Danielle was juggling two kids and an MS diagnosis. Then doctors delivered another blow.

Danielle Diehm suffered her first ‘attack’ from multiple sclerosis in December 2012.

The then 32-year-old’s right leg suddenly became weak and ordinary sensations started to feel muddled.

“I couldn’t tell the difference between hot and cold, between sharp and blunt,” she told Mamamia.

It was her first experience of the incurable disease known for its ability to wreak havoc on the central nervous system and came two months after her shock diagnosis.

Source: GoFundMe

But the Gold Coast woman simply got on with things and not long after fell pregnant with her child, a son named Teva.

Unfortunately, things were not simple, however, and Danielle developed a rare pregnancy complication which meant her little boy had to be delivered at 31 weeks, weighing a tiny 1.2kg.

Three surgeries and three years later, Teva is a happy, healthy toddler but his mum is still in the midst of her own, worsening health battle.

In May 2015, Danielle was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma - a rare form of cancer in her cervix - while her second child, a daughter named Tehani, was just four months old.

Baby Teva was born at 31 weeks. Source: GoFundMe

"Having that result was shattering," Danielle said.

"To have two young children, already dealing with the effects of the MS and then having the diagnosis of the cancer, it was quite traumatic really."

Danielle was told that having more children would be out of the question and underwent a radical hysterectomy, all the while frightened the stress would cause a flare-up of her MS, which she was constantly reminded of by now permanent symptoms in her right leg.

Being separated from her two kids while in the hospital was heart-rending but thankfully their father, Danielle's loving partner John Siegenthaler, could pick up the slack.

"Recovery was quite difficult," Danielle recalled.

"Even the pain but then coming home to two small children not being able to pick them up to drive a car – all of these things - it was really quite difficult and emotional time."

After two to three months of healing and a second surgery in December 2015 which resulted in a worrying series of seizures, 2016 promised to be a better year.

And, despite ongoing check-ups and lingering complications, for the most part, it was.

Danielle with her two kids, Teva and Tehani. Source: GoFundMe

But towards the end of winter, the feeling in Danielle's right arm began to change.

"It was a very different weakness... at first it felt like I was carrying about a 10kg dumbbell.

"I couldn’t lift my hand up to wash my hair and things like changing the kid's nappies – because I’m right handed – became really, really difficult."


Then, in March this year, the family was dealt another blow with the news Danielle's cancer had returned; less than two years after it was successfully treated.

"Danielle always puts others ahead of herself." Source: GoFundMe

"I was with my sister as she received the results we just were so shocked and all we could do was cry," Melissa Arentsen, Danielle's sister, wrote on a GoFundMe page she's set up to raise money to help cover the cost of treatment, travel to and from the hospital in Brisbane and two support John, who is currently working six days a week to provide financial support for the family.

"Danielle always puts others ahead of herself, she never complains and makes sure the needs of the children are always met.

"I want my sister and her family to have some happiness and be able to give them a bit of a break from their struggles."

Danielle has just finished her first six weeks of radiation treatment with another bout on the horizon, which she hopes will be "the icing on the cake".

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Accepting help over the past few years has been one of the hardest things for the resilient mum who just wants to feel "normal" again.

"To have two little children and to be spending so much time away from them when they’re so small, I’m getting teary saying it," she said.

"I just want to be like a normal mum and have the energy to do things, because right now I don’t have the energy to do everyday things with the children.

"Taking them to park is difficult – it's the simple stuff."

If you'd like to donate to help Danielle and her family you can do so via GoFundMe.