When Dan Caro was two years old, he was engulfed in a fireball during a gasoline explosion in the family garage and was left with third-degree burns so severe over most of his body that doctors held out little hope he’d survive more than a few days. Even though his heart stopped several times, Dan’s spirit wasn’t ready to give up; somehow he knew he had work to do. Despite the odds, Dan survived, but life would not be easy.
The fire left him badly injured and disfigured. His hands were burned away, as was most of his skin and nearly all of his face. He would endure years of painful surgeries and endless months of lonely isolation in burn units, only to suffer the agony of social rejection. Dan was shunned and called “monster” by both children and adults in his Louisiana hometown.
With the support of his loving parents and siblings, Dan did not despair. He kept his heart open to the world and focused on the positive energy around him. Before his sixth birthday, he vowed that his life would not be defined by the way others saw him or the restrictions of his so-called physical handicaps. Dan set a series of life goals for himself, starting with the art of tying his shoelaces without fingers. Once he had achieved that milestone he decided he could do anything . . . so why not learn to play the drums?
After being told he couldn’t do so, he promised himself that one day he would become one of the most accomplished drummers in the city that gave jazz its name—New Orleans! Since that day, Dan’s drumming and inspirational speaking have inspired millions around the world. His personal philosophy, focusing on the positive; refusing to accept limits; and living life with an open heart, is a lesson that we should all witness. The man who was once shunned and called “monster” by his neighbors, is today in high demand for his innovative and inspirational performances. Dan has been honored to share the stage with the inspirational guru Dr. Wayne Dyer and the legendary guitarist Carlos Santana. He encourages everyone to overcome life’s hardships by viewing adversity as a gift that can drive us to our full potential. These powerful messages can be found in Dan’s book, The Gift of Fire: How I Made Adversity Work for Me.