by Kristen Kucharski
FEATURING RESIDENTS WHO INSPIRE THE COMMUNITY IN THEIR OWN UNIQUE WAY
Each year Glancer Magazine features a distinct group of residents who are doing extraordinary things, making a difference in the lives of others by giving them hope, guidance or inspiration. Each is so talented and has persevered through all that COVID-19 has presented this past year. Their stories will touch your heart and awaken your spirit. Here are Glancer Magazine's 15 Fascinating Faces of 2020.
OSWEGO/AURORA–eing a Firefighter and Paramedic during a pandemic has been a tough struggle for Dan who is a 12-year veteran of the Aurora Fire Department. Finding the balance of doing the best job he can to help people, while not infecting his close family and friends has been one tough battle.
He is used to working hard and managing high levels of stress as a member of the Tactical Rescue Team, Dive Rescue Team, and the Special Response Team with the Aurora Police as a TEMS (Tactical Emergency Medical Services) Medic. His entire life he has been an active - always involved in sports such as football, baseball, wrestling, ice hockey, MMA, motocross, snowboarding, water skiing, wakeboarding, skateboarding, rock climbing, soccer, boxing, and skydiving to name just a few; so it should come as no surprise that he competed in the last seven seasons of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.
Dan was inspired by spirited reality shows, such as Sasuke to apply online to American Ninja Warrior submitting a questionnaire and video showcasing his talents. He earned a spot in Season 5 and beat the qualifying course. Although he missed moving on to the Vegas finals, Dan came away with a very strong training partner, Brandon Mears who he met in Baltimore and discovered they were both firefighters in Illinois. The two became known as the “Towers of Powers” and have competed in every season since.
“Ninja Warrior started out as a personal goal in the beginning, something I aspired to conquer for myself; but now Ninja Warrior has become so much more,” Dan says. “After seeing how much competing can inspire others and motivate kids to be active, I try to lead by example and be the best role model possible.”