Peter Gabriel Sings “Heroes” to Raise Money for Haiti

July 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Video

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Rescue In The Water

May 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

How the quick thinking of three college women saved the life of an experienced fisherman.

By Jason Kersten

Mike McClure waded into Sarasota Bay for a little fishing on a beautiful day last April. The 67-year-old retired youth counselor had been angling in Florida’s intracoastal waters for years. This afternoon, the water off the New College of Florida campus was shallow enough at low tide that McClure could easily walk 100 yards offshore and cast his line in any direction. Sporting waders that reached up to his chest, he worked his way south down a sandbar, searching for his first nibble of the day.

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“I was just enjoying the heck out of the experience,” says McClure.

Near sunset, still without a fish, he decided to turn back. Rather than retrace his earlier course, though, he chose a more direct path toward shore, assuming the bay wouldn’t get deeper along the way. Instead, it had become an impassable trough, and he was trapped. “When I turned around and realized that the water was getting close to my waist, I just felt so alone,” he remembers. He tried to wade along different angles, but shallower water eluded him. Finally, he decided his safest option was to head straight for land and hope for the best.

“Within about five steps, the water was coming in through the top of the waders,” says McClure.

He felt the deadweight of the flooding waders pulling him down and knew that if he didn’t get out of them, he would drown. Thinking fast, he dropped his fishing rod, then lifted his legs to try to kick his way out of the waders. Instead, they pulled him completely below the surface. Thrashing, he started swallowing water. At the same time, the current caught him, and he could no longer touch bottom.

From left: Loren Niurka Mora, Caitlin Petro, and Eliza Cameron at  Sarasota Bay
Photographed by Preston C. Mack/Redux
From left: Loren Niurka Mora, Caitlin Petro, and Eliza Cameron at Sarasota Bay

Back onshore, Eliza Cameron, 19, Loren Niurka Mora, 20, and Caitlin Petro, 20, had been watching McClure fish?as they lounged on a patch of grass after a long week of classes. They saw McClure go under and then heard him cry, “Help!” His head was back above the water, but he was still trapped in the waders, and he was losing his breath…Continued

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Every Day Heroes

Often heroes are people that care about and love us.  They make us feel safe and protected.  We can all be heroes by being present in people’s lives.

Read what school kids had to say about who their heroes are.  This essay contest was organized by the ThinkQuest team.

For additional essays go to:  http://library.thinkquest.org/J001675F/everyday.htm

DiodatiA hero is a person that you think is special. Most people think a hero is somebody that saves people. That is not true. A hero is really any person you think is special. You could be a hero. But I picked my great-grandmother because I think she is very, very special. When you are hurt or sick she is always there for you. If you are mad and need a little talk, she is right by your side. Also, when we go over her house she plays with us. We either play cards or play with her dolls. But, I don’t care what we play because what makes the game fun, is that my great-grandmother is there. She is also very funny. Once at Halloween she pretended she was a vampire!

Her favorite place to go is to the beach with me. We swim or find animals. It is always the best place to go. Sometimes I go to her house and watch scary movies. I love her so very much! I don’t know how I could live without her!

Rachel Diodati Grade 3

A Survivor

HowardThere have been a lot of heroes over the past. People think that you have to be strong to be a hero. (That’s not true.) There are a lot of heroes just like you and me. Hercules is a hero. But, did you know that heroes really don’t have to be s SUPER HERO!?

I have a hero. His name is Leonard Corcoran, and he is a grandfather, a husband, a carpenter and a survivor of World War II. He was in the army and he survived! He is healthy and lives a good life. After his experience in World War II he fell in love with Ruth. They got married and are now living in Bradford, Massachusetts. They have more than eight wonderful grandchildren. They go on family trips and are having no trouble at all surviving the rest of their adventures in life.

He plays with me and tells me that he will teach me how to make things with wood and how to put things together. We will try to make the best fun out of the years to come. He is getting older and has a hearing aide. I believe in him and and I have trust in him. I hope he will live and be active for a long time.

He is my hero, my grandfather, a husband, a carpenter and A SURVIVOR!

Molly Howard Grade 3

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Even Werner And John Brown Save Woman Trapped In Jeep

February 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

Evan Werner and John Brown save woman trapped in Jeep after multi-vehicle crash

Evan Werner and his friend John Brown, Jr. were on the Capital Beltway near College Park, Maryland when they saw the immediate aftermath of a tractor-trailer slamming into the back of a woman’s Jeep Wrangler on December 16, 2009. The Jeep had been shoved some 75 ft. and its gas tank ruptured and caught fire. The woman was trapped inside. Both Werner and Brown jumped out of their car and ran over to help. Werner knew something of Jeep Wranglers and Brown had a fire extinguisher. While Brown worked the fire, Werner tried to get the door open but it was jammed. He then jumped on the hood and removed the Jeep’s soft-top roof. Once done, Werner jumped inside the burning vehicle and worked to free the woman’s trapped legs. The flames had spread to the back seat. Werner managed to free the woman’s legs and helped her toward the open roof. Brown and another by-stander helped the lady out and Werner then crawled out as well. The lady was taken to hospital with a broken leg and/or hip.E

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DJ Pascal

September 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

090908103621_pascal386Pascal Kleiman, a Frenchman living in Spain for the past twenty six years, is a very successful DJ who has just returned from an eighty eight country tour promoting a documentary based on his life.

Pascal was born without arms as a result of his mother taking Thalomid during pregnancy.  But that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream of being a DJ. 

Since being a baby Pascal had learned that his feet could do the job of feet and hands. So with a lot of effort Pascal learned how to turn the table with his feet. 

Pascal hopes that he can inspire others to go for their dream and says: “Heroes don’t need wings to fly”.

When not travelling around the world, Pascal lives with his two sons, who are also learning how to DJ with their feet, and wife.

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Texas Man Brings Hope To ‘Forgotten’ Disabled Iraqi Kids

August 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

art_brad_blauser

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Brad Blauser lives in war-torn Baghdad, where he doesn’t earn a paycheck and is thousands of miles from his family. But he has no intention of leaving anytime soon.

For the past four years, the Dallas, Texas, native has been providing hope to hundreds of disabled Iraqi children and their families through the distribution of pediatric wheelchairs.

“Disabled children — they’re really the forgotten ones in this war,” said Blauser, 43. “They are often not seen in society.”

Blauser arrived in Iraq as a civilian contractor in 2004, but quit that job last year to devote himself full time to his program, without compensation.

“There’s no paycheck. It’s not really safe here. But this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

An estimated one in seven Iraqi children ages 2 to 14 lives with a disability, according to UNICEF. Illnesses such as Spina bifida, palsy and polio leave them unable to walk.

Some parents carry their children every day. For these children and their families, limited access to health care has taken a toll.

“A number of families don’t know what’s wrong with their kid. There’s not a doctor available for help [and] there’s no pediatric wheelchair source in this country,” Blauser said.

Blauser first learned about this situation in 2005 through Maj. David Brown, a battalion surgeon. His friend shared heartbreaking accounts of helpless children pulling themselves along the ground, or living motionless in back rooms, too big to be moved long distances very often.

“So I asked him, ‘What do you need?’ ” Blauser recalled. “And he surprised me by his answer: ‘I need children’s wheelchairs.’ ”

Blauser began researching and campaigning for help from friends and family in the United States. In 30 days, 31 pediatric and small adult wheelchairs arrived in Mosul for distribution to children in need. Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids was born.

“The experience for me in the first distribution was awesome,” said Blauser. “To see the smile come across their face and [to] look over at the mothers and fathers — they’ve definitely been changed.”

That’s the case for 3-year-old Ali Khaled Ibrahim and his family. At 8 months old, Ali was struck by a mysterious fever that left him partially paralyzed. He cannot speak and experiences increasingly frequent and violent convulsions.

“Ali’s handicap affected the family a lot,” said his father.

His mother said she couldn’t carry out her daily chores and her “psychological state worsened.”

“When I heard the news of the distribution of these advanced wheelchairs, I was very happy deep down,” she said. “I thought maybe that will ease my work as a mother in the way I deal with my son.” Watch Ali and other children receive their wheelchairs from Blauser’s group »

Today, Ali smiles at home as he sits in his new wheelchair. His siblings giggle and sprinkle his face with kisses. The toddler’s parents are thankful for the relief it has brought not only to Ali, but their entire family.

The boy is among hundreds of disabled Iraqi children to benefit from Blauser’s generosity. Since 2005, Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids has distributed nearly 650 pediatric wheelchairs.

To obtain the specialized chairs, Blauser partnered with Reach Out and Care Wheels, a nonprofit pediatric wheelchair organization in Montana. The organization provides wheelchairs designed for rough terrains in developing nations, making the devices “perfect for this environment,” said Blauser.

Through sponsor donations, his group purchases the chairs from ROC Wheels for about $200 apiece, and USAID donates shipping. Members of the the U.S. and Iraqi armies, Iraqi police and border patrol work together to carry out the distributions.

Blauser and his group help adjust the children into their wheelchairs, which fit their bodies as they grow. Watch Blauser demonstrate the specialized wheelchair »

For Blauser, who provides part-time security consulting in exchange for room and board, an initial plan to stay for one year has become a dream to get wheelchairs to every Iraqi child who wants one. And he’s determined to see it through.

“By providing what they need, I’m hoping to start a movement to change the way people think about disabled children,” said Blauser. “They are not a curse, they are a blessing and they deserve to have their needs met.”

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