I write today with a heavy heart and ask for your faith, prayers and financial support for a good friend! Last week, I received an email that stopped me in my tracks and made all the things I had planned for the day completely insignificant. My mind started spinning and I could barely focus on the photo shoot I was about to undertake. I learned that an amazing athlete and good friend, Daniel Velasco, had suffered a severe spinal cord injury as a result of a paragliding accident and may not walk again. We need to raise money as Daniel does not have medical insurance and has a long road to recovery. Read more and donate here: http://www.kauailovesyou.com/kauailovesyou/Daniel_Velasco_Fund.html
It was just over a year ago that I met one of the coolest guys I've come to know as I was recruiting athletes/models for a trail running shoot in Kauai, HI. Daniels girlfriend had seen a local ad posted about the shoot and responded with a recommendation that I use Daniel. The next day I was on the phone from Utah talking to a guy I hadn't met, but could tell he was going to be the perfect athlete to work with. Not only that, but he offered this random haole photographer from Utah (me) a tour of all the best trail running locations once I arrived and anything else I needed while on his home island. This guy was awesome, I thought to myself as I hung up the phone! Upon arriving in Kauai and meeting up with Daniel the next morning I was amazed at how generous he was once again to a complete stranger; his smile and zest for life were contagious and I felt like I had know him all of my life, like two old friends back together to hang out for a week of awesome action and fun. Our photo shoot carried out the next day and like many shoots required the 4:00am start time to shoot sunrise and a subsequent 12 hour day of shooting and non-stop running to follow. My classic, "one more lap" was echoed throughout the day as we moved back and forth all over the Naapali coast trail probably putting in 12-15 miles of running. He was unstoppable, never tired, had the form of a champion and the best attitude of any athlete I've ever worked with. We created some killer images that day for my client and as a bonus Trail Runner Magazine put one of our shots on their Fall, 2010 Cover. We were both stoked! Shaka! We've stayed in touch since the shoot even talking just the few days before his accident about how awesome it is to ride, run, surf and play outside. In addition to his trail running prowess, Daniel is an awesome triathlete (one of Kauai's best), mountain biker and surfer. He enjoys kite boarding and para gliding among other outdoor activities. The guy's passion is contagious and he lives and breathes exercise, activity and the outdoors; which makes this accident even more devastating.
1) Donate anything you can here.
2) Your prayers and faith will also be a tremendous blessing to Daniel as we have hope for a miraculous recovery!
3) Drop a quick email to offer encouragement here. DanielVelasco@yahoo.com
4) Share this link via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Let's raise some money for Daniel!
DANIEL - We love you buddy! Hang in there! If there's anyone that can get back on their feet, it's you! Stay strong and keep smiling brightly.