I read a story today that’s quite unprecedented, something you would never expect someone with a new spinal cord injury to do. Usually newbies ar, “Me me me,” “How can I get better?” “How can the world help me?” but Dan Black, a 29 year old from the UK with a spinal cord injury, sees things quite differently.
When Dan was injured in 2009 after being hit by a car when bicycling, his small town of Chepstow, South Wales helped him raise $20,000. This was money intended to keep in savings until a viable stem cell treatment surfaced. However Dan gave it all away to Brecon Vughan recently, a five year old boy with cerebral palsy.
Brecon has never been able to walk unaided. His family is trying to raise $60,000 to help him get a surgery in the United States that would help them walk again. And the exciting thing is that the surgery is more or less guaranteed to work, which is exactly why Dan decided to give away his money to Brecon.
“I know for me that things aren’t going to get better any time soon,” he told the Daily Mail. “I just wanted to do something that could help someone whose life could get better.”
Wowsers. Quite the profound thing to do. I know dozens of people spinal cord injuries who would never dream of doing what Dan did. All of us so desperately want to get better. We all know a spinal cord injury treatment will eventually come around, and there are even treatments you can get today (even though most cost more than $20,000).
So to give away such a large chunk of change to help a boy walk is one of the most selfless things anyone could do, let alone someone with a spinal cord injury. You gotta love how Dan looked at the situation; very black and white, very practical. It’s not easy to give up on your dream of walking again.
And the family is now halfways to their goal of $60,000 thanks to Dan. The surgery he will be receiving is called a dorzal rhizotomy, a neurosurgical technique that decreases spasticity in the lower limbs.
What I love about this story is the truth it reveals – that while it sucks all of us with spinal cord injuries can no longer do things we used to like doing, for little kids like Brecon who’ve never had an able-body, who’ve never rode a bicycle before, that’s even more of a tragedy. They deserve to experience a capable body just like we did at least once in their lives, if the possibility exists.
Bravo Dan for showing we can be selfless too.
Would you give away your “get better one day” funds?
– Video: Watch Brecon thank Dan for the gift