A major funded project on GoFundMe’s main page right now is the fundraiser for Philadelphia Firefighter Dennis ‘Denny’ McDaniels, 36, who died on June 2, 2019, of apparent cardiac arrest. The GoFundMe is in support of the wife and four young children Denny left behind when he passed.
Everyone who knew McDaniels says he was always helpful, fun, and energetic. In no way did anyone think he was unhealthy or that such an event could kill him, as he had competed before in similar triathlons and he was known to be very athletic. Pictures taken only days before the incident happened to show him jumping in the water with fellow firefighters.
McDaniels was a 12-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department and was participating in the annual Cape May triathlon with numerous other competitors. Just after 9 am that Sunday fellow swimmers found him unresponsive in the water and called paramedics. CPR was performed on McDaniels, but it was unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
While an autopsy was performed last week, the results are not immediately available. The speculation that an undiagnosed heart condition is what took down this otherwise happy and healthy father is the general consensus from doctors who worked on McDaniels, however.
What Goals are Left, and How Is His Family?
According to the GoFundMe page, McDaniels had four sons that he left behind: Jake, 10, Bryce, 7, Gavin, 5 and Jude, just 1. He has been married to his wife MaryEllen for 11 years. The GoFundMe was started by ‘Heather Green’, who identifies herself as family, with the intention of helping his wife and children financially as they experience their new life without their husband and father.
The original GoFundMe goal of $25,000 has been well exceeded in the seven days the page has been up. As of Tuesday, June 11, the page has raised more than $200,000 with a new projected goal of $300,000. Donations have come in from friends, family, fellow firefighters and complete strangers, all looking to support those McDaniels left behind.
The comments page is filled with well wishes and prayers for the McDaniels family. This is one GoFundMe that you can feel good about donating to – fellow firefighters of the Philadelphia Fire Department Ladder 15 described Denny as “a class act”, saying that he will always be remembered not as he died but for all the good times they shared.