Atlanta-area Peace Corps volunteer dies from illness in Ghana

by: Dave Huddleston Updated:

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ATLANTA - Family and friends of a local Peace Corps volunteer serving in Africa are trying to figure out what caused her to get ill and die. 

Danielle Dunlap, 25, had been serving the people of Ghana since June 2011. Sunday, she got sick and later died.

She was set to come home in August and attend medical school at Emory.

"Danielle was full of life. She had a vivacious smile and a giving heart. If I had one word to describe her, it would be perfect. In every sense of the word," Allen Dunlap, Danielle Dunlap's father, told Channel 2's Dave Huddleston.

Danielle Dunlap's family said she was in the process of building a health clinic for villagers.

"She came home for Christmas, and in lieu of gifts for herself, she wanted financial donations to build a clinic," said Elvenia Gibson, Dunlap's aunt.

Dunlap's father said she decided to name the clinic after her grandparents. Her grandfather, Dr. John Gibson, recently received an email from her in which she tells him she was going to name the Ghana clinic after him.

"From the time she was crawling to the time here after Christmas, she thought about others before herself," Gibson said.

Dunlap's mother, a diplomat with the U.S. State Department, is now in Ghana to find out how her daughter became ill and died.

Her body's return to Atlanta will be handled by the Peace Corps and the State Department.

Dunlap was a graduate of Benjamin E. Mays and Brown University.



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