Young manâ€™s story touches hearts at Dining for DreamsJune 8, 2012 by Michelle Strutzenberger
Dane Issigonis makes new connections with hockey aficionados
Dane Issigonis was thrilled to be chosen a Hero of Ability by the BC Centre for Ability. He never anticipated what else might happen as a result of his story being shared more widely.
On May 24, the 13-year-old Vancouver resident stood up at the Centre’s 13th annual Dining for Dreams gala and thanked all the people who’ve played a part in his recovery from a brain aneurysm two years ago.
“I would like to thank all my friends and family, all my coaches and instructors who pushed me to want to work harder. That is how I pick myself up, dust myself off and work even harder,” Dane said in his presentation. “I would also like to say thanks to the doctors and nurses; you guys were amazing.”
Dane went on to mention his love of hockey and various other sports, adding his love for his family and friends is even greater since his crisis.
Speaking with Abilities Express after the event, Dane says it felt good to be able to stand in the limelight and offer his gratitude.
“I felt really powerful,” he adds, exemplifying the confidence that recognition can spark.
After the Dining for Dreams gala, a number of people made their way to the young man, evidently deeply touched by what they’d heard.
One gentleman Dane met has since given him an autographed Kevin Bieksa hockey stick.
Another who wishes to remain anonymous has contributed four tickets for a Canucks season’s opener for Dane and his brothers.
“It’s really exciting for me that they heard my story and really care about it; that they actually want to do something to help me,” Dane says.
Dining for Dreams always celebrates several Heroes of Ability, people supported by the Centre who demonstrate courage and resilience to live their lives to the fullest despite physical, neurological and/or developmental challenges.
Audrey Kwan, the Centre’s Communications Manager, says Dane’s story highlights how the event creates connections between people that may not otherwise have a chance to connect.
“In this way I believe that Dining for Dreams is a catalyst for new beginnings for our guests,” Audrey says.
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