The first thing you need to know about Dan Mancina is that he has a heart the size of a Buick.
Need a favor, a laugh, a loan, a slap upside the head, a shoulder to cry on, Dan is the man you call. He is Livonia, Michigan’s favorite son, with a devoted girlfriend, family, the whole neighborhood behind him, as he pursued his life long dream of becoming a pro skateboarder.
Then, he went blind.
Not all at once, he had Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that took its time before taking his sight, but by 23, all went dark in his world. And, yes, we mean that metaphorically, as well. The last thing he wanted to be was a blind man. His dream was gone, and with it went his sense of purpose. Even hope.
And with that went, Dan. He got lost in the dark that was now his universe.
There is a reason, however, that we started our story by talking about Dan’s heart. Because that is what made him pick up his hated cane, one day. And take it outside. Along with his skateboard.
And, then, re-learn trick, after trick
He began to skate blind.
the world began to see – him – doing this – via videos that went viral. We’re talking 30 million plus views, as Dan has become a phenomenon, an inspiration, for anyone who will not be defined by their so called disabilities or limitations.
Clips of Dan Mancina
We are a non-profit that aims to share the traditions of skateboarding with the differently abled community: the traditions of creativity, acceptance, and challenging oneself. Keep Pushing Inc. encourages people to not let their life be dictated by others or their perceived abilities.
Our first goal is to raise money to build the world's first accessible skatepark in Michigan. It will be equipped with skateboards, pads, and adapted terrain for blind and low vision skateboarders.
The park will attract blind schools, organizations, rehabilitation centers, and other adaptive sports organizations to visit and experience skateboarding in a safe, uniquely inclusive setting.
We’ll provide education on the need for accessible skateparks, their ability to transform the lives of others and demonstrate universal design principles that can apply to all skateparks.
We want to show the differently abled community that there are more options than traditional sports. Skateboarding is a creative outlet with endless potential and not limited by sight.
We aim to design and build the first accessible skatepark for blind and low vision skateboarders. We will openly share ideas and technology we create so that existing skateparks worldwide can become more accessible for all skaters.
Develop a kit that could be portable for already existing skateparks. Work with future park builders to help make new parks more accessible.