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Spina Bifida Awareness Week 2019 - Danny's Story

29th October 2019


Danny's Story...

He sets his own limits in life!

'I'm a touring musician, that sings, writes songs, and wears many different hats across all parts of the Entertainment Industry, and dream to someday be able to share a stage with Bono of U2.'

I was born with Spina Bifida Occulta, and diagnosed with Hydrocephalus at 3 years old.

I've always had big dreams! As a kid, I played a lot of soccer (football). My dad was a Semi Pro Player and was actually offered a Contract as a kid to play for Scarborough United in England.

My dreams, goals, and vision, as a kid, revolved around playing professional soccer (like dad), however, when I was 14 years old, my shunt broke. Not once, but twice, I was rushed back into emergency surgery, and told I could no longer do the one thing that I loved to do, the one thing I was good at, play soccer......... I remember going to back to school. Lost, confused, angry, and upset. So different than the upbeat, passionate person that I knew I was, and so badly wanted to be.  

My dad, also my Soccer Coach growing up, would always say 'Attitude is Everything', and I've continued to learn through life how right he is. 

I believe everything happens for a reason, even if you don't know what that reason is, and your ability to focus on the things that you can do, rather than the things you can't, empower you to turn an obstacle into an opportunity.

It wasn't until at 16 years old, through a Rotary Youth Exchange Program in Brazil, that I really started to discover my voice, as a person, singer/songwriter, and the power that music has to bring people together, create community, break barriers, and create opportunity for peoples voices, stories, and abilities to be heard.

Since then, I've continued to dream. Once a soccer dream, music has become my life. Not just something I do, but very much a part of who I am.

I'm now 31 years old, living in Niagara Falls, Canada. I graduated from University with my Bachelor Of Arts in Music, and teach music out of my home studio.

I'm also still a touring musician, that sings, writes songs, and wears many different hats across all parts of the Entertainment Industry, and dream to someday be able to share a stage with Bono of U2. However, it's not what I do that keeps me connected, and rooted to any of my big dreams, but rather why I do it.

I know that I have my own experiences through spina bifida and hydrocephalus, however, I know that there are many folks in the world who have their own story, and whose voices aren't often enough heard.

Why I do, what I do, has become the compass, and road map to anything I do musically, and it has become such an important piece to anything that I continue to pursue.

Whether it be working through 'A Song, A City' - a music tour I created to raise awareness of spina bifida and hydrocephalus, or working with Young Artists like my friend Em Jordan, a 14 year old Singer/Songwriter who also lives with spina bifida, to empower her through music, to share her own story, and empower other people through her story in the process.

Music has allowed me to turn an obstacle, and challenge, into an opportunity, and I'm grateful to be able to work alongside such incredible people, like SHINE UK, to further amplify, and connect the global community of spina bifida and hydrocephalus through music, so that people feel empowered to rise above the limitations that society can so often place on us, and rather than be defined by an obstacle or 'disability', focus on our strengths, and turn an obstacle into an opportunity.

Thank you so, so much SHINE. You are incredible partners, allies, and friends, to be able to work alongside, and I'm so excited to continue to work with you, collaborate with you, and create with you all for years to come.

'Music can change the world, because music can change people'

- Bono, U2

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