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Former football pro gives the boot to cardiovascular disease

After surviving a heart attack two and a half years ago, personal trainer Dan Giancola is raising money for the Niagara Health System; ‘If this can happen to me it can happen to anybody’​​​​​​​

Former professional football player Dan Giancola is holding a spooktacular trivia night on October 22, to raise money and give the boot to cardiovascular disease.

“Every year I like to do a fundraiser for a cause,” Giancola says in an interview with ThoroldToday. “This one was a no-brainer for me. It’s the first one that I was a little selfish this way.”

In 2020, Giancola was hosting a virtual training class in his fitness studio when all of a sudden he had a heart attack.

“I mean this in the most humble way but if this can happen to me it can happen to anybody,” says Giancola. “I trained my whole life, since I was 17 years old I played professional football at its highest level. All of a sudden you have a heart attack and that blew me away right in itself.”

Even though Giancola has been on the road to recovery since his heart attack, last month he had another health scare.

“I had a major stroke that—I hate to say—I should have died from," he says. "It legit almost killed me. I’m walking away from this thing with no damage at all. That’s why we’re doing it. Give the boot to cardiovascular disease. Stroke and heart, they all tie into one.”

Before COVID, Giancola used to hold an annual gala, raising money for different causes such as Parkinson's disease, mental health, and Cystinosis.

Now that the pandemic has waned, Giancola has been dipping his toes into fundraising again, and he hopes to hold another gala in April. To give the boot to cardiovascular disease, he’s raising money for the Niagara Health System.

“Our goal is to buy an ECG piece of equipment,” Giancola says. “There’s a couple of hospitals that are in need. I think the number ball park is around $15,000. To date so far we have raised about $8,000 and that’s just with the little things we’ve done. I’ve done a boot camp outside which was really successful, we did a bottle drive. We always do really well with our trivia nights and we said why not do this again.”

The trivia night will take place at the Ovation Ballroom on October 22 and includes a pasta dinner. To buy tickets call 289-296-9488.

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About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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