2 Jocks Race to the Finish to Cure a Special Little Girl

Everyone deserves to have a hero.

Whether it’s a fictional one that fights baddies or a gentle giant who use to tuck you in at night and read you bedtime stories, everyone should have a figure they can look up to. Someone who inspires you to step up to the plate and take that next at bat.

For Abbi Monaghan, a nine-year-old girl who suffers from the extremely rare disease, cystinosis, that hero is Dan Giancarlo. Niagara This Week explains they met when Dan was asked by one his buddies, a professional boxer, to walk with children who have serious illnesses and their bond was immediate.

Cystinosis causes the amino acid cysteine to build up in a person’s cells and can eventually cause major organs such as eyes, muscles, and bone marrow to fail.

Because only approximately 2,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed with cystinosis, funding in Canada, where Abbi lives, is virtually non-existent.

That’s why Dan vowed to help in the search for a cystinosis cure. The Niagara This Week explains that he and fellow members from his gym are going to cycle nearly 2,000 kilometers to raise funds to support cystinosis research. The event has been dubbed “Rock to the Lock.”

Map of cystinosis bike ride in Canada
Google map estimates that Dan and his buddies’ voyage will take about 86 hours on bike….86 HOURS! Source: Google Maps

Dan, who is a professional football player, is fulfilling a promise he made to his mother when he was only seven years old. “I told her if I ever became a professional athlete, I will be a good role model.”

Abbi is proof that he is a man of his word.


To read Abbi and Dan’s full story, check out the featured article on Niagara This Week! And be sure to pass this awesome story along.

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