About Danielle

IMG_0051Danielle is a native Southern Californian (with a few years (okay, maybe 8) in Colorado thrown in there) who enjoys being active and spending time with her friends and family. In August 2004, her left foot was amputated following a recurrence of Synovial Sarcoma. She worked to rehabilitate quickly so she could enjoy her senior year of high school at Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego, CA. From there she moved on to study International Relations at UC Davis, but always felt she was missing out on activities like running and biking because she did not have the proper prosthesis. Danielle enjoyed her time at UC Davis and graduated in 2009. By a twist of fate Danielle ended up in Los Angeles after graduation and moved in with the one and only Stacie Fejtek (Smith) who had a connection to Challenged Athletes Foundation and encouraged her to get involved. At the end of 2010, Danielle applied for a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation for a running prosthetic and found out in April that she had received it! That was a day she will NEVER forget. Since then, Danielle hasn’t looked back. After receiving her running prosthetic, Danielle began racing triathlons. She trained with Coaches Bernard and Gina Baski and the support of TriFit Club & Studios until relocating to San Diego during Summer 2012.

In August 2011, Danielle raced in New York City at the Accenture USA Paratriathlon National Championships. Not only was this her first trip to New York, it was also her first triathlon using her running prosthetic and Olympic distance triathlon. Despite the rough weather that day, Danielle finished in 1st place in the Female Tri-5 division (below knee amputees). This win qualified Danielle to race at Paratriathlon World Championships in Beijing! She went on to win a gold medal in Beijing and will never forget that experience. The following year, Danielle went on to take Silver in Auckland, New Zealand at the Paratriathlon World Championships.

Since then, Danielle has remained very active but is no longer racing triathlons. In 2014,  on the eve of her 10 year anniversary of surviving cancer, Danielle challenged herself to focus on her cycling. She spent the summer riding through parts of San Diego she had never seen! And in October 2014, Danielle rode in CAF’s Million Dollar Challenge, a cycling experience down the coast of California. She completed all 628 miles from San Francisco to San Diego and became the first female Challenged Athlete to ride every mile of the course. It was a truly wonderful experience to see beautiful California from a bike!

Danielle still continues to run and bike, and recently started to learn to golf! Why not attempt another sport?

Who knew that one goal so many years ago, would lead to so many exciting opportunities.

To learn more about Danielle’s story, click here.

To learn more about Challenged Athletes Foundation, click here.

To learn  about TriFit MultiSport, click here.

Danielle’s email address- daniellejmclaughlin@gmail.com


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