Lives with: Cavernoma with Developmental Venous Anomaly
Referred by: Shepherd Center in Atlanta
Sports Hero: Shane McElrath
Since age 11, Daniel from Candler, NC has loved riding dirt bikes a competing in motocross competitions. He loves it so much that he even has a motocross track in his backyard. Daniel’s love for this sport is contagious because his father and all 3 of his brothers also love to ride, compete, and watch motocross and supercross races. As a racer in a highly dangerous sport, Daniel is no stranger to accidents or local hospitals. Therefore, when EMTs received a call on that early Saturday morning in May 2018, they thought they knew what to expect. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
On Friday evening, Daniel had participated in a ping-pong tournament at his church. When he arrived home late that night, he complained to his mom and dad about pains in his back. Later that night around 2, he was awakened from excruciating pains in his back. After falling back asleep again, Daniel awoke at 7am unable to feel or move his legs. Doctors at the local hospital as well as doctors at Johns Hopkin’s Medical Center classify Daniel’s condition as Cavernoma with Developmental Venous Anomaly, and this is one of only 3 diagnosed cases in the US.
While Daniel and his family struggle with the shock of the improbability of his condition, the uncertainty of the prognosis, and how to adjust to the new normal of being paralyzed from the waist down, they still believe this is all part of God’s plan. After 3 months at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Daniel was eager to get home to return to leading the morning prayer group for youth at his church, playing his guitar, and starting his sophomore year at Liberty University to pursue his degree in Criminal Justice to become a State Trooper. While he is unsure if, when, or how he will be able to ride his dirt bike again, he is eager to get back to watching and supporting the supercross drivers he loves, like Shane McElrath. Daniel is a fan of Shane because they are from the same home town, and because Shane is also a follower of Christ. Daniel’s dream is to meet Shane McElrath and see him race in the Monster Energy Supercross Championship in Las Vegas.