The parents of a young girl from Oklahoma were shocked when their daughter was diagnosed with a painful bone disease. To make matters worse, the girl's family was scammed out of all their money by a neighbor who took advantage of the situation.
Dani Killman, 11, has always loved physical activities, especially riding horses.
But in 2015, Dani stopped participating in her beloved outdoor activities when her health deteriorated, according to KFOR.
At first, Valerie and Roy thought Dani’s pain was due to a growth spurt, but the little girl kept getting worse and soon began limping.
Dani was taken to a pediatrician where they conducted various tests to figure out what was wrong.
But, several inconclusive tests later, Dani was sent to the Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer where she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma -- one of the most aggressive primary bone tumors.
The bad news didn’t stop there.
“One day, she had osteosarcoma, we were shocked, and then we found out the next day, it had spread to her lungs,” says her mother, Valerie.
Doctors at the Jimmy Everest Cancer Center performed knee replacement surgery on Dani to remove the tumor from her tibia.
The little girl had to go under the knife again to remove nodules from her lungs.
Luckily for Dani, the surgeries were successful and the most recent images of her lungs look promising. However, the little girl still needs a walker in order to get around.
“Now that she’s done with the chemo, he can help her get back on her feet, so to speak, and help with that nerve damage,” says Valerie.
But eight months into chemo and the family is battling another setback. It all started when a neighbor of the Killman family offered to help raise money for Dani’s medical expenses, reports KWTV.
"She dove right in,” said Dani’s dad, Roy Killman. “I was letting her help me with the functions. She was getting a hold of my family. Putting Dani's name out there. Making a Facebook for her. She was doing all the right things. Getting my family's confidence."
The family gave the woman access to their bank accounts so she could pay their bills while they took care of Dani. The neighbor even promised to help the family get a ranch so Dani could raise therapy horses for other kids with cancer.
But everything the woman told them was a lie. The Killman’s bank account had been drained by the time they figured it out. $30,000 to $40,000 of donated money that was supposed to go to Dani’s medical expenses was stolen.
Now, the family is left penniless and homeless. "The big things suck. But the little personal things are the things that really hurt the most,” says Valerie.
The unnamed suspect is currently being investigated by state authorities.