From cancer diagnosis to cycling coach
A month before Danny Heinsohn graduated from college, he started getting severe headaches. Two doctors told him it was due to the stress of finals and preparing for a trip to Europe.
The night before he was scheduled to board a plane to the Old World, Heinsohn checked in to the emergency room for the pain in his head, and doctors discovered a tumor larger than a golf ball.
Heinsohn was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the body’s own immune defenses.
That was seven years ago.
After three craniotomies, a year of chemotherapy and the inspiration to become a cyclist from Lance Armstrong, Heinsohn is cancer free.
He now coaches cycling to athletes who compete in centuries, marathons and triathlons to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
What’s more: the young survivor is up for auction in South Shore. A fundraiser at Riva Grill on the Lake on May 16 will auction four bachelors and four bachelorettes to the highest bidders. Several parties have donated date packages, including a private jet to Napa for lunch, a champagne cruise for two, an ATV day tour for two, dinner at Friday’s Station and a comedy show at the Improv.
Also on the auctioning block will be Tahoe Daily Tribune publisher Gail Powell-Acosta, city editor Jeff Munson, Harveys Improv host Howie Nave, radio personality Curtis Fong, physical therapy director Haideh Plock and loan consultant Jamie Emery.
Organizer Sherry Smith, an account executive at the Tahoe Daily Tribune, said fundraisers like these help give patients like Heinsohn another chance at life. The Tribune is among the sponsors of the event.
“From my tumor diagnosis in May of 1999, life has been good,” Heinsohn wrote in a personal testimonial. “I am a cancer survivor, seasoned athlete, indoor cycling instructor, public speaker, writer, traveler, and always seeking ways to improve myself and share with others.”
Proceeds from the event – which will include food, wine and a silent auction – will go to support the lymphoma society’s Team in Training, which provides coaches, mentors and training for athletes who compete to raise money for the society.
Each year millions of dollars are raised through the Team In Training program to aid in the society’s research projects, according to Smith.
Lymphoma is the fifth most common cancer in women, and the sixth most common cancer in men.
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