Years ago I met a boy named Daniel. I instantly liked him – he was smart, funny, sometimes a little awkwardly shy – and always genuine. He quickly found a special place in my heart, and even though life took us different paths, he was never far from my thoughts. One day a couple years ago, I contacted him, chatting a bit online as we usually did every few months. The news that he gave me was the last thing in the world I would have thought he’d say. He had been in a horrible accident in an off-road vehicle and was paralyzed. I cried that night – a lot. I remembered swing dancing with him; I remembered how he sat with me as I grieved after a close family friend passed away unexpectedly; I remembered how beautiful he made me feel when he would look at me. My heart broke for him.
We talked for as long as we could that night – then he said the pain was too much, the meds too strong, and his heart too heavy to stay awake. Daniel is one to chuckle at everything, and I remember lying in bed that night hoping and longing to hear that chuckle again. The reality is that Daniel is the kind of man who makes things feel better just because he’s there – as selfish as that may sound, I wanted that back.
When he told me that he was going to Costa Rica for treatment that he couldn’t get here in the US – I KNEW that he’d put 200% into it. I wasn’t wrong – except that I underestimated the effort he has put in…
Today, I once again cried. This time I cried tears of joy, of pride, and of complete admiration! Watch this video, and you’ll see why! Daniel, I am so proud of you for not taking “No” for an answer, for pressing on even when there didn’t seem to be reason to do so, and for inspiring me to always fight. My daughter will know your story – because people like you are the people who change the world.