Flashback to the Danielathlon (June 4, 2011)
It is thanks to some very good friends of Daniel that the Danielathlon became an idea, grew to an actual event, and was pulled off so successfully. On a lovely sunny day at a park in south Denver many friends, family, and complete strangers gathered to meet and greet Daniel. It was a celebration of him and all that he has accomplished since December 16th. People came from all over the state to even "just drop by" to say hello and shake the hand of this brave young US Marine.
Daniel's story has touched a great deal of lives. Well-wishers and supporters came to partake, even for a small time, of that story by coming to see Daniel, chat with him, and pass on their prayers and support to him and his family. Many of Daniel's friends came to laugh with him. Friends of the Riley family came to wish Daniel and the family well as they venture forth on a new chapter in their lives. There have also been so many people who have only got to know Daniel through this blog - there were plenty of these.
The hardest part, Daniel shared, was that there was not enough time to spend the time he wanted with all who came. A hand shake or hug, a smile, a picture, and a few words were hardly enough to share his story and share his great appreciation for all the prayers and support. But, he would not have given up even that small amount of time for anything! It was precious to him and also to those who got to connect with Daniel, some for the first time. There was an estimated 350-400 people who came by to wish him well.
It was a day of fun, food (lots of that, especially cupcakes!), and fellowship. It was a memory that will be cherished.
Heartfelt thanks goes to Caitlin Mock, without whom none of it would been possible. Thank you.
to see pictures go to: http://nmphotography.exposuremanager.com/g/danielathlon and put in password "Smiles"
The family and friends of Cpl. Daniel C. W. Riley, USMC, welcome you to join in as we celebrate and support the life of an incredible young man, friend, son, and brother. It is with great love and with many prayers we know that Daniel will move on to great and wonderful things. God has big plans for him! Daniel was born in Victoria, BC, Canada. In 1999 his family (Dad, Mum, brothers Tristan and Aaron, & sister Elizabeth, & cat) moved to Denver, Colorado, where his dad began working for the Episcopal Church in Colorado overseeing work with children, youth, and young adults. Daniel started high school in 1999 at Columbine High School. After three years at CHS he finished his high school at Brentwood College in Canada in 2004. After which he did some college and worked in the US and Canada. Daniel enlisted (still a Canadian citizen) in US Marine Corps in 2008 to serve his new country and to help pay for a future college education. On July 4, 2009 Daniel swore in as a US citizen before the Vice-President in Sadam Hussein's old palace in Bagdad, Iraq. In September 2010 he was sent as a combat replacement for the 2/6 Marines in Marjah, Afghanistan. On December 16, 2010, Daniel was severely wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). He primarily suffered severe wounds to his legs, left arm, and left lung. There were many times he was close to not making it. He has since had both legs amputated above the knee and three fingers amputated on his left hand. His lung and other injuries are healing well. Before this event and for many years to come, we know Daniel to be a loving, caring, intellegent, humourous, giving, adventurous, and deep thinking person. Keep praying! And use this blog to share your thoughts and encouragement.