Ten years and a few weeks ago, I started as a junior at Perkins School for the Blind. The first class I remember walking into was English, where I met a fabulous teacher and a team of students, some of which I would continue a strong friendship with to this day. One of these was Daniel, and it wasn’t long before he became a frequent friendly face in my day to day movements, attending English, chemistry, algebra, and even film classes.
Daniel was a quiet, intelligent student who participated in everything with his best at all times. Sometimes that wasn’t so easy, when his various health challenges factored into a day, but his determination always persevered. We performed piano duets together, teamed up to make short films, and supported each other’s interests even if they weren’t our own. Outside of the classroom, we could bond over harry potter, while I drove him crazy with singing and talk of music, and he did likewise to me with stock reports and sports scores. Overtime, we established a familiar, comfortable rhythm, with his enthusiastic greetings, upbeat energy, and caring personality which remained a constant fixture in my three years at school.
Friendships face their challenges, and ours did. We argued, lost contact, reconnected. He taught me about loyalty, forgiveness, kindness, and what it really means to be a friend. In short, Daniel has edefined what it means to be a friend on a deep, inexplicable level, exemplifying a true team player any sports organization would be proud to have on their side.
It’s that team support that I and others in the community send Daniel now just as he would do for us. Recent weeks have been increasingly difficult for him due to worsening respiratory complications resulting in hospitalization and intensive care. Still, he continues to be himself in every way he is able with the strength and encouragement of those who have impacted his life. He has played an impactful role in mine more than he likely realizes, and I’m thankful to be part of this journey alongside him.
For those who know him in any way, your support and words are welcome in any form you can send them. If you don’t know him, well, you’d like to, and your additional support is of course received with gratitude. If he reads this or hears this somehow, then stay strong and we’ll keep in touch, and if he doesn’t, well, we’re still staying in touch, got it? Someone needs to make sure I know what Boston sports team’s winning, where I should be investing, and when I’ve had too many cups of coffee, right?