In the presence of a Hero – my evening with Daniel

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Hero- A person of distinguished courage or ability.

For the past few years I have had the opportunity to see many NFL player positives in the community. I have witnessed smiles that would melt snow on the coldest day of the year and I have seen smiles that made many of the toughest football players shed a tear. But no grin was bigger than the one of a young man by the name of Daniel Borowy on Tuesday night.

Daniel’s story began this past year on August 27 – the first day of school – when tragedy struck in the cafeteria at Perry Hall Senior High School. A lone gunman entered the cafeteria and fired several shots including the one that struck Daniel as he ate lunch.

Daniel suffered a bruised lung and a fractured rib, among other injuries, and underwent several surgeries before being released from the hospital. “He’s a fighter and he’s been fighting from the minute he was hurt,” said Rosemary Borowy, Daniel’s mother.

Because Borowy is a huge Ravens fan and after receiving an email from my own mother, who was present in the cafeteria the day of the shooting, I contacted a school representative about their request on how to contact the Ravens organization. I put the school representative in contact with the Ravens’ Tom Valente who is the Public Relations Coordinator for the team. The Ravens once again stepped up to the plate as they always do in the community and honored Daniel by welcoming him to a practice and presenting him with an autographed Joe Flacco jersey.

In September I reached out to Bridgett Coates who works closely alongside Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin doing public relations for him and marketing for his charity events.  Bridgett and her team along with Anquan jumped at the request for a autographed jersey for Daniel. In fact I remember her words as if she said them yesterday: “We would be happy to help any way we can.”

In November, while covering Anquan Boldins Q81 Foundation Fundraisr and Celebrity Banquet, I was presented with the jersey to pass along to Daniel.

The young man returned to school in November and has made a smooth transition into his school routine. Daniel’s family decided that a normal and calm return would be best for Daniel so the school postponed  a “Welcome Back Daniel” celebration.

On Tuesday, December 11th when Joe Flacco, Dannell Ellerbe and Gino Gradkowski were on hand at the high school to help raise funds for the school’s sports and academic programs, I presented Daniel with the jersey on behalf of the Anquan Boldin team. Never in my life have I felt as honored as I did that night to be a part of such a special evening.

Young Daniel and his family felt equally as honored to receive the gift from Anquan and numerous “Thank You’s ” were spoken.

With a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye I quickly thanked Daniel and his family. For it was me who was in the presence of a true hero – Daniel Borowy.

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