Danny Heinsohn is an avid cyclist. He logs miles around town, up and down steep grades like Geiger, and along courses designed for champions. "When I did Ironman Canada in 2010, it was probably the best day of my life," Danny reflects with a smile on his face.
Danny has competed in roughly 50 marathons and triathlons in the last decade. While that alone is impressive, perhaps the hardest endurance event Danny conquered happened right after he graduated from the University of Nevada. "I was diagnosed back in May of '99 with a brain tumor the size of a racquetball. I had three craniotomies and went through an entire year of chemotherapy." The median survival rate was five years. However, 13 years and 50 marathons and triathlons later, Danny is still going strong. Plus, he is more determined than ever to fill a void he witnessed firsthand when he started remission in July of 2000. "To be honest with you, I felt really isolated and people move on with their lives. They're there to support you, but they graduate from school, start their jobs. There's a lot of need out there."
Danny took it upon himself to start a network of support; a resource epicenter for young adult cancer survivors. It's called My Hometown Heroes. His foundation raises money for people between ages 17 and 35 to pursue their life's dreams. To get it up and running though, Danny set a hefty goal. While training for Ironman Canada, he vowed to raise $10,000 for the scholarship fund - symbolic of his 10 years in remission. That goal pushed Danny from the first stroke to the finish line, which he crossed in less than 12 hours! However, the real reward wasn't another medal for his collection, but instead the collection of friends he made along the way; the cancer survivors he has not only helped – but inspired - as an athlete, a fighter and a fellow survivor. "Here I am 13-years going on many, many more."
Danny hopes to raise even more money to help even more young adult cancer survivors, so he is raising awareness online. You can either learn more about My Hometown Heroes at www.MyHometownHeroes.org or "Like" My Hometown Heroes on Facebook. Danny hopes to get 2013 "Likes" on Facebook by the end of 2013.
Danny has also written a book which is expected to be in print later this year.
Written by Kristen Remington