2012 30A 10K to Benefit Donations 4 Danny
When I co-founded Hammer Down Multisport in March of 2012 to help promote and advocate cycling, running, and swimming in our community, I did not realize how much my world would change in a few short weeks. Nor did I realize our first charity event would be for a good friend of mine. On April 15th, I woke up early on a Sunday morning to go on a bike ride and found my phone filled with text messages and voicemails. I read the text message in shock, “Danny broke his neck and is paralyzed.” My good friend, local fireman and Real Estate business partner, Danny Margagliano broke his neck in a freak diving accident that Saturday evening. He was diving into deep water off Noriega Point in Destin. The impact from the water shattered his C5 vertebrae leaving him paralyzed.
Family, friends and our community were numb and devastated from the news. Having lost my mother to MS in July 2010 I was all too aware of what a life of paralysis means to an individual and their family. I could not even get my mind wrapped around what was happening to Danny. Our community stepped up to support Danny and his family…they really stepped up! People from across the country wanted to help, including his friends from his hometown Ocean City New Jersey where Danny grew up surfing and became a professional surfer. The South Walton Professional Fire Fighters led the charge to raise immediate funds to aid in Danny’s recovery and rehabilitation. Keller Williams Realty was able to secure a private jet flight to the Shepherd Center via Medway Air Ambulance. Once at the Shepherd Center it was up to Danny and his wife April to fight for his life.
Everyday has been a struggle, but his progress has been nothing short of extraordinary. Danny’s drive and perseverance has been truly inspiring to my family and I. Exactly four months to the day of the accident, Danny arrived home from rehab to create his new life. We have begun renovations to his home to make it accessible to Danny in his wheel chair and we are continuing to raise funds for Danny to offset medical and rehabilitation costs.
The 30A Thanksgiving 10K was created to help charities in our community. This race will become a major yearly event to celebrate our wonderful community and help out someone in need. It is my honor to have our inaugural event benefit my friend Danny. Please take a moment to visit Donations4Danny.com to read about Danny’s amazing journey and watch the inspiring video below. Danny’s journey to recovery is just beginning and he is excited to welcome each of you this Thanksgiving at the 30A 10K and Fun Run! – Craig Baranowski