“When Jack was almost two-years-old he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer called Wilms’ Tumor,” his mom, Kelli, said. “We heard words we tried to ignore like ‘diffuse,’ anaplastic’ and ‘poor outcome.’ Our world was rocked. Jack’s definition of OVERCOME didn’t ring true for us in this situation. As parents, childhood cancer was never a fear we had or something we thought we would ever have to face. However, not overcoming this was simply never an option.”Read More
“I had not been doing so well in life,” she said. “Mentally I’ve always loved the gym but lacked the strength to go. I am now struggling with weight loss. I had a baby 11 months ago and I know that as mother, your children should always come before yourself. My kids are the reason I get up in the morning… or even get out of bed and work. Depression is something I know that people struggle with and I hope that no one has to feel like I do every day. I haven't had the support I need from any direction, so it's been hard. But I’m trying.”Read More
“PTSD does not only affect the individual, it effects the entire family,” Paul said. “In 2017, my ex-wife passed away unexpectedly. My youngest son, Michael, came to live with me full-time. Just a year later, he lost his grandmother. The adjustment to both of our lives was huge. In late 2017, he started watching the World’s Strongest Man and became a huge fan of Brian Shaw and many others. It was something I was very excited about because it gave him an outlet to channel his energy.”
Ironically, what was an outlet for his son would also become a life-saver for Paul himself.Read More
The night I took a gun to my own head, I had gotten a phone call and was distracted enough, sad enough, tired enough to simply forget to go back to pull the trigger. So I went on another day. And another. And another. I graduated high school, tried out for the graduation speech and ended up delivering it in front of thousands of people—when my grades barely warranted a diploma.Read More
“As long as I can remember, I’ve had anxiety and depression,” he said. “I always took medication from the time I could swallow a pill. I was medicated my whole life until I turned 18 and refused to go to a doctor. After that, I started self-medicating with Xanax and anything I could find.”
Adam got into a serious motocross accident at 19. At the hospital, doctors began giving Adam Vicodin and other norcos like they were nothing.Read More
“I suffered some pretty horrible abuse at the hands of my junkie mother,” he remembered. “Among the worst was her attempt to strangle me with an extension cord at the age of 8.”
Some of the hardest times for Jebidiah were witnessing his mom's suicide attempts. One of her attempts happened on Christmas – a moment he’ll never forget.Read More
Like many of us, Ethan Hall is all too familiar with the “wrong” path.
Not everyone, however, is able to make it right.
“I served two years in prison because I took a terrible path,” he said. “I was a fighter, drinker and substance abuser. All of those things make it easy for someone to lose sight of what is important in life, and that’s what happened to me.”Read More
Clark Fredericks was raped at age 12.
But the grooming started years before by a man that he not only looked up to but trusted completely – a Lt. in the local Sheriff’s department, a trusted family friend and boy scout master.
“What the abuse did was destroy my childhood, destroy my trust and destroy my faith,” Fredericks said. “My mind, in order to protect me, told me that talking about the abuse was equal to reliving it and we surely didn't want to do that. And thus, my biggest regret in life began and that was the keeping of a debilitating secret.”Read More
For six years, Anthony was addicted to heroin and meth. Certainly, addiction in any form is incredibly difficult to fight through.
It takes strength and courage to admit you have a problem, and even more to fix it. That is to say, recognizing the demon is one thing; it’s something else to take action and conquer it.Read More
Shortly after his birth, Nathan was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP), a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, and posture, and was deemed once again, to have little chance of having a “normal” life.
“I was told that walking would be highly unlikely for a person with his form of CP, but I was never satisfied with the prognosis,” he said. “Throughout my childhood, and into my adolescent and teen years, I went through a grueling amount of examinations, surgeries, and physical and occupational therapy. I bounced back and forth between medical devices such as carts, wheelchairs, crutches, and leg braces; learning and relearning how to walk countless times.”Read More
“I was hit from behind and severely damaged my left knee and ankle,” Daniel said. “I partially damaged every ligament in my knee and had a Grade 3 sprain of my Achilles tendon. There I was being told that I have to wear this air cast for months and do months on months of physical therapy. At such a young age, I felt like my dream was gone. All I had wanted until that point was to play hockey.”Read More
“The kid began to bend my arm back as far as it could possibly go until he heard a popping noise,” Zac said. “I began to yell, and the boys took off running.”
A family friend was passing by and saw the event happen, but it was too late to intervene. He took Zac home and told his parents what happened.Read More
“We’ve all done things in our past that we aren’t proud of,” he said. “I certainly have a past like that. From 19-years-old to about 21, I was plummeting down the wrong path. I dove into drugs, alcohol and everything in between. I fought depression due to my grandfather passing years earlier, and battled addictions to cough syrup medication as well as marijuana.”Read More
“My friend yelled at me,” he said. “When I turned around, a car hit me going over 45 mph.”
The next thing Chance remembers is laying on the ground. Everything was moving in slow motion. When he started to come to, pain flooded his entire body.
“I underwent emergency surgery,” he said. “The last memory I have before going under was my wrestling coach telling me I’d be a future state champion. Almost storybook, right?”Read More
“I needed to run,” he said. “I needed to escape, and I knew my body was ready for me to make that move. My plan was to make a run for the neighbor’s house who was a police officer. I knew he could have helped. Done something to control the situation. But I just sat there with this feeling of absolute fear in my mind, stomach and arms. It paralyzed me.”Read More
“I wasn’t some working guy with a pill habit,” DJ said. “I was the epitome of what you’d think of if you heard the word ‘junkie.’ All the way out there; a daily miserable existence. One day I decided that I was tired of getting my ass handed to me and made a decision to get clean. I didn’t have the luxury of going to a treatment center. I did it myself. No detox meds. No rehab. Just guts and grit.”Read More
“I lived with my foster family for about a year, then my dad regained custody of me and I lived with him for a little bit until my dad and stepmom got a divorce,” Talon said. “My dad wasn’t able to care for me again, so dropped me off at my grandmother’s house, who formally adopted me at age 7. That’s when my dad went to prison on drug charges.”Read More
“She was struck from behind by an SUV that had crossed the double yellow line and was traveling at over 60 miles per hour,” he said. “The impact flung her body over 50 yards into a local farmer’s field where she was left to die for over an hour. Thankfully, a passing cyclist saw Denise and called for help.”Read More
“I rolled as soon as I felt the heat,” Scott said. “I stood up thinking I had eliminated anything burning, and as fate would have it, my pants and shirt were ablaze. The gas was soaked into my pants. I rapidly removed my clothes which was my only alternative. I managed to control my breathing to prevent shock from setting in. My father activated 911 as my grandfather used an extinguisher to put the fire out.”Read More
“At the hospital, the doctors explained it to us as if her brain was a jar of glass marbles and someone shook it very hard causing fractures inside all of the marbles,” Danielle said. “They also told us not to Google the injury and stay positive.”
The reason? With this type of injury, there is a less than 10% chance of recovery.Read More