DeSantis’ 16 in 2016 Off to Switzerland

XTERRA Warrior David DeSantis is taking his 16 in 2016 campaign to Vallee de Joux this weekend.

The big idea, which started off as a mission to race in 16 events in 16 countries to raise $16,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation this season, has had its fair share of ups-and-downs this year.

On the upside he’s completed six races and already surpassed his fundraising goal by bringing in more than $21,000 for CAF. On the downside, the damn cancer came back and he’s going through chemo again.

DeSantis finished a fourth round of chemo last week and said “the left side of my body went nuts. My left knee, ankle, elbow, and wrist blew up. No one knows why just the left side had all the swelling, and the treatment has drastically reduced my appetite and it’s become difficult to keep weight on.  Kathy is forcing the avocados, nuts, protein powder etc.  I’m thinking of stuffing a few hot fudge sundaes in my camelback and going for a ride!”

If there is one thing we’ve come to count on with DeSantis, it’s his tongue-in-check demeanor and relentlessly positive attitude.

“Great news though, the chemo is working!” he said. “On Wednesday I had a clean brain scan. The oncologist said there is nothing in my head … Kathy said she could have told him that without doing an MRI!”

Those lucky enough to be at XTERRA Oak Mountain last month got to revel in his spirit and celebrate his mission, but little did we know he was seeing double.

“In Pelham I had double vision on the run,” he said. “It took 3 days for my vision to correct itself.  My oncologist believes it is due to a combination of over exertion and the chemo - he wants me to cool it a bit.  I thought it was a one-time issue, but, it occurred again last Tuesday on an easy mountain bike ride.  Either way we’ve already paid for the tickets so were going to Europe!  Not sure how everything will unfold…but, it should be interesting.  Switzerland on Saturday and France next Sunday.”

Follow along with DeSantis in his historic season on Facebook (, check out the article his local paper wrote about his efforts, and if you can, donate to his fundraising page for CAF at