Family: Dan has made the fatal mistake to promise to marry a girl from Finland called Maiju (me – and my name is pronounced “My-You”. Don’t worry about the pronunciation.). With me, he has had two daughters, Elisa (7) and Melody (5). From a previous relationship, Dan has a wonderful daughter called Ruby (15). My firstborn, Elisa, was born disabled. She has multiple diagnosis, the “main ones” being cerebral palsy, profound hearing loss, cerebral vision impairment, epilepsy and central apnea. Elisa is completely dependent to others with all her care, which she needs round the clock. Family’s youngest has also been diagnosed with epilepsy.
Why the DCF? Dan needs to answer this, but from partners point of view I have seen Dan transform thanks to the work he has been able to do for DCF. He has spring on his step, and he feels he has a purpose outside his home. He feels he is making a difference – and he has always been passionate about helping others. That’s how I met him too. He came to help a lady in distress, and somehow in the process he got stuck with me.
He is adamant making sure no-one has to struggle the same way we have had to, and that no-one feels as alone as we did on our darkest hour. With our personal experiences, he can relate to the struggles of others with disabled children and can provide practical advice and off-hand emotional support.
Professional Life: Dan has a vast experience working with retail and customer service, and is qualified IT Analyst. He is the nerd you need to fix your laptop and talk politics with while he fiddles with the tech. When I met him, he worked in IT at Bournemouth University – and he continued to work there all the way until we became pregnant with Melody and it became apparent I could no longer manage to care for disabled Elisa on my own while he is at work. He chose his family over his career – and has been Elisa’s carer ever since.
For Fun: During lockdown, his default setting has been being prone on the couch, cuddling Elisa and reading a book. Dan supports Liverpool FC and used to play football himself when he was younger and before he knackered his knees doing such sport with a ball. Now he is an expert sportsman on the couch and a gamer. He plays Destiny 2 among other games.
Something Interesting: He is the shortest of his siblings and for a decade of his childhood he lived in Germany with his family, but he does not speak German. Dan loves background noise – he has no problems following a documentary on TV while reading something else or gaming.
Why We Love Him: I don’t know why you love him, I love him because he is Dan. He is the man who will do everything he can to help others, even to his own expense. He gives from the little he has without batting an eyelid.