May 13, 2002

On May 13, 2002, my family experienced the first of our great losses.  My 21 year old brother, the youngest of the 3 of us, would be taken from us as a result of injuries he sustained from a car accident.  Danny had just finished his first semester in the Dramatic Writing program at NYU, and was on his way to Baltimore, with his girlfriend and her kids.  There was a torrential downpour, and they should have waited, but chose not to.  While on the New Jersey Turnpike, they were going too fast for the conditions, and hydroplaned hitting another car.  The force was so great that it caused Dan’s wheelchair to turn 180 degrees, and he was then ejected through the back window.  He was conscious when they took him to the hospital, and it all went downhill from there.


Danny was one of those people that was larger than life, and never let anything get in his way.  When people would tell him, “You can’t do that, you’re in a wheelchair,” he always found a way to prove them wrong.  You see, Danny was a genius and the interference of those at the high school became too much for him to handle, so he dropped out.  But that wasn’t the end of his story.  He enrolled in the local community college and went on to get his GED by receiving his Associate’s Degree.  When at first he didn’t get into the college and program of his dreams, he moved onto another one with the goal of getting into his first choice.  After MANY challenges, he completed his first year at Hofstra University, and was accepted into the Dramatic Writing program at NYU.  At that time, the Dramatic Writing program at NYU only accepted 40 new students each year, so this was a major accomplishment for anyone.  During this time, he also had the short term goal of wanting to work for the Emmy’s.  He entered a contest to win a summer internship, and made it to the final round where they had to submit a video of themselves.  We believe that the fact that he was in a wheelchair may have held him back that first year.  He didn’t give up though, and applied again once he was at NYU.  The day of his funeral, my mom called to inform them of his death and she was informed that the committee was actually meeting right then to decide between him and another candidate.  It seems no longer had a decision to make.

This is the video he recorded for his application.

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