Hidden heartbreak for Gladstone bachelor
DANNY applied for The Bachelorette to find love, but he walked into the show a heavy heart.
The Gladstone native lost his mum to cancer just before filming began on the reality dating show, which stars former Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise star Ali Oetjen.
"Five or six days before I met Ali I buried my mum. It was a lot to take on," he said.
"Mum was so excited for me though. I'd shown her pictures of Ali. I knew the reality of ending up with Ali was going to be hard, but mum said 'Be yourself'. Going in the first night, I didn't want to say anything right away. I just kept it to myself. I didn't want to be the sob story."
Danny is one of 18 men, revealed by Channel 10 today, who are vying for Ali's heart in the fourth season of The Bachelorette.
The 39-year-old was a competitive runner as a teenager and worked at Gladstone Airport before moving to Canberra to join the Federal Police, working with the Australian Border Force and as an explosives detection dog trainer.
He left the AFP two years ago and moved to Brisbane, where he's studying to be a chiropractor. The career change is inspired by the doctors who treated him during his athletics career.
"When I was 16 I had a herniation in my lower back and the professionals said to me you'll never run or play professional sport again," he said.
"I'd exhausted all my options and then I heard about this chiropractor up in Rockhampton. At that stage I couldn't put my own shoes and socks on, but after the first adjustment he did on me I started to regain feeling and two years later I won two medals at the Oceanic Games.
"I was 37 when I started uni. It was very humbling giving up the big house and the car, but I've never been happier. I'm passionate about what I do."
Going on The Bachelorette is Danny's reintroduction to the dating world after two years of intense studies.
"I moved to Brisbane after a failed engagement and I would go to uni and come home. I would say I was out of the game and my mojo was not at its best," he said.
"Ali is very graceful and quite enchanting. She's very sweet and kind."
The Bachelorette premieres on Wednesday at 7.30pm on Ten.