Honoring Danni Kemp

Excellent Student, Star Athlete, Exceptional Person


Milford Memorializes: A photo of Foran’s new-and-improved softball field. Photo courtesy of Olivia Salai.

     On the morning of April 10, 2021, members of the Milford community attended a dedication ceremony at the newly christened Danielle Kemp Memorial Softball Field. The refurbished field honors Danni Kemp, a former student at Foran and a talented athlete. School officials also revealed to attendees that Danni’s uniform number 8 would be retired in remembrance. 

     Although Danni was a valuable player on Foran’s volleyball and basketball teams, her true passion remained on the softball field. Determined to continue doing what she loved in college, Danni signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division 1 softball at Stony Brook University.

     During a softball game, Danni was hit in the head with the ball. Danni’s doctors diagnosed her with what they believed was a concussion. As her health began to decline, they performed an MRI to re-evaluate. The test showed a tumor roughly the size of a tennis ball within an inoperable part of Danni’s brain. Danni was re-diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), one of the hardest types of brain cancer to treat. 

     The typical life expectancy for patients with DIPG is five to seven months, according to Cliff Kemp, Danni’s father.

     Danni fought her way through DIPG for seven months, but sadly passed at the age of 19 on March 10, 2017. 

     Danni Kemp was loved and respected by everyone she met, according to principal Mr. Max Berkowitz. Berkowitz describes Danni as genuine, personable, and caring to others.

     Mr. Anthony Vitelli, the athletic director at Foran, agrees with Berkowitz, saying, “She was a true student athlete… Danni was a great teammate and friend.”

     The dedication of the new field has brought tremendous amounts of joy to the Kemp family, according to Danni’s mother, Melinda Kemp.

     “Young girls that play ball on this field will know about Danni and with the logo behind home plate, they will hopefully emulate how she played – competitively, with all her heart, as a good teammate and having fun!!” says Kemp.

     Danni’s legacy lives on through the popular Dash for Danni 5K, the Danni Kemp Cancer Support Fund, and now the Danielle Kemp Memorial Softball Field.

     Kemp shares this sentiment with current and future Foran students: “I think the advice Danni would want people to know – is we only have one life, tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so be your best self every day!”