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Last Updated: 04/12/2018

Good News: Inspiring Stories, Poems, and Quotes


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'll need a box of tissues by the end.


Embrace The Day: Preacher Born Without Limbs Spreads His Anti-bullying Message in Times Square with 10,000 Hugs Tour - Melbourne-born Nick Vujicic has rare tetra-amelia syndrome. After a suicide attempt at the age of 10, Vujicic turned his disability into a motivation to spread the gospel. His New York appearance was part of 10,000 Hugs Tour.


Florida Atlantic 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.


Beautiful Minds: A demonstration of autistic savant Stephan Wiltshire’s astounding abilities.


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 there.


TX 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.


Featured 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 treatment.


'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 girl.


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 to say.


AZ Homecoming Royal Quits For 'Right King' - When Joe McLarney and Marisa Robson threw up their arms Friday night as Highland High School's newly crowned homecoming king and queen, tears welled through the crowd.


A High School Class Project Evolves Into an Outpouring of Love - Marketing students at Lake Region High School are finding out how far a rubber band can be stretched. It can be stretched around a wrist. It can be stretched around a heart.


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.


Integrated at Last: The Right to Belong, The Story of Yvonne


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 her.


Rainbow Maker - 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.


Asperger 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 me down."


We Were 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.


Something To Crow About: The following are some of the great things that parents, siblings, grandparents and friends have said about their loved ones with autism. "I love to watch my dad with my son. There is an obvious grandpa/grandson bond between the two of them. I recently asked Kenny what he likes about his papa and he said, 'Well, he knows how to sleep good. And I think he knows Santa Claus.'"

Remember Me When I'm Gone: Jan Berry's Farewell Message


MI Cut From Band, Boy Lashed Out, School Official Testifies - A Tale of Two Bands and One Mother's Response. The following article appeared in the Detroit Free Press. The response was posted to a parent listserv.


Eddie and Maria Bell Have Adjusted Gracefully to Life — and Parenthood — Without Sight - "A few years back, I was assisting a family in Texas who had a teenage daughter who became blind within about a three day span due to medical complications from an infectious disease. By the grace of the universe, Eddie Bell was in town and available to work with the young woman and her family on a one to one basis. We were all so thankful for his expertise, patience and kindness. Sharing his very similar experience and positive attitude about blindness (including the information of the journey that led him to that positive attitude) made all the difference in the world for the young woman who has moved on in her life with courage and grace. Thought the following article might be of interest to some of you too…" - Brunhilde Merk-Adam, Parents of Blind Children of Michigan

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking - When you thought I wasn't looking you hung my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another. When you thought I wasn't looking you fed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

A Personal Story - I knew that this day would come. I just didn't know when. My son Sebastian (age 10) came home from school today talking about how Lincoln helped free the slaves and how Martin Luther King Jr. helped people of all races to realize his dream of equality.


Boy, Have They Missed the Point! - Because I have IDEA reauthorization on my mind all of the time these days, as I was driving away from the auditorium, all that I could think was, “Boy, have our legislators missed the point!” Because of IDEA ’97, Nicholas’ kind school staff now just naturally understands why we work toward placement in the least restrictive environment with age appropriate peers, give access to the curriculum, and implement Positive Behavior Support concepts on a daily basis.


We Get What We Get: The Bottom Line On Parent Accountability - The following is a somewhat blunt, but quite definitive answer to the questions so often asked by frustrated teachers: What should be the parent's level of accountability in their children's education? ~ What do classroom teachers have the right to require and/or expect from parents in the way of cooperation, involvement and participation in their child's learning? If the parents won't see that they get their assignments done and won't come to conferences, what can I do?


Jim Abbott Speech – ADAPT: Overcoming Adversity - People will tell you that I overcame obstacles…maybe. But the truth is I was incredibly blessed in my life. More was given than was ever taken away. Some of you may know that my career statistics weren’t that great. There were some incredible highlights and some agonizing lowlights. The truth is, I won’t go to the hall of fame. But if a career can be measured by special moments, lessons learned, and a connection with people then I would stack mine up with anyone’s. Maybe there is an obligation to share. To try and learn from the experiences life puts us through.


TX Queen for Life: Jones Named Homecoming Queen - The big moment in Cy-Fair High School's homecoming celebration wouldn't come for another two hours, but Shannon Jones had already won the most important contest. That she was on the field at all, posing for photos with the rest of the homecoming court, was a testament to her own personality, her sister's love and changing public attitudes.


New Yahoo Group: Joy in Disability - Having a child with a disability - of any age - can at first seem like anything but a "Joyful" experience...


WV Local Artist Exhibits in Charleston - Nine paintings by Tucker Lewis, a 10-year-old Morgantown resident with cerebral palsy, were displayed this week at the Charleston Civic Center. Tucker, who can't physically hold a paint brush, paints using the Artistic Realization Technologies method.


Pete Wright: Championing Children for Whom Reading and Learning Are Difficult - How old are you? Ninety-nine percent of us answer this question reflexively, without having to think. A reporter who put this question to Peter W. D. Wright several years ago was stunned when Mr. Wright, an education lawyer, resorted to a calculator before answering.


A Beautiful Note - Tom Harrell, named jazz trumpeter of the year three times by Downbeat Magazine, is known for the gorgeous, intricate melodies he composes.  Seeing Harrell play, it's impossible to believe that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia - a mental illness so profound that it  institutionalizes many of its victims.


Being Different by Sylvia Lawniczak - On most days the furthest thing from my mind is my child being different from any other. We laugh, play together, even bandage changes are so routine it feels like a 'normal' thing to do.


Realizations by Debi Lewis - For so many of us, the brainwashing begins when our children are quite young, occasionally even before their birth. Diagnoses. Prognoses. It’s no wonder we learn to underestimate our children. After all, we’re bombarded with information regarding their potential (or lack thereof). We get it from the medical profession. We’re fed it by educational experts. We go in search of it online or in libraries. We even get it from friends, family, and total strangers. Some of it is bound to stick. All of it, regardless of the intent with which it was delivered, limits our children.


bridges4kids Exclusive: Speaking Up - Every day parents and advocates of children with special needs reach out to each other and offer, through the magic of e-mail and Listservs, online information, advice, and support. Today "karatemom" told this story and we want to share it, in the hope that it will inspire others.


Commentary with Mike Lopresti: Bradshaw, Williams Confront Depression - The man on the telephone has four Super Bowl rings, a television name...and a lifetime of living with depression.


Story:  Inclusion is Not a Place, It is a Feeling - I am a person with disabilities and when I say "my friends" I mean friends, real friends just like everyone else, I have friends. Most of you think all people have friends but for people with disabilities friends are not always real. I want you to know why I have friends.


Article:  Reaching Rommel - Everyone said his 10-year-old student would never learn to read.  For a long time, he believed it, too.


Article:  Decorations to dream by: Group surrounds ailing children with creativity - While adults all around her cried, Clare Walsh smiled and cooed as she lay in her new crib, staring at the lights and toy hummingbirds dangling above her.


Article:  Ha Ha! Jonathan IS a Little Brother - This morning there was a brief skirmish over the VCR. Not an atypical situation in a family of children, of course, but this skirmish had an interesting twist to it.


Human Touch: Jake Porter’s emotional story has gripped the Southern Ohio region


Article:  Instructions for Life in the new millennium from the Dalai Lama


Story:  The Blueberry Story - A business leader learns his lesson. "I have received many kind words for telling the blueberry story, but the real credit goes to the teacher."


Story:  Give Life a Chance - There aren't many people that know the story behind my own son's birth.  It's just one of those things I've been silent on, and not one I have shared with Ben or his sister.  In the words that follow, you will understand why.


Article:  David Jayne Is New Mobility's Person of the Year! - David Jayne, imprisoned by ALS, is fighting the Medicare homebound rule that says he must be a prisoner in his home to receive support services.


Article:  For the Love of Pete - Linda Verville saw a lesson to be shared in the life of her deaf and blind dog Pete, and decided to write a children's book.


Article:  CA Don't take it out on the students - A community college teacher writes the governor.


Article:  Off to See the Wizard - When you add what the Scarecrow wants (a brain) to what the Tin Man wants (a heart) to what the Lion wants (courage) to what Dorothy wants (a home), you end up with a fully educated person.


Story:  An Open Letter to the School Board - An inspirational letter from a mother in West Virginia.\


Article: Legally blind, Runyan in NYC chasing a dream


Story: Hope


'His Name Is Michael' - This is a true story—one that both haunts and inspires me. I wish I could say that the names have been changed to protect the innocent. The names were changed, but, sadly, no one was protected.


Story: Alexander the Great


Article: Anthony Carter's son is his No. 1 priority - Former U-M football star spends days caring for Anthony Jr.


Article: The unstoppable Eileen Lee - She takes care of her disabled son and fights for the parents of other children.

Thriving on Challenge: Attorney Focuses on Life, Not Disability


Story: Somebody Said A Mother


Two Stories From a Mom in Maryland

Favorite Inspirational & Motivational Quotes


Article: Blind Brother Teaches Insightful Lessons


Story: The Day I Finally Cried

Story: Things Can Only Get Better -
"When I first started out in the special education field I had the opportunity to work with a little girl that nobody else wanted to take time with.  She was diagnosed as having autism and she was also deaf."


Story: To You, My Sisters


Article: Some Cream For Your Coffee? Jonathan Helps (?) His Mom


Article: A Hurdle Too High - I am not your average kid with a learning disability. I am a unique kid with a different style of learning. I did not choose to have this learning disability. It chose me. Because I am stuck with this, I am not going to let this problem get in the way of my success.


Story: The Traveler


From:  Rondout

An old man going on a lone highway,  came at evening cold and gray, to a chasm vast and deep and wide, through which there flowed a sullen tide. The old man crossed in the twilight dim, the sullen stream had no fears for him. But, he turned when safe on the other side, and built a bridge to span the  tide. "Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near, "You are wasting your time by building here. You never again will pass this way. Your journey will end with the closing day. You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide, Why build you this bridge at evening tide? "The builder lifted his old, gray head, "Good friend, in the way I've come," he said, "There follow after me today, some youth whose feet must pass this way. This stream that has been as nothing to me,  to the fair-haired youth might a pitfall be. They too must cross in the twilight dim, Good friend, I am building this bridge for them."


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