and what I was going through with having thalassemia just couldn't handle that. This is why I found my love for performing and I never looked back.

“Being an actor is a huge part of my life, just like living with thalassemia. I've learned to be an advocate and inspire others to do the same. You only live once so do the things you enjoy and that make you happy.”
Daniella gives a shoutout to the many blood donors who make it possible for her to not only survive, but also thrive. "I wouldn’t be here if it wasn't for them. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!”

Article published for the Vital Donor newsletter.