Woman’s World_March 2019
By Myra McElhaney
Recovering, Riding and Raising Funds
In her High School yearbook, Danielle Bosser Dahm had lots of comments from friends about her dark suntan. Tanning became an addiction for her. Not only did she enjoy the compliments on her skin tone, but studies show that tanning raises endorphins. Although she tanned easily, Danielle began tanning daily at lunchtime. She felt like it was a form of therapy from her teens into her twenties.
Danielle and her Airforce husband, Chris lived in California until he was given orders to go to Germany. In 2000, she was a young Airforce wife with three children, ages eight, six and one-and-a-half. (She never tanned while pregnant, by the way) Danielle noticed a raised spot on her leg that eventually started bleeding. When a biopsy showed it was Stage 3 Melanoma, she was sent via Medevac to Walter Reed Hospital back in the states. There she was only given a 60 percent chance of surviving five years.
Danielle underwent multiple surgeries to remove the tumor and lymph nodes then to reattach her thigh muscle. Chris was given a “Humanitarian Assignment” by the Airforce to be transferred to Tacoma, Washington so she could receive treatment. Her mother came to help. Danielle was treated with high doses of Interferon which caused flu-like symptoms and short-term memory loss. After eight months of treatment, she was down to only 86-pounds and walking with crutches. She’s now been in remission for 18 years.
Once she was healthy again Danielle began riding as a passenger on Chris’s motorcycle. They became part of a local motorcycle club called Olympia LowLife Riders where she’s known as “Sparkle” because of her sparkly clothes. In addition to riding, they do fundraising events for various charities.
In 2015, Danielle and her husband had a horrible motorcycle accident! They hit a pothole and loose pavement threw the bike into a slide down a 30-foot embankment. They slid 50 feet and hit a phone pole.
When Chris realized the bike was going down, he turned and put his arm around Danielle to shield her. He sustained most of the physical injuries. She had scrapes and bruises and gravel in her arm. He broke his shoulder blade, collarbone, and several ribs, crushing some. He also had a lacerated spleen and three lobes of his lungs collapsed.
Their daughter came home from college to take care of them during recovery and the riding club surrounded them with amazing support.
After the accident, not only did Danielle want to continue riding motorcycles—she wanted to ride her own. Only three years after the accident she got her license and bought a 2018 Indian Scout named Sweat-Pea Hope.
Danielle and Chris continue to ride and raise funds for charities. She started a cancer support group called Melanoma Warriors and Cancer Club Friends on Facebook that has over 4,900 members.