Brittany Daniel Welcomes a New Life 10 Years After Fighting For Her Own
- Sweet Valley High star Brittany Daniel, 45, welcomed her first child ten years after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She and husband Adam Touni shared images on Instagram of daughter Hope Rose Touni, who was born via a surrogate.
- Daniel started R-CHOP chemotherapy within days of being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011, and said of her battle: “I learned what it really means to fight for your life. I went through chemo. I lost 30 pounds and all of my hair. I was on a feeding tube. And, I suffered many life-threatening infections.”
- R-CHOP is a combination of five drugs and is the standard treatment for aggressive b-cell lymphomas. The goal of this treatment is to shrink lymph nodes back to normal and for patients to achieve a durable remission.
The Sweet Valley High star, 45, welcomed her first child ten years after her life-threatening battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.Read More
“Meet our baby girl Hope Rose Touni. Our hearts are bursting with joy. It’s been a long road to get here, but we always remained hopeful that we would one day become parents,” wrote Daniel.
“Thank you, @adam.touni, for being an unbelievably supportive partner and now dad. Thank you to our surrogate, who carried our baby so beautifully. Hope, we love witnessing who you are, just as you are. We love you!”
Brittany Daniel’s Cancer Battle
Daniel did not know if she would ever get this moment back in 2011 when she went to the doctor after experiencing flu-like symptoms, back pain, and night sweats.
“After a few tests, they diagnosed me with stage IV non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” wrote Daniel in a piece for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“My entire life stopped in an instant.”
Daniel started chemotherapy within days and spent the next three months in and out of the hospital.
“I learned what it really means to fight for your life. I went through chemo,” wrote Daniel. “I lost 30 pounds and all of my hair. I was on a feeding tube. And, I suffered many life-threatening infections.”
Daniel said she failed to recognize the “frail, bald woman” she saw in the mirror at times, noting: “In just over three months, I had gone from being carefree to being someone who required a caregiver.”
Life After Cancer
She managed to pull through, though, with the help of her twin sister and Sweet Valley High co-star Cynthia Daniel.
“Sharing fruit punch popsicles daily on the front porch of my sister’s house with my then three and seven-year-old nephews likely played an equally important role in why I am here today,” said Daniel.
Once through with her treatment, she began building back her strength, starting at first with short walks and eventually working her way up to yoga classes.
The long road to recovery paid off, and Daniel has been in remission for the past seven years.
The actress, who also appeared in films such as The Basketball Diaries and Joe Dirt, along with the television shows The Game, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, experienced her first major post-cancer milestone in 2017 when she married Touni.
And now Daniel gets to celebrate her second major milestone, as the happy couple becomes a happy family with the arrival of Hope.
Treating Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Daniel began R-CHOP chemotherapy days after her diagnosis. This is the recommended treatment for most people battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“So, a standard regimen for treatment of aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, of the b-cell subtype, is frequently abbreviated R-CHOP,” explained Dr. Adrienne Phillips, associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
R-CHOP is a cocktail that includes:
- Rituximab. A monoclonal antibody that attaches to a specific protein called CD20, which sits on the surface of B cells. It targets the cancerous cells and destroys them.
- Cyclophosphamide. A chemotherapy drug.
- Doxorubicin hydrochloride. A chemotherapy drug.
- Oncovin. A chemotherapy drug.
- Prednisone. A steroid to combat allergic reactions given the potency of the other four drugs
“That combination is a standard for aggressive b-cell lymphomas. It’s been the standard for many years,” explained Dr. Phillips.
“And there are certainly clinical trials that are looking to improve upon that standard and maybe add different medicines to the R-CHOP or remove some of the medicines to minimize toxicity, but R-CHOP is a standard for aggressive b-cell lymphomas.”
Breaking Down R-CHOP
Symptoms of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Daniel decided to see her doctor when she began experiencing flu-like symptoms, back pain, and night sweats.
All three are in line with the most common symptoms of the disease, which include:
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin or
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Trouble breathing
- Constant fatigue
- Night sweats
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
Individuals who suddenly experience any of these symptoms should consider scheduling an appointment with a doctor.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Symptoms