The “Be Your Own Hero” Spotlight- A Call To Action

While at Holy Cross I always sought after heroes, men and women who were seeking the adventure and creating their own lives in the “real world”. I was drawn to majoring in History  because I wanted to learn the secret behind great human achievement and emulate it in my life.Upon graduating, I had difficult connecting with these type of people until I made a conscious effort to seek them out. I wanted to share with you the stories of people who are just like you and I that have made the conscious choice to answer the call and seek the adventure in their personal lives. Each one of these individuals has had a tremendous impact on my life and I am thankful to have met them.

“The Be Your Own Hero Spotlight Series on is a new, monthly feature that showcases the stories of real-life “Heroes” — men and women who, while brandishing a defiantly positive and determined mindset, are pursuing their dreams in spite of potential adversity, criticism, cynicism, or being misunderstood by those around them. The individuals showcased in this series have different beliefs, goals, and mantras for how to live life, however, they provide valuable lessons in unlocking your inner potential. I am very blessed to have had these “heroes” come into my life and I hope their stories can help in your own personal journey.

he·ro 1. a man or woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities. 2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.”

Sean Swarner– Survived being diagnosed with fatal cancer twice and reached the summit of Everest with one lung.

Erik Weihenmayer– Blind mountaineer who reached the summit of Mt. Everest and finished as a finalist on the ABC reality show, Expedition Impossible

Thad Roberts– Main character of the book “Sex on The Moon”. Long story short, stole $32 million worth of Moon Rocks from NASA to impress a girl and expanded upon Einstein’s Quantum Space/Time theory while serving 7 years in federal prison. Rather than blaming the World, he made a conscious choice to lead in his life. His life will be documented in a movie in the coming years.

Steve Gleason– An 8 Year NFL Veteran who was part of one of the most dramatic plays in New Orleans Saints’ history when he blocked a punt that led to the first touchdown following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In 2011, Steve was forced to confront the reality of being diagnosed with ALS. Unwilling to surrender at the young age of 34, Steve founded The Gleason Initiative and works on a daily basis to bring awareness and find a cure.

Heather Kampf– 9 Time All American at University of Minnesota who fell in the 600m finals of the Big 10 Championships and got back up and WON. Currently competing for a spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

Kyle Maynard– Quadruple Amputee who refused to give into limitations or make excuses. Fought an MMA fight against and a fully abled bodied opponent and will be joining me in Tanzania for Mission Kilimanjaro

Ayla Brown– Boston College basketball star who became a finalist on American Idol. Currently serving as a correspondent for The Today Show and building upon her music career in Nashville.

Eric Greitens– The real life “Captain America”. Golden Gloves Boxing Champion, Rhodes Scholar, Navy Seal, War Hero, While House Fellow, & Founder of The Mission Continues

Jordan LeJuwaan– Outside the box thinker who created, a website that has created a platform for young people to formulate their own opinions and lead.

Dave Ursillo– Former HC graduate who recently published his first book, Lead Without Followers, which will be available in the HC Book Store (Published Alums Section)! He is actively cultivating a strong leadership movement on!

Warren MacDonald– Environmentalist and climber who lost his legs when I boulder fell on top of him in Australia (Featured on Discovery Channel’s “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”. Since losing his legs, he has reached the summit of Kilimanjaro without assistance and climbed El-Capitan, doing 2800 pull-ups over a 3 day period to reach the top.

Eric James– Young Entrepreneur who can bring any dream to reality. Founder of several start ups, a pilot, and World traveler. If you don’t know the name, write it down. I mean that!

Jordan Romero Youngest Person to Summit Everest at age 13

Nolan Harrison– 10 year NFL Veteran and Director of Former Player Affairs at the NFL Player’s Association.

Rob Summers– NCAA National Champion in Baseball at Oregon State before being hit by a car while standing in his drive way. Paralyzed from the waist down, Rob vowed to walk again and partnered with the Christopher Reeves Foundation. He has TAKEN HIS FIRST STEPS this past year through an electronic stimulator implanted in his back.

Jim Bathurst Nationally recognized trainer and Founder of An outside the box thinker who has a new approach to fitness!

Tom Dwyer– Native from Worcester, MA whose love of acting has landed him roles in 21, The Fighter, The Great Debaters,  and The Social Network.

Duke Dlouhy– All American NCAA athlete who made the transition into acting and modeling in Los Angeles. Created a dream of appearing in GQ and brought it to reality

Pack LandfairNational Champion at University of Texas who became the James Steinbeck of the 21st century, building his own platform touring the country on his motorcycle at

Blake ShubertVillanova football star who was disenchanted with Corporate America and made the choice to lead his own non profit,  Light of the Lord Global Missions. He was the initial inspiration behind Mission Kilimanjaro.

Annie Berger– Minnesota native who made the conscious choice to seek the adventure, traveling to South Africa to help those in need. Her experience laid the groundwork for her desire to become a physician assistant and travel to various destinations around the US to empower people to take accountability for their health.

Be Your Own Hero!

11 Responses to “The “Be Your Own Hero” Spotlight- A Call To Action”

  1. Dave Ursillo says:

    Hey DA!

    Thanks a million for the shoutout here, and congrats on the great piece. I’m happy to let readers know that my book LEAD WITHOUT FOLLOWERS will be on the shelves of the Holy Cross Book Store in the coming weeks. 🙂

    Dave Ursillo ’08

  2. Dan Adams 07 says:

    Absolutely Dave! I am so proud to share your story!

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