Health

‘I am confident you have the deadliest form of skin cancer.’ I burnt regularly. I remember peeling off dead skin.’: Woman survives both skin and breast cancer, has learned to always ‘trust your gut’ when it comes to your health

“I was lying on a sun lounger (in the shade of course) and I suddenly got an overwhelming, unexplainable gut feeling I needed a mammogram. I didn’t have any lumps, but my gut was screaming it was the right thing to do. I had so many unanswered questions. ‘Am I dying? How long do I have left to live? Will I be here to see my children grow up?’ I was so vulnerable and weak and didn’t know whether I had the strength to climb the mountain which now seemed to be looming in front of me.”

‘I don’t want this life. I’m not cut out for this!’ I heard ‘I’m sorry’ on the other end. Adrenaline began, my face got hot. Then the tears started to roll.’: Boy with down syndrome diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

“Oliver was on vacation with his dad when I got the call. ‘He stopped walking.’ Weeks pass. His lymph nodes are swollen. Something just wasn’t right. I remember telling my boss, ‘I have to leave!’ Before I could even get a response, I was gone. I’m worried the ER doctor missed something. The doctor is quiet. I can see in her eyes she is trying to stay calm for me, but something is there. I scream. Deep down, she knows something I don’t.”

‘No Jack! No doctor!’ I hold him tightly, feel his heart beating. It is heart breaking. I question why I put him through what feels like torture.’: Mom thankful for affectionate siblings who help calm autistic brother, ‘It just melted my heart’

“I have had to physically put myself between our boy and the floor so he doesn’t hurt himself by banging his head in frustration. It is heart breaking. I make sure to bring Jack to all of his siblings’ visits as well. WHY?! These rare moments. ‘Oh Jack, I’m not hurt. Give me a hug!’ She assured her anxious brother. ‘See Jack, Maddie is okay.’ Olivia whispered into his hear. It quickly became a sister sandwich. How beautiful is that?”

‘You’re going to do exactly what I tell you.’ He grabbed my throat. The devil was staring me in the face. Fear washed over my body.’: Young woman survives sexual assault in woods, ‘I refuse to hide. I need others to know they aren’t alone’

“A boat was pulling up, and two guys were inside. They said, ‘Who is this?’ I was confused. He was locking up his truck and his friends told him to hurry the hell up. He responded, ‘Hey at least I brought you guys some tail.’ My stomach sank, my heart started to race. I had recently been told I overreact…was this just an overreaction to a dumb joke? I went in the tent to grab a shirt because I was freezing. He followed me in and starting kissing me. My ‘no’ didn’t matter. I burst into tears. He looked at me with disgust. ‘I don’t like your attitude.’”

‘A stranger approached, startling me by placing her hand on my shoulder. ‘Can I do anything to help? Would you like me to buy you a coffee?’: Mom ‘surprised’ by young mother’s kind gesture, ‘I wasn’t as alone as I felt’

“Bloodcurdling screams. My daughter’s lungs could shatter glass. A grandma approached us. She wanted me to scoop up my inconsolable daughter and comfort her. I’ve done that before, but at this point, my daughter was too far gone. As much as this woman wanted to intervene and help, she didn’t know my daughter.”

‘Her father walked into my office, completely lost. His daughter was spiraling. She just needed someone to believe in her, so she could believe in herself.’: Police officer forms beautiful friendship with troubled teen, ‘I refused to give up on her’

“His daughter had started to drink and hang with the wrong crowd. She’d received her first official charge for destruction of property. He had no clue what to do with her. ‘I’ll meet with her.’ As she walked into my office, my whole life changed. She would come to challenge me, as I would challenge her. A bond would be formed that helped both of us become better people. I refused to give up on her. She was in need. She wanted to be better.”

‘Your dad thought he could hit me, but you will NEVER hit me. I’ll kill you first.’ She was a 400-pound woman. I was a 9-year-old child.’: Woman survives child abuse and PTSD, repairs relationship with abusers, ‘I was born a SURVIVOR’

“She had me by my pigtails. She cornered me into our closet using a man’s belt to spank me. A friend saw her, and told her if she ever hit me again, he’d tell his dad. Later my mom tried having me committed to a mental hospital. After a 24-hour sit in at the ER, a doctor came in. ‘There is nothing wrong with you, except the fact you need to get away from your mother.’ I wanted a mom who WANTED to be my mom.”

‘I lost all my pregnancy weight by 8 days postpartum because I was so sad. I don’t feel worthy of them at all.’: Mom’s severe struggle with postpartum depression

“I watched Mackenzie sleep on the monitor for an hour one night just praying she would forgive me for being who I am. I’ve been so confused because I LOVE being a mom. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. I have 2 beautiful children… so beautiful and so perfect, that I don’t feel worthy of them at all.”

‘What if Matthew doesn’t come home this time?’ I watch him struggle to breathe. I gasp for air, screaming as my mother holds my shaking body.’: Sister advocates for brother battling Cystic Fibrosis, ‘I will stand beside him in this fight, forever’

“My tears soak the sleeve of her sweatshirt. A sharp, strong pain runs through my chest. For the past 19 years, I have watched him swallow hundreds of thousands of pills. ‘What if Matthew gets sicker? How much time does he have?’ I finally decided I was tired of watching. Life gave me the greatest gift of all: a brother. I will stand hand-in-hand beside him in this fight.”

‘They were born like this. There is nothing we can do.’ They were tied to beds, drugged, covered in bruises. I couldn’t accept that answer.’: Woman helps dozens of abused, disabled children find loving homes, preaches ‘every child has value’

“I entered the orphanage. Hundreds of children were living there, but the halls were silent, expect the occasional wail or moan. I saw skeletal bodies, empty eyes, smelly diapers. I heard doctors calling them ‘disasters.’ One child had a sack of fluid coming from the back of her skull. It was her brain, and it was leaking fluid. Children were covered in cigarette burns. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And I couldn’t look away. I knew I had to help.”

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