On Sunday, March 24, 2019, four young people with severe physical
disabilities will be taking the trip of a lifetime aboard a Carnival Cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, courtesy of Danny’s Miracle Angel Network (D-MAN) Foundation!
The cruise is part of the D-MAN Foundation’s Assisted Travel Program, a non-profit
program that funds and coordinates travel to help those with limitations overcome
barriers to physical disabilities in order to get out of the house and travel to sporting
events, concerts, movies, and vacations.
D-MAN will be traveling their four special guests, ages 17-26, and their caregivers,
via commercial flight from Detroit to Miami, Florida, on Sunday, March 24, 2019.
The group will stay the night in Miami and board the Carnival Ship Victory the
following day for a four-night Cruise; something they could only dream about, until
now. The ship will make stops in Key West, Florida, and Cozumel, Mexico, before
returning to Miami on March 29, 2019.
One of the greatest difficulties faced by individuals with severe physical disabilities
is travel. Getting from one place to another requires non-emergency medical
transportation, typically in a large specialty van which is primarily reserved for
necessity trips like doctors’ appointments.
“Most who are confined to wheelchairs don’t even think a vacation is possible for
them, due to the expense and the logistics,” said Ziad Kassab, who founded
Danny’s Miracle Angel Network to create a legacy for his little brother who lived 16
years as a quadriplegic, after being hit by a car at age seven. “It’s not only
expensive, but coordinating the critical details needed to travel someone with
special medical needs is overwhelming for most caregivers. The sole purpose of DMAN
is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Through programs
like our Assisted Travel, we handle the funding and the logistics to turn the
seemingly impossible, into a dream come true for those with disabilities – that, is
our greatest joy.”
This is the Foundation’s second Assisted Travel Group Cruise. In August, 2017, the
D-MAN Foundation gave seven lucky individuals the opportunity to join their first
Group Cruise to the Bahamas!
The Foundation’s Assisted Travel Program is funding the entire trip and taking care
of all of the logistics for disabled travelers from bringing the allowed equipment on
the plane, to setting up non-emergency medical transportation throughout the trip,
booking accessible rooms, and working with local medical equipment companies
and the nearest hospital at destinations to ensure the group can enjoy a real
vacation without worry.
The four individuals selected for this year’s Assisted Travel Group Cruise were
chosen by the executive team at D-MAN from online applications. The participants
were chosen based on their level of injury, because the higher the level of the
injury, the less realistic it is for the patient to be able to travel.
Among those chosen to participate in the Group Cruise are Brianna Vitale, a 17-
year-old who was injured in a car accident at a young age, Anna Pannell (DJ Malika),
a quadriplegic on a ventilator, who participates as a DJ and aspiring rapper at DMAN’s
Music Therapy Studio, Riley Klawitter, a 21-year-old who was diagnosed at a
young age with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy and has been unable to travel with
her family until now, and Courtney Hall, a 26-year-old who lost her mother to an
overdose when she was only six months old. Courtney sent D-MAN a touching
submission to join the Cruise, primarily so her Aunt, who has been her sole
caregiver every day for the last 10 years, could enjoy a badly needed vacation with
The young ladies, along with an additional 16 travelers consisting of D-MAN staff,
caregivers, nurses and family members, will be departing for their Group Cruise on
Sunday at 12:26pm from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus.
D-MAN’s Assisted Travel Program has been helping those with limitations overcome
barriers to physical disabilities since 2009, by providing the knowledge, experience,
coordination, and financial support needed to help disabled patients make their
travel dreams come true! Through donor support, the D-MAN Foundation program
not only focuses on leisure travel, but also helps clients attend sporting events,
concerts, and special events, like Detroit’s Annual Woodward Dream Cruise, where
each year the Foundation gives clients the chance to get out of their wheelchair and
experience cruising Woodward in an open-air convertibles.
For media inquiries and more information, please contact Sherrie Handrinos at
SherrieHandrinos@gmail.com or 734-341-6859.
About the D-MAN Foundation
In 1993, seven-year-old Danny Kassab was hit by a car and was paralyzed from the waist down.
He lived for 16 years in need of 24-hour care before passing away in 2009. His older brother Ziad
started the non-profit D-MAN (Danny’s Miracle Angel Network) Foundation that same year in
Danny’s honor to create a legacy of helping others faced with the same challenges.
The mission of the D-MAN Foundation is to increase the quality of life for people with traumatic
head injuries, spinal injuries, cerebral palsy, and other diseases that affect the nervous system and
impair movement. Through their Music Therapy Program, people with disabilities work with Board
Certified Music Therapists and Engineers to create their own music, and achieve their therapeutic
goals at D-MAN’s one-of-a-kind, hands-free assistive technology Music Therapy Studio in Berkley,
The Foundation also offers an Assisted Travel Program that provides the coordination and
financial support to help disabled clients make their travel dreams come true. The program not only
focuses on leisure travel, but also helps clients attend sporting events, concerts, and special
events, like Detroit’s Annual Woodward Dream Cruise, where each year the Foundation gives
clients the experience of cruising Woodward in an open-air convertible! For more information on
the D-MAN Foundation please visit http://mydman.org.