Lauren Mesley

‘People would make jokes about my sister. ‘You can date her since she’s not your REAL sister.’: Korean adoptee reveals the impact racism had on his teenage years, says ‘If I could go back in time, I would speak up’

“As an Asian American child in a ‘white person land,’ I would get picked on as a kid at school for looking different. Megan experienced the same Asian jokes and discrimination I did during childhood. The moment of me proposing is such a blur. I think I blacked out!”

‘She pointed to the TV to distract us. We looked back, and she was gone.’ That was the moment I became an adult orphan.’: Woman earns college degree in honor of late mother, jumpstarts grief support groups

“At 9:00 a.m. my sister called with the news. I was at work, in the midst of a project. We hung up and I don’t even remember breathing. ‘I have to leave for a week,’ I told my supervisor. As my sister was driving, the sun was warm in her van. I discovered my chest wasn’t feeling heavy anymore. Inner warmth just filled me. So much was going to change.”

‘Let’s do it!’ We sat on the hotel floor with this sweet, innocent baby. We had 24 hours to back out.’: Couple adopt special needs baby in time for Christmas after grueling journey, ‘I would do it all again in a heartbeat!’

“They kept this little boy in a room by himself, afraid he would scare the other children. He was not allowed to play, or go outside. It was so heartbreaking. When we finally met him, he was more severely delayed than we knew. He couldn’t barely hold his head up, sit, or stand. It was scary. We held each other and just cried. We had no idea how we were going to handle this.”

‘We’re right here, Lauren. You’re okay.’ I didn’t want to die. My sisters clasped my hands tightly as tears rolled down my cheeks.’: Woman finds inner peace after lifelong battle with anorexia, alcoholism

“‘You’re not leaving this table until you finish what is on your plate! Do you hear me?’ My parents begged, pleaded, and demanded me to eat. But my disease was much bigger than them. At 5’11” and 86 pounds, I was admitted to a hospital away from my school, my family, my friends – everything I knew. I’ll never forget the absolute horror of having to be pried off of my parents, not knowing when I would see them again.”

‘His sperm is not swimming where it should.’ I dreaded telling my husband. Nervous tears fell from my eyes.’: Couple raise awareness about infertility after struggling to conceive naturally

“I instantly felt guilt seep in as I recalled telling my husband he had ‘nothing to worry about.’ After all, I was the one with the fertility issues. Others put their foot in our mouths with unwanted advice: ‘Just relax.’ ‘There’s no rush.’ I sat on the toilet lid, uncovered my test. I felt a flood of confusion wash over me. ‘Call the clinic!’ I broke down to my husband. I was at my wits end.”

‘Go home. You’re cured.’ The same day there was an urgent message on my phone. I didn’t want to spoil Christmas.’: Woman diagnosed with Stage 4 breast, lung, liver cancer, ‘I decided to take back control’

“I genuinely thought it would all be fine. I ate a healthy diet, was fit and healthy. I just couldn’t believe it. I was in a trance. Numb. There was yet another tumor, in a third place. I rang the cancer helpline. I tried to speak, but just cried. The poor person on the end just listened to me sob for 15 minutes without a break. I needed to get it all out of my system.”

‘Hey, are you alone? I don’t know how to tell you this, but mom just called. Jason died. He overdosed.’ That moment, everything STOPPED.’: Woman overcomes Adderall addiction, gets sober after brother dies of overdose, ‘my new life is full of magic, love’

“I sat on the floor of my balcony thinking about how I could hang myself but not wanting to do it for the sake of everyone outside. ‘This is all just a game.’ I missed a metal railing by a few inches and went straight into a ditch. I flipped 7 times, hit a tree and went airborne. The next thing I knew I was saying, ‘Jason? Jason, please don’t leave me.’ I was in a full-blown conversation with him. He was in the same white gown that I said goodbye to him at his funeral. ‘Cass, you are not alone, but you need to go back.’”

‘Yes, Meg. The baby is healthy, stop worrying.’ Coward. She knew. I saw it and felt sick. I didn’t want to hold her.’: Mom unknowingly births baby with Down syndrome, ‘I want to shout her worth to the world!’

“I grabbed a nurse’s arm as she walked by. ‘What’s wrong, is she okay?’ Stumbling over her words, she responded with, ‘Congratulations, she’s beautiful!’ Coward. She handed her to me before quickly walking out of the room, like she was some kind of damaged goods. Her tongue could barely fit in her mouth. I didn’t want to hold her, feed her, or even look at her. I was furious. All I could hear was that damn whispering.”

‘It’s just anxiety. It’s all in your head.’ I was on the floor, barely conscious. Something wasn’t right, and Ruby knew it.’: Woman diagnosed with POTS, genetic mutation with help from psychiatric service dog

“My dog Ruby was acting extremely odd towards me. I didn’t think anything of it. Then, paramedics arrived. By then, I was barely conscious, being rushed to the ER. I didn’t expect it: ‘The tests came back. It is life threatening and life expectancy is 38 years old.’ That hit me hard. I gave the doctor a nod and a quiet, ‘Okay.’ I was speechless. I didn’t know how to break the news to my fiancé.”

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