Get to Know DWOS All-Star: Dan Terrio

I am employed as an Instructional Designer in the Medicare and Retirement division of UnitedHealthcare. I am part of a team that researches and designs training programs that assist sales agents in performing at a high level while maximizing sales growth for the organization. In addition, I also moonlight as a DJ and MC for Elite Music Service, which gives me the opportunity to create memorable events for our clients while igniting a deeper passion for music and making people smile.

I was born and raised on the Stockbridge-Munsee Indian Reservation in Bowler, WI. I grew up in a mixed cultural household (my mom is German descent and my dad is Native American and Italian descent). I am the oldest of two. I have one brother, Andrew (30). Andy is married to his wife, Ronni, and together they have three kids: My nephews, Aden (10), Kash (7) and my niece, Baelyn (5). As is standard with many Native American families, I also have many cousins who grew up with me and were treated like they were my siblings.

Growing up on the reservation, you learn the importance of community, culture, giving and family. It was instilled in me at a young age to always give more than you receive. My family practiced what they preached and always gave back in different ways; through volunteerism, careers and the list goes on. The majority of my life has had a focus on community engagement, youth activism and education. These areas have been a passion and the center point of my life’s work for over 20 years. When I am not attempting to save the world, I enjoy participating in community theatre, karaoke, taking random road trips, biking, volunteering and baking cakes full of smiles and rainbows.

It is hard to pick one favorite moment from my DWOS16 experience. In the fall of 2015, I was at a turning point in my life where I was ready to experience something new and something that would take me out of my comfort zone. I didn’t expect this experience to change my life the way it did. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. While every experience was memorable, one stands out. I had the opportunity to return to Bowler Elementary School (the school I attended growing up) to speak about the American Red Cross, my life experiences and the importance of giving back. I challenged the nearly 100 students (Kindergarten to 6th grade) to a penny war. One month later, Mina and I traveled back to Bowler to learn how much the students raised and dance for them. I will never forget the look on Mina’s face when the students presented me a check for over $600. I was speechless. I’ve always been a firm believer that when you empower a young person into community service, they empower their peers and that empowers a community. This was a prime example of this. I’m proud to be a Bowler Panther!

I was approached shortly after my DWOS16 experience to take part in DWOS All-Stars. Originally, I planned to decline the offer. It was at the encouragement of my mother, Jill that I decided to accept the offer to join the cast of DWOS All-Stars. On September 12, 2017, I celebrated 20 years of life from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. In that accident, I suffered a head injury, and severe injuries to my knee and elbow. I received several units of blood, which saved my life.

It was a moment of encouragement that gave me the direction that forever changed my life. While in the hospital, my grandmother, the late Verna Johnson-Miller, said to me: “You have been given a second chance at life. Now its up to you to figure out why.” This moment gave me the drive to live for something. I’ve never ceased on finding the ‘why’.

On February 24, 2018, I will celebrate 20 years when I took my first steps without the assistance of a wheelchair, crutches or a walker. In April of 2018, I will celebrate 20 years as an American Red Cross volunteer. Looking back over the 20 years, I have lived a fulfilled and accomplished life. What better way to celebrate 20 years of life, accomplishments and volunteerism and to celebrate the next chapter in my life than to participate as a DWOS All-Star?

DWOS17 Meet our Star Dancers: Woody on 94.3 Jack FM

img_5503-57f2bb8c43491I am the program coordinator and on-air talent for 94.3 Jack FM. I am also a weekend entertainer, providing DJ and emcee services for brides and grooms on their wedding days. I have been married for 20 years, we have 10 children (some of whom are foster children living with us). In my free time, if I have any, I enjoy going to the movies or hanging out at a concert.

One of the reasons that I am participating in this adventure is because of my son: Charlie.  He was born on May 18, 2009.  It was discovered quickly that he had some abnormalities as well as biliary atresia. Biliary atresia occurs when there is no bile duct from the liver to the small intestines. Basically, the bile made and stored in the liver is unable to be excreted from the body. He was also born without a gallbladder another storage unit for bile. This bile builds up in the blood stream and that is when you see the yellowing of the eyes and skin. Charlie had a Kasai procedure to try and repair this defect, however that surgery was unsuccessful. His only chance at long term survival was a liver transplant. Without a transplant, most children born with biliary atresia typically do not survive past the age of two.

Woody and his dance partner, Mina Witte of Simply Ballroom.

Woody and his dance partner, Mina Witte of Simply Ballroom.

Charlie’s story from the first eight weeks of life until his transplant spanned just over one year. There are too many details to provide in this brief synopsis. There are some vital facts that helped to facilitate his survival. The amazing doctors and nurses who helped us care for him on a daily basis, and all of the blood products he received during his many days in the hospital. His transplant stay in the hospital was 122 days. During this period of time his life was like a roller coaster ride. He had countless surgeries, tests, as well as blood products. Thanks to the American Red Cross, Charlie was able to receive 20 units of red blood cells, 21 units of fresh frozen platelets, 14 units of plasma, and 1 unit of cryoprecipitate.

Without those blood products during his stay as well as during his transplant, Charlie would not have survived. Please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross. You never know when someone you love will need blood products.

 

Check out Zeb’s Moves on the dance floor!

Vote for Zeb to “Stay Alive” for a chance to win the Fundraising Mirrorball Trophy.

Come out to Drag Bingo with the Queens of the Mirrorball Bash! 

Join the Queens for an afternoon of BINGO!! $10 gets you in the door and your first bingo card!! Extra cards can be purchased for $5! Amazing prizes for each game and a 50/50 raffle to top things off!! Proceeds to benefit the American Red Cross and TeamMcZ for Dancing with Our Stars.

When:  Saturday, February 6

Time:  1:00pm-4:00pm

Where: Townline Pub & Grill

Click HERE for more information.