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Selfless ways of friend inspire

October 15, 2012
By Kathleen Palumbo , Town Crier correspondent

Albert Einstein once said, "Only a life lived for others is worth living."

Following a diagnosis of ovarian cancer discovered during the birth of her now three-year-old daughter, Danielle Samarco has since seen chemo, complications, remission twice, and, told there were no more treatments for her stage IV cancer. The 38-year-old single mom of three is now in the care of hospice.

"She's the type of person that -- it's not about her -- it's always, 'How are you'," said Samarco's friend, Amy Latimer, who added, "She's always been like that."

Article Photos

Danielle Samarco poses with her daughters, 14-year-old Brooke Thomas, 3-year-old Danica McAllister, 12-year-old Daisy Thomas. The 38-year-old single mom of three is now in the care of hospice fighting ovarian cancer.

Friends since junior high school, Latimer shared that in addition to simply staying in touch over the years through work, their children attend Austintown schools together. While Latimer has two children, ages 13 and 20, Samarco is mom to Brooke Thomas, 14, Daisy Thomas, 12, and three-year-old Danica McAllister. Prior to her illness, Samarco served as an advisor to the Austintown Colts cheerleaders.

In an outpouring of support for Samarco's children, several fundraisers are in place, including teal Team Danielle T-shirts and wristbands. The T-shirts, which sell for $10, are approved for school wear and can be ordered through Latimer, who can be contacted via e-mail at

According to Latimer, collection receptacles have been placed sporadically throughout the area, and plans for a spaghetti dinner, for which Austintown Middle School has generously offered the use of their cafeteria, are under way.

Sadly, Samarco does not have much time left with her daughters, whose future plans include Brooke and Daisy making their home with their father, while baby Danica, whose father is deceased, will live with her great aunt.

Donations in the form of checks to benefit Samarco's children can be made out to Danielle Samarco and mailed to Latimer at 115 South Kimberly, Youngstown, OH 44515.

Grieving the imminent loss of her friend, "She is the most caring, loving person," said Latimer of Samarco, adding, "Even to this day she only thinks about others. It took a long time for her to let other people help her."

Leaving three young daughters, Samarco's life has been all too short, for her, for her family, and for her friends. Looking at the bigger picture, her legacy of selflessness will no doubt live on in her children, and according to both Einstein's definition and the praises of her friend Latimer, she has most certainly lived a life worth living.



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