Claire Fraeyman ’14 – Feature Editor
The score is tied. The Bulldogs are up to bat. The crowd waits anxiously. The next batter hits a double. The runner on base advances to home plate. The Bulldogs celebrate their victory. This scenario illustrates the perfect softball game to Danielle Szajna (11). Szajna has been playing softball since she was four and has developed an incredible passion for the game. Szajna was named MHSAA All State during the 2013 season and verbally committed to play for Oakland University’s softball team in September. Szajna plays for the butterflies, for her family, for her team, for the love of the game. But many don’t know that Szajna also plays to put an end to cancer.
Danielle Szajna founded her own non-profit organization called the Pink Girls Club Foundation in 2008. Since then, Szajna has been working to raise money for men, women, and children who are battling cancer. Not only does she help those who are going through cancer financially, but she also offers mentoring and cancer education to help prevent some types of cancer. Her main mission is to create cancer awareness among men, women, and children.
“Knowing that many women have suffered and died from breast cancer, I wasn’t satisfied with the thought of going forward and not doing anything,” Szajna said. “Without hesitation I created the Pink Girls Club.”
Szajna was moved to found this organization after her cousin, Karen, passed away from breast cancer. Karen is her inspiration.
“Karen was a strong woman who never let cancer define her,” Szajna said. “She was always smiling and in the midst of her battle with cancer she was also helping others who had cancer. I wanted to carry out her legacy and continue to help others.”
All people have been affected by cancer in some way whether it be a personal battle or the battle of a loved one. Szajna has used her personal experiences to help others that are going through similar situations and help alleviate the pain she once felt and, at times, still feels.
To learn more about the Pink Girls Club Foundation, go to her organization’s website at: pinkgirlsclubfoundation.org