Words. Dave Soroka

January 4th, 2012 by Conor

I still remember exactly where I was on one year ago when I had learned about Danny’s Accident. I was in a hotel in Africa preparing to get on a boat that following morning for six and half weeks. In a job where isolation and downtime can cause your mind to run a million miles per hour, my mind rarely left the thought of Danny’s status. Getting off the boat six and half weeks later and immediately flying back North Conway to see him alive and walking around was a relief that I have never experienced before.

Jump ahead to the 4th of July I traveled up to Tahoe to hang out with him and Conor. From my first time seeing him in February he had just gotten out of the hospital, he was taking all kinds of pills, he had very little energy and was skinnier than me. To five months later we were hanging out in Tahoe playing volleyball, bocce ball, and meeting him near the top of Squaw after him and Michelle decided to hike their way up. It was after that trip I knew Danny was going to be okay.

Traveling back to New Hampshire for Christmas like I do every year I got to spend some more time hanging out with Danny, who also flew back to NH for Christmas. His hair is back to where it was a year ago and he finally weighs more than me now. I could also see how excited and happy he was to be able to get back on the snow January 3rd. I think Conor was just as stoked about his progress…who himself deserves a some sort of medal for all the support he has given to his brother. I can’t imagine how hard it has been for Danny, he has worked hard to get back, physically and mentally. To stay as determined as he has through all of the physically therapy while still not knowing for certain if it would pay off in the end is a tough pill to swallow, and not many people have that motivation. He told me about the miles he has racked up hiking in this year alone, and I can guarantee I haven’t hiked that many miles in my entire life. We went on a run the other day in the cold, which can be tough on anyone’s lungs. It was during this run he told me he is trying to ween himself off his asthma medications. I thought to myself, one year ago he was fighting for his life and we weren’t sure if he would walk or talk again and now we are on a run and he his trying to rid himself of his asthma meds. Pretty amazing.

In my write up last year for this site I mentioned I could not wait for this Christmas Eve when I get another voicemail from Danny with him and his family singing Silent Night. I knew I was going to hear it again. So per my request I had him leave another message on my phone this year. This rendition has never sounded better. Listen for yourself.


Words. Mary Behrens

February 1st, 2011 by Conor

So, I don’t know Danny, Conor or Michelle – any of you or your families, but that is besides the point. I am a good friend of Annie Perley who grew up in the Conway area. Recently she told me about the site after my inquiry. I read through the blog/website and I was frozen in time. Annie has done so much for me in the past year, that I couldn’t help but want to give back and pay it forward, ya know.. I wanted to contribute/donate and not just quickly browse the blog and move on.

Flashing back to this past year with my family. We struggled with family and friends in the hospital. This blog has struck a chord with my heart. This fall my brother spent countless days and nights by his best bud’s bedside in the hospital. I know that, not only did our childhood friend & his family need our love, prayers and support – but so did my brother. He needed my silly texts, phone calls and emails….and for me to listen and to be supportive. (Especially since I am 3,000 miles away from home on the west coast) And that support needed to continue for everyone long after the release from the hospital. Long after.

I know for a fact that love and support are needed from the beginning, deep into the middle and long into the future. It sounds like there is an amazing support group of family, friends and communities rallying behind Danny’s recovery. The power of the internet and social networking to spread the word and to make fundraising a success so that Danny can focus on healing and not finances is amazing.

I’m reminded once again how precious life is and how important family and friends are. I’m sending all sorts of love, support and healing energy from the east coast. Here’s to healing, moving forward and the future that lies ahead. As well – here’s to the support for ALL of you – long into the future.

Mary Behrens

Words. Tom Jones

February 1st, 2011 by Conor

Hi to all up in Montana,
This is Tom Jones one of the debaucherous partners from the back of the bus in Croatia. Sounds like things are getting better all the time, couldn’t expect anything less from a strong rider. I’m really happy to hear Danny is walking around the hospital, that’s a big step when they let you do that. I was just reminded of you all again when I was screwing around at work. We were searching for Mike Wilson’s quadruple back flip into Tahoe, and the Shreddy Times clip comes up first in the Google search! Congrats on that, it was great to see your logo randomly on the web instead of looking it up directly. The editing of the clip was really professional, and was a great montage of Mike screwing around. Keep up the good work, I look forward to running into more of your clips on the web. Stay strong Danny , you’ll be out soon!!
Much Love From Mammoth!!!!! TJ

Words. Cerese

February 1st, 2011 by Conor

I’ve written once before when Danny first suffered his injury. I thought it would be nice to contribute some more. Although I may not know Danny, his family or friends, I understand what you all are going through. I went through this back in March of 2004 with my best friends older brother who is like my brother. My best friend lives in Missouri and was only able to stay for very minimal time. I made a promise to her that I’d be there everyday until he was released. I even put off moving back east to Boston to attend school until he was better. I stood by my promise. He was hit by a drunk driver going 75 mph as he was walking across the street and it literally knocked him out of his shoes, and suffered a TBI along with some other serious injuries. I remember my best friend telling me what to expect when I returned home from a trip to Boston. Nothing can prepare you for that. Tubes, machines, beeping noises, drs, nurses and all the abundance of tests. Staring at the same machine you all stared at watching the pressure, and watching the numbers jump up and down for days it felt like.

Over the weeks and months he was in ICU, PCU and eventually finally into the rehabilitation hospital I would see great leaps and bounds. As all you guys there that were worried about Dannys writing, we were worried if he was still able to draw. When we gave him a pen and paper and asked him to draw, we were all amazed and felt a little bit better about everything that had gone on.

Danny has come SO far and has made such HUGE leaps and bounds these past 3 weeks. With everyone by his side for support makes such a huge difference. I was so happy to read he will be eventually back on a snowboard, where he belongs! I’m on this site everyday checking on any new posts about Dannys recovery. Danny your in my thoughts and prayers along with everyone else who stands by you! You are such an inspirational person inside and out. You’re a strong willed, motivated person who knows what he wants. This is helping speed up your recovery.

I’ve purchased a bracelet (wish I could contribute more, but funds don’t let me at the moment being right in the middle of moving out of state) and I ROCK it everyday!! I am proud to wear it!! Anything to show my support in your recovery! This is the time people need to show some extra love and support. Danny may be in the fast lane to recovery, but he still needs everything he can get from anyone reading this site. There’s still a long road ahead with lots more leaps and bounds to conquer.

Sending lots of love and positive vibes from the west coast!!


Much Love,

Words. Mark Demmitt

February 1st, 2011 by Conor

Hey Danny and Everyone else reading this, I got a good Danny story from 2009…

I met Danny 2 winters ago. I was settling in the Tahoe area after
college and I had the good fortune of clicking on a craigslist ad for
a $400 room for rent, utilities included. It wouldn’t be till much
later that I realized the true value of staying at 12906 Pinnacle
Loop, living with good people, Danny being the leader. That winter
went from good to great when I started hanging out with Danny. Trips
to Taco Bell, and making fun of each other when we couldn’t figure out
Mickey’s Hand Grenade bottle cap word puzzles were some of the little
things that really bonded us as friends. The story I want to tell is
about a game called SCOTLAND…

The game is played with a group of people, three bottle caps each, a
large goblet and plenty of drinks. Everyone puts zero to three bottle
caps in their fist and holds it in the middle. Then a round of
guessing takes place, everyone guesses a sum of the total bottle caps
in the middle, hidden by the fists. After everyone guesses, a total
is added up. If you guess correctly, you put some of your drink in
the goblet and you’re out, that’s good. If no one guesses correctly
you do a cheers for Scotland and drink a sip. Eventually the game
gets down to two people, with a large goblet full of cheap beer for
the loser. The game was an instant hit when I introduced it,
especially to Danny.

When we first started playing, Danny was hosting 3 or 4 kids from The
University of Utah on a shred trip to Tahoe. Now, most of the people
reading this know that Danny is a creative kid, and he put his own
twist on this game. When the final two are heads up, the winner of
that match up, instead of putting in more beer, can add any liquid in
the house. People who know Danny, knows he is one of the luckiest
kids out there, so this disgusting rule didn’t effect him at all
because he never lost! Everyone else was drinking hot sauce, maple
syrup and ranch with their beer, Danny was laughing it up. We played
that game many times throughout the winter, and it just proves that
Danny was a special kid who could beat the odds and avoid the goblet.

This recovery time is another way Danny can show everyone how special
he is. While I haven’t seen Danny since the accident, from what I’ve
read it sounds like he is doing exactly that, beating the odds and
leaving a positive impression on everyone at the hospital. I hope you
enjoyed reading this, as I enjoyed reliving the memories, thanks
Danny, get better soon.

Much love,

Mark D.

Words. Donald Kelley

February 1st, 2011 by Conor

I don’t know Danny personally but his story has really hit home for me. I did meet Danny one time at Northstar, after seeing the Shreddy Times sticker on his board I wanted to comment on how much I liked the site but got shy and didnt say anything, but somehow ended up in the same gondola with him anyways. He was an extremely nice guy and made me even more stoked to be going shredding. Going on the site and seeing what happened to him made my jaw drop. I suffered from a traumatic head injury myself 6 years ago up in Whistler, fracturing my skull and bruising the frontal lobe of my brain. The doctor told me if I had hit my head a half inch to the right I would have died on impact. But enough about me. My heart goes out to Danny and his family and I wish him all the best in his recovery. I know he can come back fully from it and after just reading that he was sitting up and talking I am so incredibly stoked. Wishing you the best from Tahoe. -Donny

Renee Cypher

January 30th, 2011 by Conor

As I sit here watching X-Games, and keeping up on Danny’s progress, I just feel that I need to write. I don’t know Danny, Danny’s family, Danny’s girlfriend – none of you. I heard about Danny’s accident through my brother’s girlfriend’s son and daughter (who I have never met either) but saw Micaela’s posts on facebook. I read this site usually every night and have prayed every night for Danny to have a full recovery and to be able to walk and talk. Now to know that he will be able to board again, someday! Amazing. The power of prayers, family and friends is what it is all about plus the excellent doctors and medical staff. I spent a month in the hospital with my son when he was 3 – he is now 18. Miracles happen. So I do know a little of the ritual of Conor and Michelle.

I have 3 sons who board – I don’t know a lot about it but they enjoy the hell out of it. As we are watching x-games, a boarder just did a triple flip – first time ever. Guy by the name of Hordmo or something like that. And it just seemed like the right time to send this. A parent’s worst nightmare is something happening to one of their kids.

I will continue to pray for you, Danny, and for your family. I think some of the best news was knowing that Danny will be able to board again. It may not be for a year or so, but at least it will be. Danny, continue the unbelievable progress that you have been making.


Checking In from Australia by Sean Guinard

January 28th, 2011 by Conor

Daniel Son!

I just went on a couple day camping trip with no technology besides an Ipod and some speakers. The thought of our over night trips to Kearsarge and Glen Boulder were constantly on the mind.. The better half of my music was straight out of your vintage track list..I have slowly got away from “Kids” playing every forth song haha, but it still makes a frequent visit to the speakers! Listening to this music made me think about how much fun it is going to be to duplicate these trips in the future! Hearing your progress has put the biggest smile on my face and a feeling of pure relief.

When this all started I was put back in time to my fathers incident and tried to remember how I dealt emotionally with everything. I struggle still to this day to fully remember the 3 months that he laid in a coma with the bad news constantly coming my way. I simply remember the day I saw him awake and talking for the first time. I knew then things were on there way being ok again. Granted he thought he was 2 weeks out of the army (hadn’t been in the army for over 20 years), He was joking like usual and knew who we were ( my brother and myself). From that day on his recovery continued forward every day.

These last few weeks have been tough for everyone, you Daniel Son, your family, and your countless friends around the world. The hard work that everyone has done to support you will never be forgotten. But the days everyone will find themselves remembering will be the days to come of getting such a great friend back in their lives. Your strength in “dominating life” will ultimately bring you to the top again. As you fight your way back, know that some things will come easy and others not so much. In the tough times you have people coming from all angles willing to push you through to the next challenge.

Being in Australia has opened my eyes to the world beyond NOCO.. You helped push me to getting to this point. I will not lie when I say I never want to leave this place and wish you could be down hear in your recovery time. But that being said I am looking forward to coming home in a couple months and hanging out with you and the crew! I’ll be keen for whatever stage heavy activity your ready for… whether it be stuffing our face with cheddar rice cakes and FRANKS redhot, playing wii or a trip down the riv….With you I wouldn’t be surprised what you’ll be ready to do!

Keep Charging Daniel Son! Miss and Love ya big guy!

Chauncey Bueeeyyy!!

Words. Torin Hjelmstad

January 28th, 2011 by Conor

Danny, Conor, & Family,

A couple DANecdotes:

…Danny, Conor and I went to the same babysitter for a year or two when we were pretty young. The only memory I have of Danny is when, upon being told he couldn’t do something, he got so upset that he told our babysitter he was going to go home, get his axe, and chop down all her trees. A little impulsive? Sure. A kid being a kid? Probably. A sneak peak into what might happen if you challenge him? Yes. (I always wondered if he actually did have his own axe…)

…When I heard that Danny and Conor started a clothing line, it didn’t surprise me, nor did it probably surprise anyone. Someone once told me that when Danny was in elementary school and Jr. High that he used to burn CDs and sell them to his friends. I could picture The Kid Entrepreneur, working out numbers and figures at his desk.

In the spring of 2003, my junior year at Kennett, I was diagnosed with leukemia. It forever changed my life. That summer was a blur of biopsies, IVs and chemotherapy. Amid the chaos and struggle, I watched my friends, classmates, teammates, coaches and the entire Mount Washington Valley come together to support my family and me. We are blessed to have all grown up in such a great place. One memory that’s forever etched in my mind is from a benefit dinner held at the Elks Club for my family. Things were sort of winding down and people were just sort of milling around, then all of a sudden the room got noticeably louder…the lacrosse team had come in. Led by Danny, they walked over to my table and presented me with a KHS lacrosse jersey as a token of support. A silence came over the room as Danny handed the jersey to me, wishing me the best in the most sincere, true fashion; a classy move by a classy guy. I won’t ever forget that.

Danny, you may be the one on the other side of the glass in the ICU, trying to sleep– trying to live–amongst the jungle of tubes, IV drips, clanging machines and male nurses, but no matter how hard it gets, or how bad it hurts, know that you’re not alone. It’s a long road to back to normalcy, but if anyone can do it, you can. You’ve got what it takes. And you have an entire platoon of people supporting you, land and sea, stateside and abroad. And from someone who knows the compassion and generosity of the great people from the MWV (dare I say greatest in the world?), I can tell you the difficult steps of recovery are made easier knowing that you have thousands of people rallying around you. It truly does make a difference. And by all accounts, it sounds like things are improving daily, so keep it up.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill

Conor and all of you who are keeping the rest of the world updated with your blogs: kudos to you all, it takes a lot of courage and guts to tell your stories.

Danny, think of your road to recovery as a forest of trees that you need to chop down with your axe: just another challenge.

Sending all my best.


Torin Hjelmstad

Words. Alyssa Hussey

January 26th, 2011 by Conor

I wrote a quick lil blurb when I first heard about Danny’s accident. But when I was writing it…I really wasn’t sure what to say (and im still not sure now). So many thoughts and emotions had instantly filled my head. Since the web page went up…I have continually been on it…checking updates…reading memories…and trying to wrap a finger around my own feelings. I have known Danny since I was in 7th Grade…him in 8th…We used to hang around within the same circle. I have a lot of memories of Danny from back than…some involving Danny’s infamous laugh and others involving heart break from my huge crush on Danny and not having him all to myself. But I moved away from Conway when I graduated from Kennett…and lost touch with a lot of people (Danny being one of them)….some I don’t give a second thought (no names..but sorry its true)…others I wonder why I let this happen. When Danny got in this accident I could not come to grips with the fact that on multiple occasions I had accidentally “butt dialed” Danny’s phone number and frantically tried to hang up the phone as quickly as I could possibly move my fingers, in hopes he didn’t pick up. Now, I find out than Danny has been hurt….Night after night I would sit and wonder why the hell didn’t I just let it ring and let him pick up and explain it was an accident but let the catch up happen anyways…I got some good advice from a very noble man (Conor *cough cough*) who told me not to dwell on something like that and to just make sure that when Danny gets better and past all of this…to make sure I call him and say hello. I know this will be exactly what I will do. It is so sad that such a tragic event has to happen to make you realize these things…..

I am not a person to show any emotion…in any way…So words about this whole situation and how I felt wont come in this post. But there hasn’t been a day that I have gone without looking at the web page for updates on Danny’s progress…usually multiple times a day…I never wanted to miss a beat. The updates recently have been absolutely amazing. Danny is such a strong person and no one could have pulled through as quickly and as well as he is doing. Conor you are a hero to me. Danny is lucky to have such an amazing brother. Thank you so much for all you have done..its indescribable… and for keeping everyone updated on Danny’s progress. Michelle… I have never met you but I feel like in some way I know you now…as im sure many might say. But you are an amazing girlfriend and person all together. Danny, Conor, Michelle, and the Toumarkine family…you are in my thoughts and prayers every day. You have stuck in this incredibly tough situation (and still have a long ways to go) but you all have made it through the scariest part. Keep up the strength and determination. Danny is so very lucky to have a family like you right by his side.

« Previous Entries