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‘A car drove up next to us. The cocaine made me bold. I gestured our gang sign. They immediately shot me 5 times.’: Paraplegic, ex-gang member urges ‘choose your friends wisely, don’t let them choose you’

“By the age of 15, I was living a reckless lifestyle. I had already failed at everything and let so many people down. The acceptance and sense of self-worth gangs offered was appealing. I was lost and out of control. Not once did I think about my family and what I was doing to them. When the parademics arrived, I was pronounced dead on arrival. ‘We need a body bag.’ I was drenched in blood, no longer breathing. I died for 6 minutes.”

‘Yes, this is our daughter.’ My husband cut me off. I could hear him telling everyone, ‘I’m going to be a dad!’: Military family adopts child who was ‘always intended to be ours’

“’Hear me out, before you say anything.’ Those are the first words I heard. ‘It’s a girl. She’s due next month.’ I could barely speak. Our hearts ached for her, we stood there sobbing because this strong, smart, selfless birth mother’s deepest grief would be our greatest joy. Our daughter’s maternal grandma brought us both close in a warm hug. She whispered, ‘Go get your daughter,’ before she left.”

‘Marry the guy that does all the things’

“The guy that works hard for his family and often puts his needs dead last. The guy that goes to three different grocery stores to try and find his pregnant wife that special macaroni salad she just has to have (or the baby has to have.)”

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