THCF Scholarship Donors Help Hometown Girl Achieve Her Lifelong Dream

After Danielle Cunningham realized she wanted to become a doctor at the age of three, she wasted no time working to achieve her dream. Born and raised in Grain Valley, Danielle stayed busy throughout middle school and high school working to achieve her goals. During the school year, she split her time between volunteering after school at St. Mary’s Hospital and Country Oak Village Assisted Living Facility, as well as serving on THCF’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC). Danielle says it was YAC leader and THCF Scholarship Fundholder, Henri Goettel, who encouraged her to apply for scholarships through THCF to help her offset the costs of medical school.

Danielle is currently in her final year at the UMKC School of Medicine and has received multiple scholarship awards from THCF since 2012; including the Newlin Scholarship and the Marjorie & Forrest Martin Scholarship. After she graduates, Danielle plans to start her residency and hopes to specialize in pediatric and adult radiation oncology. 

“Applying what I’ve learned about the human body to the diagnosis and treatment of patients has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Right now, my dream to become an oncologist. I want to be the type of doctor that helps people to navigate the process of cancer care, and energize my patients in the fight against cancer.”

Although Danielle is looking towards her future, she has not forgotten the people in her community that supported her along the way. Danielle hopes to be able to pay back their kindness by working as a physician in the area after her residency; as well as giving back by acting as a mentor herself.

“When I’m done with my residency, I would love to live in the Kansas City area and give back to the community who has supported me so much. I see myself working as an oncologist as well as teaching medical students, spending time on oncology research, and enrolling patients in clinical trials.”

Danielle is graduating with her MD in May 2018, thanks to her lifetime of dedication, hard work and commitment. These goals were also made possible thanks to the support of several THCF Scholarship Fundholders who believed in Danielle and her dreams. When asked what being a THCF Scholarship Recipient has meant to her, Danielle had this to say- 

“It warms my heart that the members of my own community believe in me and want to support my educational goals.”

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