The Daniel J. Plaskett
Memorial Award

In 2011 The Litchfield County BMX Group Inc., awarded the first annual D.J.P. Memorial Award. This was set up to honor the memory of the son of one of our founders Rog Plaskett. It also was in recognition of the need to improve awareness of a dreadful disease called "AMN".

In his teenage days, Daniel Plaskett competed in BMX events both locally and nationally.

He was also one of the volunteers who helped clear the land and build Foothills BMX. He was here on a regular basis throughout the Track’s construction. In our early years he even filled in as our announcer on occasion.

Greg and Dan Plaskett clearing the front straight

BMX was just one of the many sports Dan enjoyed while growing up, along with skiing, snowboarding, baseball, basketball, golf and fishing to name a few. To Dan, BMX was about being there and competing, rather than winning.

Dan at Brodie Mountain in 1992

Perhaps this was a testament to Dan’s courage, something he carried with him in the last days of his life. Dan was diagnosed at 14 (1989) with Addison’s disease, which sapped his adrenalin, making it difficult for him to participate in sports. He was put on life-long medications but told he would enjoy a long normal life.

Rog and Dan in 1990

At the age of 27, (2002) Dan, after complaining of sore knees and weak legs, was diagnosed with Adrenomyeloneuropathy or "AMN". Adrenomyeloneuropathy is a rare inherited metabolic disorder that affects approximately 30,000 people globally. Its symptoms are very similar to those of progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS). If cerebral involvement occurs, which happens in 50% of the cases, the outcome is nearly 100% terminal. Dan had this cerebral involvement.

Dan was able to work up until 2006. It was at that time that mobility and even concentration affected his actions. In 2007 he was forced to relinquish his driver's license.

Dan and Greg rockin Guitar Hero in 2008

By the year 2009 Dan was confined to a wheelchair. Occasionally he used an electric scooter to get around but was losing the balance and coordination required to safely control it.

In early 2010 he was under the care of a long term facility in Bristol where he received much needed 24 hour medical attention.

Only 7 months later, on July 20th, 2010, after an 8 year battle, Dan succumbed mercifully to this terrible illness. Sometime during this entire ordeal it was learned that AMN can develop in later years with kids with Addison’s disease.

When he first learned that he had AMN, Dan began doing on-line research. He learned that the outcome was untimately death, which was devastating for him and the family. "Watching Dan's motor-skills slowly but methodically fade to the point where he could no longer walk, talk or even swallow, was the most heart wrenching situation that I've ever experienced." Rog Plaskett said. Dan showed some incredible resilience to the situation. Twice after the diagnosis, he climbed into an airplane and skydived. He also participated in some paint ball battles where his brother Greg would virtually carry him into the woods and Dan would lay in wait for an opposing team member to try and sneak by. He tried to make the best of his dire situation.

When Dan passed, Rog Plaskett and his wife, Donna, planted a tree in the front yard of their Harwinton home, The tree, a Japanese maple, was put there in Dan’s memory.

“Maybe that tree will enjoy the good health and steady growth that Dan never could,” Rog said. “Maybe it’ll stand strong, like Dan wished that he could have.”

This award and annual Daniel J. Plaskett Memorial Race were created in honor of Dan and his courage.

Each year the Litchfield County BMX Group Inc makes a donation in Dan's name to The United Leukodystrophy Foundation, 224 North Second Street, Suite 2, DeKalb, IL. 60115.

The Daniel J. Plaskett Award is given annually to a Foothills BMX rider who shows great love and dedication to the sport of BMX.