Daniel Vignolo was active growing up. He played varsity hockey, lifted weights, and enjoyed pick-up basketball with his friends.
But suddenly, at age 19, that all changed. Daniel suffered a stroke and an aneurysm that left him suddenly paralyzed on his left side. Doctors and therapists told him that he might never walk normally again. And if he did, they said it would be a medical miracle.
Daniel was lucky however—brain plasticity worked in his favor. Within a week of waking up, he began to regain movement in his arm and hand. Even so, he was told to temper his expectations.
With the help of his dad, Daniel relearned to walk with the help of a cane. But he felt he wasn’t bouncing back as well as he’d hoped. He wanted to be able to do the normal things kids his age do, like attend graduation parties and shoot hoops.
Then, in early 2014, a friend referred Daniel to the TB12 Foundation. As soon as he walked through the front doors of the TB12 Performance and Recovery Center, Daniel says he knew he was in good hands. There was an aura at TB12, an energy that he describes as unique and special. TB12 Co-founder Alex Guerrero was the first TB12 Body Coach he worked with. They started with deep tissue pliability work—the bread and butter of TB12—and gradually moved to exercises on the treadmill and turf.
Falling is a dangerous risk for stroke survivors, so maintaining balance is critical. When Daniel first came to TB12, he needed that cane to get around, especially to keep him steady on uneven surfaces. After just a few sessions of intense treatment at TB12, Daniel ditched the cane. He could walk in the grass and on cobblestones without fear of falling over.
Daniel says there wasn’t one big pivotal moment in Daniel’s over seven year (and counting) journey with TB12. Instead, it was an accumulation of small moments along the way. The Body Coaches he worked with helped him cultivate optimism and hope that he would get back to doing what he loved, that he would eventually regain a sense of normalcy.
What sets TB12 apart, Daniel says, is the Body Coaches’ determination to help their clients get to where they want to be. Relentless in their pursuit of treatments and options and knowing that recovery looks different for everyone, Daniel’s Body Coaches were always a step ahead—planning alternate treatments if one didn’t provide the results they hoped for. His Body Coaches came to feel like family. And his treatment sessions, he adds, helped him recover not just physically—but mentally and emotionally, too.
Now, nearly ten years after his stroke and many hundreds of therapy sessions later, Daniel can once again run, jump, ice skate, and live independently. Activities that, not so long ago, seemed impossible.
Daniel is still part of the TB12 Foundation and comes to TB12 for maintenance visits which help him manage residual pain and fatigue. Health and recovery aren’t achieved in just a single session—they are a daily pursuit, and Daniel is committed to getting better at getting better. He eats a primarily plant-based diet, maintains proper hydration, keeps his brain sharp using BrainHQ, and uses his Vibrating Mini Pliability Sphere, Vibrating Pliability Sphere, and Vibrating Pliability Roller daily.
After his stroke, Daniel went on to earn degrees in business and media production. His stroke changed his outlook on life, and gave him the courage and push to pursue what he wanted to do. Today, Daniel is chasing his dreams in LA—working as a screenwriter and selling movie scripts.
And the first thing he does when he comes back home? He books a session with his TB12 Body Coaches, of course.