NOBODY SAID growing up is easy. For Danielle, the safe suburbs of Kansas City always felt warm. Inviting. But one day, everything changed. Not only did she hate what puberty was doing to her body, she had spotted a few scary specks of blood after going number two. Gross. As an insecure tween who blushed during "the talk," one who refused to buy toilet paper at the store, nobody could know her little secret. So she hid it from everyone—Mom, Dad, her brother, and her friends. This went on ... for years.
Busted. Eventually, her secret came out. Danielle was rushed to the doctor and into a colonoscopy. Shock took over when she was diagnosed with a rare colon cancer (something the internet called an "old man's disease") just a few weeks after her seventeenth birthday. Seriously!?
High school mornings in classrooms morphed into nightmare days in cancer-center waiting rooms. Yet Danielle stayed hopeful, even grateful, for her illness. The way she saw it, fighting cancer spiced up her otherwise-boring testimony. And it brought her true love. Not until she heard the dreaded "It's cancer" again at age twenty-five did she start to resent so much suffering and question her faith. Yet Danielle wasn't about to stop. From Times Square to the White House, she became an outspoken survivor by starting a blog, as well as a young wife and a mom. Eventually, she found the self-acceptance she'd been looking for—it was guided by a still, small voice that had been with her all along.
In this soul-baring memoir, Blush: How I Barely Survived 17, Danielle reminds us that growing up is never easy, and she shows us how to go head to head with God. With out-of-body wisdom beyond its years, Blush beautifully inspires us to accept our imperfections and embrace every season of life.
Danielle Ripley-Burgess is a two-time colon cancer survivor first diagnosed at age seventeen and an award-winning communications professional. She writes and speaks to encourage those facing trials, under a motto of “faith that survives.” She’s the author of Blush: How I Barely Survived 17 (Redemption Press, 2020), The Holiday Girls (Little Lights Studio, 2018), and Unexpected: 25 Advent Devotionals. Her story has been told around the world through outlets like The Today Show, BBC’s World Have Your Say, Sirius Radio’s Doctor Radio, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, among others. Home is in Kansas City with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Mae. When she’s not writing, she can be found baking her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s a good one. Follow her blog at DanielleRipleyBurgess.com or connect on social media at @DanielleisB
This whipsaw-powerful, engaging memoir is about so much more than wicked cancer, youth, faith, and even love. It's about family, and hope, maybe most of all.
—Curt Pesmen, author, cancer survivor
Associate producer and former health editor of SELF magazine
Danielle is a strong woman of faith with an inspiring story that speaks to so many relevant issues us gals face from childhood through adulthood! This is a powerful and moving story!
—Alita Reynolds, Foundational Voice, Women of Faith
Danielle's story is incredible, and it goes to show that nobody is exempt from trials—including young athletes. She's a leading voice for the next generation of girls who are looking for influencers to point them to Christ.
—Dan Britton, author and chief field officer of Fellowship of Christian Athletes
It’s difficult to make meaning when bad things happen to us, yet Danielle shows us it's possible through her memoir, Blush. In this beautifully written story, she shows us the raw details of her personal disasters and that despite suffering, it is possible to resiliently rebuild.
—Jamie Aten, PhD, cancer survivor
Founder of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College
Blush is a testimony to the fact the human story is complex, romantic, challenging and beautiful. We are made up of striking moments. Danielle captures an authentic depiction of her youth and adult life. She's conquered cancer twice! In the end, she finds the beauty of her God-given design. She is an inspiration to us all.
—Anjee Davis, president of Fight Colorectal Cancer
As a girl dad, I feel enlightened! This is an important story everyone needs to read. I really appreciate how Danielle puts a critical spotlight on the need for early detection of colon cancer, even in young adults like us. Screen Your Machine!
— Scott Lagasse, pro NASCAR/Trans Am Series driver and colon cancer survivor
From education about a disease no one wants to talk about, to inspiration from her faith, Danielle’s story is courageous and hopeful. Everyone can and should read her story.
—Molly McMaster Morgoslepov, cofounder, The Colon Club,
Author of One Drop of Rain: Creating a Wave of Colon Cancer Awareness
Danielle Ripley-Burgess is one of the kindest and most passionate patient advocates I’ve ever known. Her story is inspirational, and her writing is insightful and powerful.
—John Novak, head of patient engagement, Inspire: the online support community
Serving as the president of a national organization focused on educating and inspiring individuals on leadership (i.e., discipline, hard work, adapting to change, etc.), I found this memoir by Danielle Ripley-Burgess engaging, intuitive, and motivational. Danielle’s insights from her journey of life provide many levels of inspiration all along the way. Enjoy the read!
—Kim Blumenthal, cofounder, president, the Pat Summitt Leadership Group
I wish I’d had this book when my own daughter received a devastating diagnosis in the middle of her teen years. Danielle’s story is both heartbreaking and full of hope. Blush will inspire the reader to embrace their own journey toward deeper faith and strength in the face of suffering.
—Melissa Hanberry, writer at Leafbyleaf.life
Danielle took me back to middle school and helped me remember the feelings of coping with body changes, which is good since my oldest just turned twelve. After I read her story, I immediately talked to both of my girls and told them if they ever notice unusual bleeding in the toilet, tell me.
—Katie Bryan, blog reader and girl mom