*As one of the few child stars to move on from acting, Danielle Spencer has blazed her own path with a successful career as a veterinarian after completing a degree in veterinary science from Tuskegee University.
But finding fulfillment after obtaining fame playing Dee on the classic sitcom “What’s Happening!” for three years is nothing compared to Spencer’s newest challenge. According to BlackAmericaWeb.com, the former actress has been diagnosed with breast cancer a month ago and plans on using her experience to encourage young women to get screened for the disease.
This week, Spencer will head to the hospital to seek out the best treatment option for her.
“Surgery is definitely one of the options,” she told BlackAmericaWeb. “I”m trying to get as many opinions as possible but it does look that that is what I’m going to do. Hopefully after that there won’t be any chemotherapy or radiation. With everything that I’ve been through with the spinal cord injury (Spencer was in a car accident in 1977, during the show. Symptoms of spinal cord injury showed up 26 years later, eventually leaving her near-paralysis for a time) I know God is not going to give me another affliction. So I was completely shocked when the doctors told me.”
Although her family has had a history of breast cancer, Spencer revealed that her situation hasn’t put a stop to all the support and help she’s received in her life as well as all the good things that have happened in her life this year.
Evidence of Spencer’s good fortune is found in her induction into the Smithsonian Museum as part of the permanent exhibition of the African-American cultural museum scheduled to open in 2015.
With the honor, Spencer becomes the only child star to be inducted into the famed museum.
“I still can’t believe it,” she says. “That’s something people can look at for years to come, long after I’m gone.”