A Sister’s Idea to Help Her Dying Brother Leads to a Major Business Opportunity

DeborahStanzak

The multi-million dollar business inspiration from a dying brother: The Story Behind RonWear.

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Richmond, Va., Man Inspired to a Career in Law and to Prosecute Violent Crimes

Often, the deepest, most moving form of inspiration is born out of tragedy. That is certainly the case in the story of Virginia Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Timothy Martin, who was 17 when he watched the man charged with his brother’s attempted murder and the murder of his brother’s girlfriend stand trial more than 17 years ago. Both victims were shot in the head. Martin’s brother survived, but the girlfriend did not.

Martin watched as prosecutor Learned Barry took command of the courtroom as he successfully sought conviction and a death sentence for the shooter. Martin got his law degree and sought out Barry as a mentor. Martin now prosecutes violent cases for the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Read all the details of this story in the Richmond Times Dispatch: Trial inspired career in court.

Inspired by a Daughter’s Love of Her Dad

A homecoming birthday surprise

You’ve probably seen the above video clip making the rounds on various TV news shows. We can’t ever get enough of these …
Young Girl Gets Surprise Birthday Present: Dad

Betty Ford Dies at 93

Betty Ford (White House Photo)
Betty Ford, former First Lady and wife of late former President Gerald Ford died yesterday at the age of 93. She admitted a long-time addiction to alcohol and prescription pain-killers and her recovery from them led her to open the Betty Ford Center to help others similarly addicted. Read the full story.

Some quotes about her:

“She has been an inspiration to so many through her efforts to educate women about breast cancer and her wonderful work at the Betty Ford Center.”

— Former first lady Nancy Reagan

“She was an authentic and genuine hero in the recovery world. … It’s sort of hard to imagine her absence on this earth.”

— Carl Sferrazza Anthony, former speechwriter for Nancy Reagan and author of
“First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents’ Wives & Their Power”

Elizabeth Edwards’ Legacy

Elizabeth Edwards inspired others. There’s no question about that. In the wake of her death yesterday after a six-year battle with cancer, after all the stories about the struggles she faced in life have been told and retold, we’re left with the legacy of Elizabeth Edwards. It is one of inspiration, we believe.

In her life, lived very publicly, she had to endure the death of a child — her first-born, Wade, at 16, as a result of an auto accident. That alone is perhaps the most crushing blow anyone must endure in life. But that wasn’t the end of the challenges that came her way. She had to battle breast cancer, a battle she ultimately lost on Dec. 7, 2010. And she had to endure the enormous publicity and public embarrassment surrounding the news of her husband’s infidelity and the fact that he fathered a child with his mistress.

“She was an inspiration to all who knew her, and to those who felt they knew her,” said Vice President Joe Biden. And as the first line in a Palm Beach Post health section story notes that she was “Inspirational to the end.”

Elizabeth Edwards also has been described as steely and strong, ambitious and determined — interesting words; words that could take on a positive or negative connotation depending on the context. She was demeaned in the book, “Game Change,” written about the 2008 presidential campaign, as being less than pleasurable to deal with. But think about all that. Put yourself in her shoes for just a moment if you can. Think about the pain of losing a child; think about having to cope with a deadly disease on a daily basis; think about having the infidelity of your spouse revealed on one of the most public of stages. How would you behave? How would you react? How would you carry all that day after day? Any one of those three things impacting your life would be enough to send many to bed in a dark room where they would remain for months. Think about dealing with all three of those things.

Elizabeth Edwards kept going until she could continue no longer, in spite of all the pain, heartache and suffering she lived through. The line, “Inspirational to the end,” is an appropriate one.

Joe Beene’s Inspiration: A Quadriplegic’s Story

Joe Beene (Photo courtesy Joe Beene)

It was 10 years ago, exactly, that Joe Beene’s world changed instantaneously. On Nov. 8, 2000, Joe was a 17-year-old, playing linebacker for his Permian High School football team in Odessa, Texas.

It was their final practice of the year before they were to meet their arch-rivals from across town, Odessa High School. Joe, a senior, made what seemed like a routine tackle. But the tackle was anything but routine. “I was tackling somebody, and my neck went back,” said Joe in a sort of matter-of-fact manner.

He remembers the time immediately after the tackle very well. “I stopped breathing. I was awake. I was wondering what was going on — you know, you can’t breathe.”

He knew something was wrong, but all he could do was lie there. “I couldn’t speak, but with my eyes I was saying, ‘Do something! Do something!’ I went without air for seven minutes. I should be dead or brain dead. But God kept me alive.”

Joe says he didn’t realize right away the seriousness of what had happened, “not until about three days later, after surgery. They fused C1 and C2 [vertebrae] together. I woke up after surgery and my dad told me what happened; I started crying — because I was thankful that God kept me alive and I wasn’t brain dead.”

What happened to Joe 10 years ago on that tackle left him paralyzed from the neck down. But what happened to Joe 10 years ago also turned his life on a path that led him closer to God and into a powerful relationship with Jesus. In the decade that’s gone by since his injury, he’s become an ordained minister, and he just got his degree this summer from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, where he majored in history and minored in business.

“It was amazing,” said Joe about the injury. “I should have died; I should have been brain dead.”

But he wasn’t. What overwhelmed Joe wasn’t the devastating injury, “it was that God had kept me alive for that long; maybe he had given me another chance at life. I started crying because I was thankful for that.”

Joe takes a larger view of the accident that left him a quadriplegic: “Everyone goes through hard things. It’s not like I’m an exception to the rule.”

We wanted to know — did he have strong faith before the injury? His answer was Continue reading “Joe Beene’s Inspiration: A Quadriplegic’s Story”

A Tale of Three Brothers

Great piece by Rich Cimini, of ESPNNewYork.com: The Source of Matt Slauson’s Strength. It’s a story about current New York Jets left guard Matt Slauson, and the inspiration he draws from his brothers. One is an Air Force captain who has a degree in astronautical engineering and flies jets; the other brother was born after suffering a prenatal brain injury. Nick and Chris are identical twins. To read all the details of this great story, go to: The Source of Matt Slauson’s Strength and find out about the surprising stories of all three brothers.

Olympian Derek Redmond

I tripped across this video on Facebook earlier today: Olympian Derek Redmond. No words really need describe this emotional scene from the 400 meters semifinals at the Barcelona Olympics back in 1992. Just wanted to share with all:

John Cappelletti’s Heisman Trophy Speech

InspiredON by Family — Usually it’s the top athletes who inspire boys to dream big dreams of being the star on the field and doing great things. This story flips that notion upside down. This time it’s an 11-year-old boy, stricken with cancer, who inspired his older brother, Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti. In 1973, in one of the most moving speeches in the history of college football’s top award, the Penn State running back dedicated the trophy to his 11-year-old brother, Joey, who was battling leukemia. What follows are some excerpts from his acceptance speech that night, and a video highlight of the evening.

John Cappelletti, from direct transcripts of the speech:

“My mother and my father, there isn’t a greater couple around. Continue reading “John Cappelletti’s Heisman Trophy Speech”

A Gift of Life

InspiredON by Family — On a day in which star San Diego Chargers running back Ladainian Tomlinson scored two rushing touchdowns to move into third place on the all-time TD list, and on the same day surpass Pittsburgh’s Franco Harris and Buffalo’s Thurman Thomas to move into 12th place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list, something interesting happened before Tomlinson set foot on the field. It was a gift from his wife, LaTorsha, that served as a source of inspiration. Read all the details in Fanhouse senior NFL writer Nancy Gay’s captivating story: Unexpected Gift Rejuvenates Tomlinson.