This is a bit of a story about my brother Daniel. I have a lot to say about him but mostly he inspires pretty mixed feelings in me and so… I don’t say much. Recently my mother wrote a letter about Daniel to Yamaha – and I went over it with her and then we sent it out. This is a peek into his life and there’s no vacillating on the way this makes me feel. I’m proud of him, and of my parents – for never giving up, for say YES we can instead we CAN’T for taking chances and for letting their kid live a bit.
As a child Daniel was very ill with viral encephalitis. He was not expected to live. He endured many months in hospital and subsequently in rehabilitation centers but he overcame the odds and he survived. He was left with many medical conditions following this illness – he incurred brain damage, has dealt with epilepsy since a very young age and has been diagnosed as a Type1 diabetic.
The initial prognosis was that he would not develop much beyond his then two years, however Daniel is a survivor and as a family we never stopped encouraging him to be the best he could be. His father in particular was loath to ever tell him “You Can’t”. As a child he spent many hours in the back of a pick up and like most little boys he dreamed of driving a truck. He had his first three wheel ATV at the age of six and there was no stopping him after that. He and his father had off road bikes and they spent lots of time discovering trails in and around Whitehorse, Yukon.
After a few years of dirt biking Daniel wanted to get his license for a street bike. He worked hard and went to Yukon Learn for extra tutoring. At the end of his tutoring the motor vehicle branch in Whitehorse gave him his learners test verbally and he got a perfect score.
Daniel bought a 2006 Yamaha 250cc Virago and drove with his father for a year, learning the rules of the road and developing confidence in himself and his bike – and building ours in his ability to navigate the city roads and Yukon highways. He learned how to take care of his bike and with his father does general maintenance and oil changes. In the summer of 2007 he took the Harley-Davidson Road Safety Course – and one week later he passed his road test.
The mileage on his 2006 250 Virago is 31,427 kms! That is just from driving around town; those miles were put on within a hundred mile radius. He has become a familiar sight on Whitehorse roads. My mother works is a manager at Yukon Harley-Davidson and many of her customers comment to her about Daniel and his obvious joy of riding. They always remark about how happy he makes them feel just watching him ride. He is definitely a well known rider and if for some reason he is not on the road people will always ask about him.
Dan is 5’9″ tall and weighs about 187 lbs, and he has definitely outgrown his 250 Virago. We know he needs a bigger bike but because of his medical problems he does not work. We’re hoping we’ll be able to help him upgrade in the next few years 🙂
Dan used to come and visit Éowyn and I at our apartment down in Riverdale – and while sometimes he could be too pushy about wanting in when she was napping or I was busy we were usually super happy to see him. She was always really interested in him and though he didn’t always know how to talk to her or what a baby was good for – he got better the more he came around and spent time with her.
We used to have a snack together, or some water – one time he came by with a bag full of baby clothes he’d bought for her from the Sally Annes – he made sure to tell me to wash them really well before I gave them to her, because you don’t know who had them first ok Jac? It was really cute to see the shirts he’d picked out for her – all sparkly and flowery and bright. Thinking about that always always makes me smile.
That bike is a big, big deal to him. It gives him a lot of freedom – it gives him a life. I’m hella proud of him, and of my parents, for getting his license.