D’s Dawgs

by Jessica Westerland | Feb 12, 2013
D’s Dawgs Almost everyone knows a vibrant little girl, who has a big smile and huge potential to grow up and live a wonderful life. D’s Dawgs is a charity created to keep the memory of a very special girl just like that alive, and to bless others in her honor by supporting “the beliefs and activities she was passionate about.”

Danielle Bledy was a “unique, special girl with beautiful hazel eyes and a huge, beaming smile.” She was a joy to her family, and loved dogs. She knew every dog in the neighborhood, in addition to her own two dogs. She volunteered at PetSmart in the adoption center with her mother Carol, and was going to start volunteering at the Voorhees Animal Orphanage.

She loved playing basketball and guitar, and she had dreams of becoming a vet. She loved to wear jeans, t-shirts and Chuck Taylors. She practiced photography and art; she drew what her parents ended up using as the mascot of D’s Dawgs as a representation of her dog, Jake.

At 13 years old, Danielle woke up with an atrocious headache and was rushed to Virtua Hospital in Voorhees, and then to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She underwent surgery to remove a clot that resulted from the massive bleed from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Three days later, Danielle was taken off of life support by her loving friends and family because she was not going to recover.

Danielle had suffered from a Pediatric Brain Aneurism, a “silent killer.” An aneurysm is a bubble that forms in a weak spot on the side of a brain artery, like a balloon that tends to form where an artery divides. There is no way to prevent an aneurism, because no one knows enough about them.

Enter D’s Dawgs. D’s Dawgs was created by her parents, Wayne and Carol. “We started D's Dawg's charity in memory of Danielle, or “D,” as she was referred to by her friends, to support her passions.” Carol continued, “D loved animals, especially dogs. We support Animal Orphanage for this reason. She also loved sports, especially basketball, and we fund summer basketball camp scholarships in her memory.”

That is just the beginning of a list of many things D’s Dawgs supports. The organization also supports research of Pediatric Brain Aneurysms/Neurology/Neuroscience through donations to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and various Brain Aneurysm Research foundations, raises funds for four basketball scholarships to the township summer basketball camp in Cherry Hill, raises funds to maintain the Memorial Serenity Garden at Beck Middle School, raises funds for scholarship assistance to individuals pursuing a career in either Veterinary Medicine or Veterinary Nursing, raises funds for scholarship assistance to individuals pursuing a career in Photography, raises funds to provide assistance to a child to attend Great Times Day Camp who could not otherwise experience summer camp because of financial constraints, raises funds to make donations to no-kill animal shelters, and performs other charitable and benevolent activities.

All those things are done in the memory of Danielle Bledy.

“Danielle was very special, not just because she was our daughter,” Carol said. “I always referred to her as an old soul, because she had wisdom beyond her 13 years of age. She got along with everyone, whether 8 or 80.”

Doctor Christopher Festa is the doctor that treated Danielle when she was first rushed to Virtua Hospital. “Danielle Bledy will not benefit from today’s fundraising efforts, but I know in speaking with her friends, her parents and others that Danielle would have wanted others to benefit. In order to honor her, her life and her memory, it is essential that we don’t complain about the room being dark, but that we continue our efforts to turn on the lights and look for pediatric-specific therapies for aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations. In the future, some child, some family will be able to thank Danielle for giving them hope.”

D’s Dawgs sponsors several events throughout the year. If you want to support or get involved with D’s Dawgs, go to their website at dsdawgs.org, or write to them at
D's Dawgs
P.O. Box 3774
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

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For more on local Organizations, visit our South Jersey Organizations page.

For more on local Organizations, visit our South Jersey Organizations page.

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Author: Jessica Westerland


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