When she was just 15 years old, Danielle Orner, a high school track and cross-country athlete, spotted a hard bump on her leg. Initially, she thought it was a minor injury related to her running. However, after visiting sports medicine doctors, she realised that it was more severe than what had she previously presumed. A local doctor diagnosed the bump as sarcoma, which was a much more serious ailment.
“I went from worrying about when I could get back to track to knowing I had bone cancer,” recalls Danielle, who is now 29 years old and living in Los Angeles. Through chemotherapy, the tumor did shrink. However, doctors were still concern due to the close proximity it was to a major blood vessel. When it was close to her 16th birthday, Danielle had to have her right leg amputated. Five months after the amputation, she walked out of the hospital on a new prosthetic leg.
Upon returning back to school, Danielle tried running again. Unfortunately, the prosthetic made her feel clunky, resulting in her calling it quits. She chase after her passion in acting and managed to go to college on a theater scholarship. After numerous scans and surgeries, Danielle still did not feel happy about the treatment. The last straw was when a terrifying treatment resulted in her going into anaphylactic shock. That was when she decided to take matters into her own hands.
She started working on her diet and progressed to become a vegan. At the same time, she took up yoga, which eventually became a life-changing habit from just a workout. During her first class, Danielle was unable to keep up with half of the flow. “But the more I went, I started to find modifications for my body and made peace with the moves I’d never be able to do,” she stated.
Last year, she met Annie Carpenter, a yoga instructor who focuses on proper alignment. This enabled her practice to reach new heights. “She taught me that you shouldn’t force yourself into the pose, but rather make the pose work for you—no matter if it looks like the cover of Yoga Journal or not. Living in a way that’s real—and maybe even ugly at times—is better than being unauthentic,” added Danielle. Eventually, when Danielle turned 26, all her efforts paid off. Her lifestyle changes made a significant difference. Even the scans displayed that she had been cancer-free for over two years. Today, the 29-year-old is an inspirational yoga instructor to others. For more of the story, do read it here.