I am the father of Dan Lewis ’09, and I am writing to update the Yale community about Dan’s status and progress since he was catastrophically injured in the summer of 2007, following his sophomore year, while participating in the Habitat for Humanity Bicycle Challenge, which has since been suspended. Dan’s classmates remember him lugging his cello all over campus — he played in the Yale Symphony Orchestra and several chamber music ensembles, and he co-founded the cello rock group Low Strung.
Dan’s terrible injuries occurred when a speeding teenage motorist hit him on a rural highway in western Kansas at roughly the 2,000-mile mark of the bike ride. Despite slim chances of survival and roughly a year of hospitalization that included months of coma and many critical medical episodes, Dan has persisted and is now living at home in Denver. He has been medically stable in recent years and has regained some functional abilities. His language skills, both receptive and expressive, have improved; he can do some simple math and spelling; and he can pluck and bow some basic patterns on his cello. More complete details of Dan’s story can be found at danlewisfoundation.org, the website address of the Dan Lewis Foundation for Brain Regeneration Research.
The Dan Lewis Foundation for Brain Regeneration Research was established in 2019 with the encouragement and assistance of a remarkable group of world-class neuroscientists and biomedical innovators. The mission of the foundation is to research the potential of new pharmacologic agents — two examples are genomically targeted small molecule medicines and antisense oligonucleotides — that may stimulate neuronal repletion, axonal regrowth and synaptic reconnections. Such research holds promise to accelerate the recovery of the scores of thousands of persons who are in the chronic phase of long-term adjustment to moderate and severe brain injuries like Dan’s. Please visit the website for more information about the foundation’s research agenda and to consider making a donation.
Anyone wishing to send a note to Dan can do so via his email: email@example.com. He will reply to all messages.
HAL LEWIS is a 1973 graduate of Jonathan Edwards College and father of Dan Lewis ’09. Contact him and Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org.