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This guys an ICON around the berg,, sad news..

Pittsburgher Danny Chew, founder of the Dirty Dozen bike race and known as the Million Mile Man, was seriously injured in a bike accident Sunday that left him paralyzed from the waist down, family and friends say.

Mr. Chew, 54, of Squirrel Hill, was riding with his friend, Cassie Schumacher near Lodi, Ohio, going about 20 to 25 miles per hour when he had an apparent “dizzy spell” and drifted off the road and crashed into a drainage ditch, breaking his neck, Ms. Schumacher said today.
After the crash, Mr. Chew was conscious but said he could not move anything below his waist. An ambulance from nearby Lodi Hospital got to the scene within minutes, and once he was diagnosed with a broken neck — damaging his C7 and T1 vertebrae, Ms. Schumacher said she was told — he was flown by helicopter to Akron General Hospital.
He had surgery later Sunday night and Ms. Schumacher said the doctors said they would not know for three or four days what his prognosis is. Since the surgery, he has been kept under heavy sedation to allow his body to rest, she said.
As to what happened that caused him to drift off the road, Ms. Schumacher said some friends who came to the hospital Sunday said that Mr. Chew has talked in the past about having “dizzy spells” but he has never been diagnosed with anything specifically and it is still unclear what caused the accident.
Mr. Chew lives largely hand-to-mouth, and does not work outside of organizing the Dirty Dozen and some odd, biking-related jobs, all to free him up for his million mile goal. He still lives in the home where he grew up with his mother.
Not too long ago he obtained insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, but he has a large deductible and his family is already anticipating large medical bills from the accident.
His nephew, Steven Perezluha, set up the crowd-funding site Youcaring.com Sunday night. By 11 a.m. Monday, it had already raised over about $6,000 toward a $15,000 goal. Having already reached that goal later Monday, the family increased the goal to $25,000 and by 9 p.m. had raised $16,336.
“This is a shock,” Mr. Perezluha, 25, said of his uncle’s accident. “I was out on a ride of my own yesterday when [Ms. Schumacher] called me from Danny’s cell phone to tell me about it.”
“He’s everything to me,” he said of Mr. Chew. “He got me into cycling when I was 16 and pushed me to my athletic accomplishments. He’s the one who told me to never give up.”
Clearly shaken from watching her friend injured, Ms. Schumacher, crying, said in an interview that it was simply hard to watch “one of my best friends” go through this.
“He is such a kind-hearted person,” she said.
Mr. Chew is a Pittsburgher celebrated as much for his quirky and effervescent personality by his dedicated circle of biking friends like Ms. Schumacher, as he his for founding the Dirty Dozen Bike Race.
The Dirty Dozen is a 33-year-old race up 13 of Pittsburgh and surrounding towns steepest hills, held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It has gotten international attention in recent years as videos of it’s insane hills like Canton Avenue attracted attention, but particularly from WQED’s Rick Sebak’s profile of the race in 2010. Mr. Chew had just announced on Friday that registration for the 2016 Dirty Dozen had opened.
He came to fame in cycling circles by twice winning the Race Across America — a 3,000-mile race — in 1996 and 1999. His jersey from the 1996 win and his medal and helmet from the 1999 win are on exhibit in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum in the John Heinz History Center in the Strip District.
But in addition to gaining attention through the Dirty Dozen, Mr. Chew’s lifetime goal to be one of the few people around the world to ever ride one million miles on a bike in his lifetime has kept him in the minds of many.
He documents his mileage regularly on his biking-obsessed website Dannychew.com and he was on the second day of a “thousand-mile week” toward his million mile goal - he is at about 800,000 miles now - when he was injured, Ms. Schumacher said.
After Mr. Chew arrived at Lodi Hospital and was diagnosed with a broken neck and possible paralysis, Ms. Schumacher said Mr. Chew was his typical self.
“Well,” she said he told her, “worst case scenario, I’m going to have to be like the guy who just set a record in Pittsburgh on a hand cycle.”
“I’ll just have to finish my million miles on a hand cycle,” he said. “So be it.”
 

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--- Helping Old Eyes ---

Pittsburgher Danny Chew, founder of the Dirty Dozen bike race and known as the Million Mile Man, was seriously injured in a bike accident Sunday that left him paralyzed from the waist down, family and friends say.

Mr. Chew, 54, of Squirrel Hill, was riding with his friend, Cassie Schumacher near Lodi, Ohio, going about 20 to 25 miles per hour when he had an apparent “dizzy spell” and drifted off the road and crashed into a drainage ditch, breaking his neck, Ms. Schumacher said today.

After the crash, Mr. Chew was conscious but said he could not move anything below his waist. An ambulance from nearby Lodi Hospital got to the scene within minutes, and once he was diagnosed with a broken neck — damaging his C7 and T1 vertebrae, Ms. Schumacher said she was told — he was flown by helicopter to Akron General Hospital.
He had surgery later Sunday night and Ms. Schumacher said the doctors said they would not know for three or four days what his prognosis is. Since the surgery, he has been kept under heavy sedation to allow his body to rest, she said.

As to what happened that caused him to drift off the road, Ms. Schumacher said some friends who came to the hospital Sunday said that Mr. Chew has talked in the past about having “dizzy spells” but he has never been diagnosed with anything specifically and it is still unclear what caused the accident.
Mr. Chew lives largely hand-to-mouth, and does not work outside of organizing the Dirty Dozen and some odd, biking-related jobs, all to free him up for his million mile goal. He still lives in the home where he grew up with his mother.

Not too long ago he obtained insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, but he has a large deductible and his family is already anticipating large medical bills from the accident.
His nephew, Steven Perezluha, set up the crowd-funding site Youcaring.com Sunday night. By 11 a.m. Monday, it had already raised over about $6,000 toward a $15,000 goal. Having already reached that goal later Monday, the family increased the goal to $25,000 and by 9 p.m. had raised $16,336.

“This is a shock,” Mr. Perezluha, 25, said of his uncle’s accident. “I was out on a ride of my own yesterday when [Ms. Schumacher] called me from Danny’s cell phone to tell me about it.”
“He’s everything to me,” he said of Mr. Chew. “He got me into cycling when I was 16 and pushed me to my athletic accomplishments. He’s the one who told me to never give up.”
Clearly shaken from watching her friend injured, Ms. Schumacher, crying, said in an interview that it was simply hard to watch “one of my best friends” go through this.
“He is such a kind-hearted person,” she said.

Mr. Chew is a Pittsburgher celebrated as much for his quirky and effervescent personality by his dedicated circle of biking friends like Ms. Schumacher, as he his for founding the Dirty Dozen Bike Race.
The Dirty Dozen is a 33-year-old race up 13 of Pittsburgh and surrounding towns steepest hills, held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It has gotten international attention in recent years as videos of it’s insane hills like Canton Avenue attracted attention, but particularly from WQED’s Rick Sebak’s profile of the race in 2010. Mr. Chew had just announced on Friday that registration for the 2016 Dirty Dozen had opened.

He came to fame in cycling circles by twice winning the Race Across America — a 3,000-mile race — in 1996 and 1999. His jersey from the 1996 win and his medal and helmet from the 1999 win are on exhibit in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum in the John Heinz History Center in the Strip District.

But in addition to gaining attention through the Dirty Dozen, Mr. Chew’s lifetime goal to be one of the few people around the world to ever ride one million miles on a bike in his lifetime has kept him in the minds of many.

He documents his mileage regularly on his biking-obsessed website Dannychew.com and he was on the second day of a “thousand-mile week” toward his million mile goal - he is at about 800,000 miles now - when he was injured, Ms. Schumacher said.

After Mr. Chew arrived at Lodi Hospital and was diagnosed with a broken neck and possible paralysis, Ms. Schumacher said Mr. Chew was his typical self.
“Well,” she said he told her, “worst case scenario, I’m going to have to be like the guy who just set a record in Pittsburgh on a hand cycle.”
“I’ll just have to finish my million miles on a hand cycle,” he said. “So be it.”
 

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Yes, that is sad news, and I hope Mr. Chew is able to recover. However reading that he is 54, and lives "hand to mouth" and with "no real job outside of being the race organizer" and "lives with his mother in his childhood home" turned me off a little bit. Get well soon anyway.
 

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I have done the Dirty Dozen 5 times and have got to know Danny quite well. Nice guy. Interesting fact about Danny: he is able to recite the number pi to over 100 decimals! Speedy recovery, Danny.


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Yes, that is sad news, and I hope Mr. Chew is able to recover. However reading that he is 54, and lives "hand to mouth" and with "no real job outside of being the race organizer" and "lives with his mother in his childhood home" turned me off a little bit. Get well soon anyway.
I have a little different take; Like most of us, I spent a lot of my life working and securing my family’s future and I admire free spirits that are able to chase their dreams and sometimes that means they are not “productive members” of society, of course no one likes a mooch either. It confirms to me that as a society our high expectations or material needs come at a deep cost as the only two assets we really have to sell or trade is our intelligence and a little time. IMHO, we don’t ask often enough if we are willing to give up riding, playing with our kids, snuggling with the wife for that new car/boat/house/vacation home. Sometimes the trade-off is well worth the time it costs, school for the kids, etc,,,. Sometimes we chase the wrong dream.
 
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