Some of favorite stories.

Losing to Gain
Chuck Carroll stopped by Taco Bell so often the employees knew his $20 order by heart. Some days he went twice. Over the course of a year, Carroll estimates he spent $10,000 at the fast-food restaurant. The only thing surpassing his big expense was the 400-plus pounds he carried on his 5′ 6″ frame. Today, Carroll, a radio and podcast host, is 265 pounds lighter—and thriving. How did he do it? Read his story here.

Puppy Love. Before you read this story, a fair warning. By the time you finish the first paragraph you will have likely already fallen in love with Nelson, a Labrador Retriever puppy. You might also fall in love with his selfless trainers, who, over a period of nine to 18 months, are helping Nelson learn the ropes, so in turn, he can be help someone with autism, PTSD, diabetes or seizure disorders. You can learn much more about this very good boy here

Life Savers. It’s the waiting which is so hard. And Sarah Taylor knows waiting. Her partner, Keith Childerhose, spent months waiting for a new set of lungs, without which his prognosis was grim. “The waiting is horrible…you start to look—it is awful to say—you look at the weather patterns—oh, big storm coming, car accidents…” You can find out what happened next here.

Love and War. At Al-Furat University in Syria, Muhammad Sinjar studied English language and literature. He liked to joke he has always been interested in tragedy, which was in full supply in his home country. Amid the Arab Spring, Sinjar left Syria in 2012. He said it was the hardest decision he ever had to make. You read about his remarkable story here.

Over the Moon. And the Rainbow. When she picked up the phone, her manager asked, “How many seats do you want?” That’s how Sarah Lasko found out she would be playing the role of Dorothy in the national tour of The Wizard of Oz. Six auditions, 40 pages of material and eight shows a week added up to the experience of a lifetime for Sarah Lasko and well, you know, Toto too (played by a rescued Carin Terrier named Nigel.) Learn more about Lasko’s journey around the country and down the yellowbrick road here.

Sick and Tireless. It’s Friday night and Lynn Wolfson is slicing up strawberries for a traditional Sabbath dinner at her home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  She says the berries are “big, fat and beautiful” but nonetheless she will not eat them.  Wolfson, who was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, is on the short bowel syndrome diet.  Or as Wolfson likes to call it, “chicken, fish and mush.” Read Lynn’s story of surviving and thriving here.

Competitive Edge. Okay ready? See if you can keep up! Wake up at dawn, head to the rink, head to classes, head home to study and eat.  head back to practice. Plus strength and endurance training and ballet classes several times a week. Still there?  The daily routine for competitive ice dancers is not for the faint of heart. Try earning a college degree at the same time and you can’t help but admire these extraordinary athletes. You can read their story here.

A Lost Boy. Few students have taken a longer road to college than Guor Kiir.  Born in war-torn Sudan, Kiir escaped the country on foot, with only the clothes on his back.  It was just the beginning of a years-long journey across countries and continents. You can read more about  bravery of this lost boy and his nearly unbelievable story here.

Love Lessons. Dr. Leszek Sibilski, professor of sociology, might just be in love with love. He has spent the last year wondering if love can change the world, reducing poverty and boosting economic development. This is more than a fanciful romantic notion—it is a component of his Introduction to Sociology class—a course where it might just be okay to fall in. love with the professor. Read more here.


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