Junior Daniel Lochhead on Surviving Bone Cancer


Jessica Luna, Associate Editor-in-Chief

“Who do you look up to?” My grandma asked me this question when I was probably in 7th grade. I didn’t answer her, but in the back of my mind, the name Daniel Lochhead stuck.

Danny is a junior here at Sahuaro who is not only an outstanding athlete, but also one of the most “alive” people you could ever meet.  Danny is a cancer survivor. I’ve gone to school with him since 1st grade and never have I heard anyone talk badly about him or say how they didn’t like him.

In February 2005, at only 6 1/2 years old, Danny was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Ewing’s Sarcoma is cancer of the bones. It all  started out with severe pain in his rib cage. He says he was, “too young to really comprehend what was going on,” but still, for a kid or anyone really to go through something like that is life-changing.

He did not get radiation, but he did get chemotherapy. He said the chemo was hard and made him sick to the point where he was “frequently throwing up” and even had him losing a lot of weight. The final steps to lead up to Danny’s cancer-free life included him having a total of five ribs, part of his right pectoral muscle, and the upper lobe of his right lung removed. All this was removed to remove a tumor in his ribs.

He was successfully cured in July 2006. His last chemo treatment was done at home instead of at the hospital and his second grade class even threw him a party and he claims, “It was one of the best days [he] can remember having.”

Every three months he used to get x-rays, check ups, and EKGs, but now he only does it yearly. He even has to get pulmonary tests. He says that the check ups have become such a routine thing for him that he “usually [feels] pretty confident going into them.” However, he says there’s some “fear in the back of [his] head that something may happen.” At a normal check up in fourth grade, a spot was found on his lung and it was thought his cancer had relapsed, but thankfully it wasn’t – it turned out to be valley fever.

When I asked how this impacted his life he responded with, “It’s impacted my life because it’s really made me who I am today, I can confidently say that it has made me a much stronger person than I would have been if it never happened to me.”

Danny is an inspiration because he’s not scared to be himself. He’s definitely the funniest person I know and I love how he always seems to have a happy and fun attitude no matter what. I know cancer can sometimes come back and it’s scary and it could be even more scary to him, but it’s so rare to see him with an attitude that isn’t crazy and active. If you don’t know who he is, you really are missing out on knowing a great person.