Daniel M. Horyn was an amazing 34 year old man who passed away from esophageal cancer on September 9, 2013.


Dan had a passionate lens in viewing the world. The first signs of his illness came after a long 48-hour hike to the very bottom and very top of the Grand Canyon in late July 2012. After stage 4 esophageal cancer diagnosis, Dan graciously fought the disease for 13 months, comforting those around him and smiling through every treatment. With daily effervescence and insatiable kindness, he worked at Niles North High School as an AP English teacher and head boys’ Cross Country and Track and Field coach.

In the early months, we visited many doctors, all of whom conveyed the same message: standard treatment to prolong life.

It was Dr. Villaflor and the University of Chicago who took on our challenge, exploring every avenue possible, including clinical trials and experimental radiotherapy procedures. Carrying the torch, she led us on a compassionate, individualized cancer journey so completely different than the standard treatment initially prescribed. She treated Dan as an individual, not a patient.

Dr. Villaflor’s selflessness, passion and intrinsic wisdom of human nature completely mimicked the way Dan treated everyone in his life. As a teacher, Dan treated students as differentiated learners with individual personalities. As a coach, Dan’s training regimens constantly evolved as his athletes formed a close-knit pack and found themselves calling him “dad”. To his friends and family, his selflessness and love was unparalleled. As a husband, he gave the love most people don’t ever find in their lifetime. In the same way, Dr. Villaflor treated each cell in his body, each appointment, each procedure as a part of the uniquely Dan Horyn cancer plan.

Dr. Villaflor and her team gave us an understanding of Dan’s disease that brought us hope and allowed us to come to peace. The Daniel M. Horyn Foundation strives to bring that same model of passion, awareness and understanding to help others facing similar challenges.

The Daniel M. Horyn Foundation strives to raise awareness of esophageal cancer, a disease that is rarely detected until later stages with formative malignancies.


Little research and drug development funding exists specifically for esophageal cancer, leaving standard treatments and unpredictable combinations thereof to patients with late stages of the disease.  The Daniel M. Horyn Foundation supports esophageal cancer research and the introduction of new therapies for the treatment of esophageal cancer at The University of Chicago Medical Center, specifically for Dr. Victoria M. Villaflor, MD and her phenomenal team.  With focused fundraising and education, we strive to improve the clinical outcomes for patients suffering from the disease.

Supporting Esophageal Cancer Research at the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Esophageal Diseases

villaflorVictoria Villaflor, MD, is an expert in the care and treatment of adults with malignancies of the upper aerodigestive tract. She specializes in treatment of esophageal, lung, and head and neck cancers. She is a member of the Center for Esophageal Diseases, where she works with a multidisciplinary team to diagnose and treat all stages of esophageal cancer. Additionally, she works with multidisciplinary teams in the treatment of lung and head and neck cancers.

Dr. Villaflor’s research interests include understanding the clinical and molecular characteristics of upper aerodigestive tract Templatemalignancies. She is an expert in novel cancer therapies, and is also involved in research with molecularly targeted agents in the treatment of these cancers. Her additional research interests include multimodality treatments and targeted therapies for esophageal, lung, and head and neck cancers–especially ways to combine radiotherapy with novel agents in an effort to improve clinical outcomes. Dr. Villaflor is a principal investigator on a number of innovative clinical trials, including many that incorporate targeted agents with radiation.

She is a respected lecturer at scientific meetings around the world and author of several publications on upper aerodigestive tract malignancies.

The Center for Esophageal Diseases

ecuc2The Center for Esophageal Diseases at the University of Chicago is one of the few centers in the United States solely dedicated to diagnosing and treating disorders of the esophagus. Because the University of Chicago Medicine has such a specialized program, our physicians have the focused expertise and depth of experience that comes from helping many patients who have problems of the esophagus. As an area of dedicated clinical and research concentration, the Center for Esophageal Diseases can offer patients options, resources and a level of experience and innovation that are available at only a handful of leading medical centers in the world.

At the Center for Esophageal Diseases, we offer the most effective care with an emphasis on using the least invasive treatment methods. Many patients with precancerous conditions can be successfully treated using non-surgical, endoscopic techniques. For cases that require surgery, our expert surgeons can typically perform surgery through very small incisions, rather than large, open abdominal and chest incisions.

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“Dan Horyn was one of the most resilient and positive patients I have ever worked with. From his colorful sock collection, to the comfort he gave to those around him, he was always upbeat and strong, taking on each and every challenge during his treatment. Dan met his match with Andrea; they were a team in this fight together. Andrea will carry on this fight against esophageal cancer, and I am grateful she has chosen our research as a benefactor of the Daniel M. Horyn Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation. I can’t think of a more worthy or necessary cause, or a better way to honor Dan, than to support work that will ensure better outcomes for patients in the future.”

-Dr. Victoria M. Villaflor, MD

Your donation to the Daniel M. Horyn Foundation will help:


The Daniel M. Horyn Foundation is supported by the Fiscal Sponsorship Program within FJC, a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit Public Charity and a Foundation of Philanthropic Funds. Donations made to the Daniel M. Horyn Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by United States law.

The Daniel M. Horyn Foundation strives to cover event overhead through in-kind donations, volunteer work and sponsorship. As a result, 94-96% of all donations directly support esophageal cancer research at the University of Chicago through Dr. Villaflor and her team.


Mail Donations:
FJC/Daniel M. Horyn Foundation
520 Eighth Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Make Donation Via PayPal:

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Dan Horyn’s Skokie Swift 5k

Sunday, June 5, 2016
7am Race day registration and packet pickup
8:15am 100 meter kids dash
8:30am 5K

Runner Registration
Register Now 

$38 Adults
$20 Students
$10 Children’s 100 Meter Swift Dash
$50 day of

Check out the route!
   2016 Route    

Packet pick-up:
North Branch Yoga
8056 Lincoln Avenue
(847) 906-3547
Thursday, June 2  4-7pm
Friday, June 3  4-7pm
Saturday, June 4  9-5pm

Please print and bring with to package pickup this signed waiver:

Volunteer Information

   Volunteer info and sign up   

Sponsor Information

Interested in sponsoring?
Learn More About Sponsoring
Sponsorship Opportunities


If you would like to contribute to the Foundation please feel free to do so here:

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2015 map

In Memoriam

This page is dedicated to friends and family who have passed from Esophageal Cancer. We honor their lives and always cherish the memories we shared.

Brad Bumber
Dorothy Kamlin
Ken Stillinger
Jean Zmuda Werner

You can make a donation in memory of a loved one who passed from Esophageal Cancer and have their name on this page. If donating online, donors should denote “in honor of” in the “notes” field. If donating via check, please indicate your loved ones name by email at info@danielmhorynfoundation.org.

Mail Donations:
FJC/Daniel M. Horyn Foundation
520 Eighth Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Make Donation Via PayPal:

Contact us for more info