The Blind Man Who Taught Himself to See - To save his life
from an aggressive cancer, both of Daniel Kish’s eyes were removed
by the time he was 13 months old. In the decades since he has
adapted to his blindness in such remarkable ways that some wonder if
he’s playing a grand practical joke. Even though completely blind,
he’s able to pedal his bike through streets heavy with traffic. He
climbs trees. He camps out, by himself, deep in the wilderness. He
travels around the globe. He’s a skilled cook, an avid swimmer, a
fluid dance partner. Using what he calls “FlashSonar” Kish can
see...and he’s teaching others.
Westland Teen Caring for Twin Sisters Gets Surprise of Lifetime
- After his parents both died and he was left to care for his
17-year-old twin sisters, Patrick Marshall figured his dream of
going to college was gone. He figured wrong. What he didn’t count on
was the generosity that would spring forward after word of his
plight got out. Marshall found out Saturday he was being offered a
full-ride scholarship to Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo.,
the college which Marshall had hoped to attend to become a pastor or
a youth minister.
This Story About a Mother's Love Brought an Entire Middle School to
Tears - If you know anything about middle school, you know
that young teenagers can be hard to motivate and inspire. For former
professional wrestler Marc Mero, however, it only took four minutes
to bring an auditorium full of middle school students to tears with
his personal story about his mother, her passing and his regrets
about pushing her away. His speech is a must watch, but be
warned...you'll need a box of tissues by the end.
University Grad Overcomes Paralysis to Earn MBA - As an
able-bodied but unmotivated teenager, Ryan Gebauer didn't think he
was cut out for college. When an accident in 1995 left him paralyzed
from the neck down, he doubted he would even finish high school. But
Gebauer, 30, has proven himself wrong time and time again. On
Thursday, he accepted his master's degree in business administration
from Florida Atlantic University. He was one of about 2,200 students
receiving degrees this week during FAU's fall commencement. The
audience gave Gebauer a standing ovation.
Click, Click, Click
- We ducked into the dimly lit thrift shop to get out of the rain.
Like so many things since our daughter's birth, I hadn't planned on a
trip to this place. But I figured we'd see what they had since we were
Athlete With Down
Syndrome Scores 99-Yard Touchdown - For two years, senior
Lyndon LaPlante had only been getting a rep or two at football
practice for the Keller Indians and had never seen action in a
real game. The upbeat student with Down's syndrome seemed
content to just be part of head coach Kevin Atkinson's football
team. "I could see the passion in his eyes about how he really
loved football and loved being around those guys," said
Atkinson. But Atkinson had other plans for the dedicated athlete
and wanted LaPlante to take the field in a game.
Website: Kyle Maynard:
It's Not What I Can Do; It's What I Will Do - Kyle Maynard is
one of the most inspiring young men you will ever hear about. Due to a
rare birth defect called congenital amputation, Kyle was born without
arms and legs. "We didn't think he'd ever be able to live on his own,"
remembers Anita, Kyle's mother. Then Kyle's dad made a pivotal
decision that would ultimately bless his son in ways he could not have
known. The Maynards would raise Kyle with a lot of love—but no special
'No Excuses' Fuels
Amputee's Success - Born with a rare disorder called congenital
amputation, Kyle Maynard - despite the absence of both his arms and
legs - became one of the top high school wrestlers in Georgia. "You
may look at me and say, 'That sucks you have no arms or legs,' but
that doesn't matter," said the University of Georgia sophomore.
"There's nothing I'm not going to be able to achieve."
Courage - Hair
was her worst enemy. The disease was fighting each follicle, but the
battle raged much deeper than the roots. By freshman year, Caitlin
Riley was losing more than brunette locks. Her confidence was crushed.
Her faith was faltering. "I thought that if God loved me, he wouldn't
give me something that caused so much pain," she said. Alopecia areata
doesn't hurt. But being bald in high school breaks down a teenage
A Reel Success
- Clayton Dyer, 27, stands tall in the elite world of competitive
bass fishing, despite the fact he was born without legs and with only
one, partial arm. As of press time, Dyer, of Hamilton, Ala., has won
about 25 of some 300 bass tournaments in which he's competed. Bass
fishing on the pro level is a demanding sport that takes practice and
commitment, but "if I can do it, you can do it," says Dyer, who mans
his unmodified Stratos bass boat on his own, like other competitors.
"When people first see me, they're not sure what I can do, and it
shocks them to see me doing it all without assistance," he says. The
most inspiring thing anyone's said to him? "Some parents told me
recently they hoped their kids would grow up to be as good an example
as I am," he says. "That was inspiring -- and very humbling." [Source:
USA Weekend, July 24, 2005]
Walk the Talk
Radio: Monica Moshenko and
DisAbility News and Views - Wanted: 50-year-old single mom
with little money and no media experience—holding a full-time day job
while raising an autistic child—to launch weekly radio talk show for
the disabled community. Major media outlets largely indifferent, but
people with disabilities likely to tune in. Exhausting hours with no
assistants; blind faith and fierce determination a plus.
Friends & Family Speech: A
Mom's Perspective On Autism - As I reflect over the past
four years, I’m struck by how much families like mine need families
like yours. If we don’t have your help, your support, the costs grow
in many ways. You see, the experts agree: The more involved the
parents, the better the outcome for the child. And the experts agree
that 30 or more hours a week is better. However, no one is supporting
the families to make this a reality for the children.
It Is Not What's Gone -
But What's Given - Speech from
Jim Abbott, one-handed famed professional baseball pitcher. Not too
long ago a little girl in my neighborhood was born without a hand. She
was born just after my own second daughter Ella was born. Her parents
were obviously shaken up. About a week later, I saw them at a
neighborhood function and they came over to me and asked what my
thoughts were, if I had any advice, for them and for their daughter.
My advice? This is their daughter's life and they were asking my
advice? Talk about humbling. What do you say? I had nothing very smart
From Dorie -
As the mother of a son with Paranoid Schizophrenia I have been
struggling with the issue of prayer for quite some time. It is not
that I have lost faith. I have been running on it for five years now.
Granted there were times when it was reduced to the size of a mustard
seed. But as I look back in hindsight, there was a moment that stands
out from all the rest that left me totally and completely drained and
frozen in fear like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car when
it came to the issue of prayer.
One of Our Own
- On Tuesday we had the pleasure of
attending an awards benefit in Morgantown, West Virginia. The banquet,
the 2004 Governor’s Service Award Banquet, was hosted by West Virginia
Governor, Bob Wise. We attended the banquet because Our Children Left
Behind’s own Debi Lewis was honored with an award. We are so proud of
- I have to share with you a story about the happiest
journey I've ever taken. This story was made possible thanks to my
sweet son, Nicholas, who has autism.
Syndrome and Mom's Secret Weapon (A Mother's Day Reflection) -
Want to be more effective in helping your child? Want to give him
the best possible training to deal with AS and succeed? Then you need
to access a secret weapon. You. Your immediate reaction may be, "Yeah,
right! I'm already doing everything I can. More than I can! In fact,
I'm so stressed that just the thought of doing more threatens to shut
Led By The Children - I think I
knew in some instinctive way from the first time I watched these young
people walk from Kelly Miller Smith’s church in Nashville to
Woolworth’s lunch counter that I was watching the beginning of
something historic, that they were not going to be turned around.