In 2004, Synovial Sarcoma claimed then 17-year-old Danielle’s foot. Danielle felt a lack of purpose post amputation. She missed running and the strength she had previously found growing up as a soccer player.
Nearly five years after amputation, Danielle took her first spin class and left that first class feeling alive and inspired to challenge herself athletically again. After participating in her first Challenged Athletes Foundation event, Danielle found strength in the CAF community and saw the endless possibilities that were available to her. She promised herself that she would race in her first triathlon. Danielle crossed the finish line in April 2011 with a standard walking prosthetic and a 30-year-old bike and she knew she had rediscovered her competitive spirit.
Danielle has since been equipped with two running prostheses from CAF. She spent several years racing paratriathlons with the support of CAF- taking 1st at the 2011 US Paratriathlon National Championships before heading to Beijing and bringing home a Gold medal as a World Champion and earning a silver at 2012's World Paratriathlon Championships in Auckland.
Four years ago, on the eve of her 10-year anniversary of surviving cancer, Danielle challenged herself to participate in CAF's Million Dollar Challenge. She became the first female adaptive athlete to ride every mile of MDC's 628 miles.
In November 2018, Danielle again challenged herself- running her first marathon at the TCS New York City Marathon. Danielle finished in 3 hours and 50 minutes! She plans to run Boston Marathon in 2020.
Danielle’s experience as a cancer survivor and amputee has pushed her to a career in healthcare where she works on a daily basis to make an impact in improving healthcare for patients, working as an administrator at UC San Diego Health.
UC San Diego Health
Inspiring others through a personal story of overcoming cancer and the loss of my left leg.