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Inspirational people

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by balto, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. balto

    balto Beloved Grand Eagle

    When I feeling down and blue I often tried to find and read story of people like those below. Their stories always show me that the problems, the challenges that I'm facing is so small, not worth worrying over at all. They often made my life's difficuties much easier to accept and move on.
    Hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Nick Vujicic: a man with no limbs who teaches people how to get up:
    Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia with the rare Tetra-amelia disorder: limbless, missing both arms at shoulder level, and having one small foot with two toes protruding from his left thigh. Despite the absence of limbs, he is doing surf and swimming, and playing golf and soccer. Nick graduated from college at the age of 21 with a double major in Accounting and Financial Planning. He began his travels as a motivational speaker, focusing on the topics that today's teenagers face.
    http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/


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    2. Nando Parrado: survived airplane crash and 72 days in the Andes
    72 - Days of ordeal, Nando Parrado and other survivors of a plane crash in the Andes had to endure before being rescued. Flying over the mountains on a Friday the 13th, the young men and their families who boarded the charter plane joked about the unlucky day when the plane's wing hit the slope of the mountain and crashed. On impact, 13 passengers were instantly dead while 32 others were badly wounded. Hoping to be rescued, the survivors waited in the freezing -37C temperature, melting snow for drinks and sleeping side by side to keep themselves warm. Food was so scarce, everyone had to pool whatever food they can find for a rationed pool.

    9 days after the crash, due to dire desperation and hunger, the survivors called for an important meeting. One member proposed that they eat the dead. The 2 hours meeting ended with a conclusion. If any of them died in the Andes, the rest had the permission to use the corpse as food. After 2 weeks, their hope of being found dashed when they found out via their radio transistor that the rescue effort was called off.

    On the 60th day after the crash, Nando Parrado and 2 other friends decided to walk through the icy wilderness for help. By the time they left, Nando Parrado said, the crash site was “.. an awful place, soaked in urine, smelling of death, littered with ragged bits of human bone and gristle”. Wearing 3 pairs of jeans and 3 sweaters over a polo shirt, he and his friends trekked the mountains with human flesh as their ration.

    Knowing that they must search for rescue, the team endured frozen snow, exhaustion and starvation, walking and climbing for 10 days before finding their way to the bottom of the mountain. The team was finally helped by a Chilean farmer who called the police for help. Parrado then guided the rescue team via a helicopter to the crash site.
    On the 22nd December 1972, after enduring 72 brutal days, the world found out that there were 16 survivors who cheated death, in the mountain of Andes. 8 of the initial survivors died when an avalanche cascaded down on them as they slept in the fuselage.

    During the ordeal, Nando Parrado lost 40 kg of his weight. He lost half his family in the crash. He is now a motivational speaker.http://www.parrado.com/videos.asp
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    3. Jessica Cox: became the first pilot with no arms, proving you don't need 'wings' to fly
    Jessica Cox suffered a rare birth defect and was born without any arms. None of the prenatal tests her mother took showed there was anything wrong with her. And yet she was born with this rare congenital disease, but also with a great spirit. The psychology graduate can write, type, drive a car, brush her hair and talk on her phone simply using her feet. Ms Cox, from Tuscon, Arizona, USA, is also a former dancer and double black belt in Tai Kwon-Do. She has a no-restrictions driving license, she flies planes and she can type 25 words a minute.

    The plane she is flying is called an Ercoupe and it is one of the few airplanes to be made and certified without pedals. Without rudder pedals Jessica is free to use her feet as hands. She took three years instead of the usual six months to complete her lightweight aircraft licence, had three flying instructors and practiced 89 hours of flying, becoming the first pilot with no arms.
    http://www.damncoolpictures.com/2008/12/jessica-cox-becomes-first-pilot-with-no.html


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    Sean Swarner: first cancer survivor to complete the 7-summits, the highest peaks of the 7 continents
    The 29,035-foot giant known as Mount Everest tortures its challengers with life-threatening conditions such as 100 mph winds, the dramatic loss of oxygen, snowstorms, and deadly avalanches. Climbers of Everest are faced with incredible dangers, but for Sean Swarner the obstacles he overcame prior to his summiting make his story even more compelling.

    Sean isn't just a cancer survivor; he is truly a medical marvel. He is the only person in the world ever to have been diagnosed with both Hodgkin's disease and Askin's sarcoma. He was diagnosed in the fourth and final stage of Hodgkin's disease at the age of thirteen, when doctors expected him to live for no more than three months. He overcame his illness only to be stricken a second time when a deadly golf ball-sized tumor attacked his right lung. After removal of the Askin's tumor, Sean was expected to live for less than two weeks. A decade later and with only partial use of his lungs, Sean became famous for being the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest.

    After the summit of Everest, Sean had the desire and dream to continue moving forward and reaching people around the world. Climbing the highest mountain on each continent became his next goal. Proving to others that anything is possible, Sean successfully summited Mt. McKinley, to be the first cancer survivor to complete the seven summits.
    http://www.seanswarner.com/

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    Randy Pausch: inspired thousands of people with his dying speech
    Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pausch learned that he had pancreatic cancer, a terminal illness, in September of 2006. He gave an upbeat lecture entitled "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called "The Last Lecture" on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008.

    In his famous speech, Pausch showed a list of his childhood dreams, and explained how he achieved each of them. His dreams were: being in zero gravity, playing in the National Football League, being the author of a World Book Encyclopedia article, meeting and being Captain Kirk, being "one of the guys who won the big stuffed animals in the amusement park", and becoming a Disney Imagineer.

    He was given 3 months of life, he lived 3 more years.

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    Ben Underwood: the boy who could “see” with his ears
    Ben Underwood was a remarkable teenager, who loved to skateboard, ride his bicycle and play football and basketball. For the most part, the Californian 14-year-old was just like other kids his age. What made Underwood remarkable was his ability to master these activities despite the fact that he was blind. Underwood had both eyes removed after being diagnosed with retinal cancer at age two. To most people's amazement upon meeting him, he seemed completely unfazed by his lack of sight, defying common stereotypes about blindness as a disability. So how did he do it? The answer is echolocation: the sonar navigation technique used by bats, dolphins, several other mammals and some birds. As Underwood moved about, he habitually made clicking noises with his tongue; these sounds bounced off surfaces and, with each return, added to Underwood's perception of his surroundings.

    He was so good at it that he could tell the difference between a fire hydrant and a rubbish bin, distinguish between parked cars and trucks, and — if you took him to a house he had never been to before — he would tell you he could 'see' a staircase in that corner and a kitchen in the other. He could even distinguish between different materials.

    An unflinching faith in God guided Ben and his mother during his last few months as cancer spread to Ben's brain and spine. He eventually died on January 2009 at the age of 16.
    http://www.benunderwood.com/

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    Liz Murray: from Homeless To Harvard
    Elizabeth "Liz" Murray was born September 23, 1980 the Bronx, New York, to poor, drug-addicted, HIV-infected parents. She became homeless just after she turned 15, when her mother died of AIDS, and her father moved to a homeless shelter. Murray's life turned around when she began attending the Humanities Preparatory Academy in Chelsea, Manhattan. Though she started high school later than most students, and remained without a stable home while supporting herself and her sister, Murray graduated in only two years. She was awarded a New York Times scholarship for needy students and accepted into Harvard University, matriculating in the fall semester of 2000. She left Harvard in 2003 to care for her sick father; she resumed her education at Columbia University to be closer to him until 2006 when he died of AIDS. As of May 2008, she was back at Harvard working towards her degree with plans to graduate with a degree in Psychology in June 2009.

    Her life became a movie in 2003 and she now works as a professional speaker, representing the Washington Speakers Bureau. That same gutsy strength that pulled her from the streets now transforms the lives of others, from student groups to business audiences in need of inspiration to overcome their own obstacles.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Murray
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    Patrick Henry Hughes: born blind and crippled, now "marches" in the Louisville marching band
    Patrick is a remarkable young man who was born without eyes and without the ability to fully straighten his arms and legs, making him unable to walk. Additionally, two steel rods were
    surgically attached to Patrick's spine to correct scoliosis.

    Despite circumstances, Patrick has overcome these physical issues to excel as a musician and student. Patrick started playing the piano at the age of only nine months, and also plays the trumpet and sings. He even participates in the University of Louisville School of Music Marching and Pep Bands with help from his father (Patrick John Hughes), who tirelessly maneuvers his wheel chair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the
    Cardinal Marching Band.

    A virtuoso pianist, vocalist and trumpet player, Patrick has won numerous competitions, as well as winning awards acknowledging the circumstances he has overcome to achieve these heights. He has been featured on ESPN, ABC-TV, Oprah, CBS-TV, The Ellen Show, Extreme Make Over Home Edition, FOX-TV, CSTV, NBC-TV, Million Dollar Round Table, The Grand Ole Opry, People Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Star Magazine, and many, many others.
    http://www.patrickhenryhughes.com/


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    Nuntita Bell, Thailand Got Talents winner:


    There was a time when the world wondered, "is that a man or a woman?" when Lady Gaga stepped into the music scene with her ambiguous sexuality, caused by the rumours of her being a hermaphrodite - not to mention her outrageously, out-of-this-world character. The same question was repeated when millions of viewers of Thailand's Got Talent watched the performance of beautiful transgendered Nuntita who hypnotised the audiences for the very first minute of her act, with her dreamy voice that came out of a slender female figure and girlish complexion, until she KO-ed everyone after unleashing her masculine bass.
    "As far as I could recall, I knew I was a woman trapped in male body," said the native of Nakhon Ratchasima.

    Being the only son of a father who served in the army, expressing her femininity while being a boy caused her troubles.

    "Boys made fun of me at school. They picked on me a lot. At home, my dad used to beat me [almost] to death," she said. "He wanted me to be 'normal'," she said.

    Asking how she survived the bullying, Nuntita said that her growing passion for singing was somehow her saviour.

    "I've loved singing since I was young. My dad loves karaoke. My grandmother used to be a singer. So it's in our blood," Nuntita said.

    "During my teenage years, I tried to get involved in a singing club, as it is one of the activity I could do to fulfill my dream and to stay away from other boys.

    "More importantly, it is much better to be acknowledged as a school's representative in singing contests, than being referred to only as a gay boy in school."

    Nuntita crooning her magical voice during her on the stage of Thailand’s Got Talent.

    "My boyfriend is also my band mate. We have been together for eight years. But things are getting rough since I decided to join the show in Bangkok."

    It was rather hard to blame her boyfriend for his growing jealousy, even former boy band member Robbie Williams thought that she was a woman with a male voice. A video appearance on a talk show on Dutch television captured his reaction after watching a video of Nuntita singing had gone viral on the internet since last week.

    "I am glad to know I could fool a man, a famous one," she joked.

    When the door of opportunity opened, Nuntita quickly leapt in and followed her heart. There is one thing in particular she appreciated about Thailand's Got Talent and that was the fact that the show offers an equal chance to anybody of any gender.

    "The reason I decided to join the show was because it is open to people of all genders," she explained. "That is the main reason why I think this is the perfect stage for me to show what I have got and who I am."

    The lyrics of the latest gay anthem, Born This Way by the unabashed Lady Gaga - "No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life/ I'm on the right track, baby. I was born to survive" - have spoken to the hearts of many people with sexual diversity, including the talented Nuntita's.

    "For me, everything in this world happens for a reason. And there must be a reason why I was born this way. But I don't bother asking 'why me?'. What's more important is that we know who we really are and must stay true to ourselves.

    "To live happily, we should follow our passions or find out what is our hidden talent ... and let it shine."

    After three judges gave her their unanimous votes, the last part of the video was when Nuntita talked to the camera and left a short message to her father that she loves him so much and she has finally made it. As I asked her whether she got to talk to her father afterwards, Nuntita replied "yes" and shared his words.

    "I am glad to hear that he is now proud of me. And, no matter who I am, he said, just be a good person."
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    Please add more to this list whoever you find is a force of inspiration in your life.
     
  2. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I love these inspirational true stories of people who overcame adversities.
    I add two:

    A young woman cellist was on her way to a concert in Chicago when she was dragged
    along tracks by a commuter train and ended up losing one leg. She went on to get an
    artificial leg and today Rachel Barton is one of the most successful concert cellists.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt had polio and first walked on crutches, then was confined
    to a wheelchair during his four term Presidency, but never stopped in leading the nation out of the 1930s Great Depression
    and through World War II. He died shortly before it ended, but his courage and leadership inspired Americans to win it.
    Even Republicans.

    I loved him, and even so laughed when I watched an old 1940s movie on TV a few days ago...
    "The Palm Beach Story." Mary Astor says, "Nothing lasts forever, except Roosevelt."
     

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