Yes Dan Can! Cerebral Palsy - Spastic Quadriplegia Won't Stop Him From Skiing.
Daniel Soares, a 13-year-old in the 6th grade, has cerebral palsy - spastic quadriplegia. He is nonverbal and unable to walk, however, this far from slows him down! Daniel communicates independently using an adaptive communication device and is always making jokes and sharing laughs with his contagious smile and incredible sense of humor. He aspires to be a writer when he grows up and is sure to create captivating stories as he continues to grow in his writing abilities.
Coming from a large family, Daniel always has someone to hang out and joke around with. His family is the most important thing to him. His mom, Seila, and his dad, Danny, are his biggest supporters and advocates. While his many cousins try to persuade him to join them for a sleepover, he would always rather they join him at his own residence.
A lover of all things hip-hop, Daniel’s dad has affectionately nicknamed him “D-Slice”, which always gets a big laugh and huge smile from Daniel. He is always listening to the latest music and dancing along with his brother and best friend, Michael. These two are incredibly close and share an unbreakable bond, whether its laughing at Daniel’s jokes, playing pranks on their parents, enjoying a game of Pokémon, or watching the Star Wars movies for the 1000th time, Daniel and Michael are happy as long as they are enjoying it together.
A typical day for Daniel involves attending school, which he loves, and playing games with his brother, Michael, or sharing a pizza with his cousin John. He also loves to hang out with his cousins Colleen and Cian, who come over at least once a week to hang with him and play some video games. His Avo and Avo come spend time with Daniel often as well and they love going out for dinner (Daniel’s favorite food is fish sticks) and then settling in for a movie at home. Of course, like so many teenage boys, Daniel also is constantly scrolling through Instagram and TikTok, making videos and taking selfies with his cousins Ciara and Caoilainn and getting endless numbers of likes and follows. He swears he is going to be InstaFamous one day!!
Daniel also loves to travel, heading down to the Jersey shore often to visit his cousins Suzanne and Sofia as well as his Titi Sandy and Tio Carlos. He loves hanging at the beach with them and making elaborate sand castles or letting the waves splash against him. During the summer and holiday months, Daniel also travels to Ireland to visit his Granny Nellie and beloved Grandad John. While in Ireland, he also spends time on the beach with his cousins Jolene, Maria, Caroline, Roisin, Conor, Claire, and Aiden. If Daniel is not at the beach with them, then he can be found hanging out by the fireplace building LEGO creations with his cousins Antoin and Evelyn.
Always up for a new adventure, Daniel has recently started an adaptive ski program, with an agency called STRIDE, who are teaching Daniel how to ski!! This has been an extremely empowering experience for Daniel and it has been amazing to watch. His instructors, David Fresk, Bill, and Greg have been incredible working with Daniel and do everything they can to ensure he is safe, comfortable, and in complete control throughout all of their time with him on the slopes. In order to give back to this amazing program, which is run by 100% volunteers like David, Bill, and Greg, Daniel has decided to participate in a fundraiser for STRIDE to help other children be able to experience such empowering sport activities. He has chosen the name Daniel’s Savages for his team and is hoping to raise money for STRIDE so more people like him can be empowered. Daniel's favorite color is purple and he is hoping everyone will wear purple on February 23 to support him and become one of his savages!!
If you would like to learn more about Daniel's adaptive ski program, check out STRIDE and his fundraising page here: www.stride.org
For any questions, find Daniel's Aunt Jessica (author of this post) on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jessica.berriosgallagher