transformation

‘I’m not going to sugar coat it. His file’s so big, no one will even look at it.’ He was pencil thin, eyes sunken deep. He was ours.’: Couple adopts 16-year-old runaway, ‘His story didn’t end how the world told him it would’

“She was dancing around the facts, and we could tell. She wanted to see if we would scare. He’d run from his previous placement, was failing all of his classes. She had no other place to turn. We asked to FaceTime him. We saw the emptiness in his eyes and the face of a kid who didn’t even know what hope was. He couldn’t make eye contact. His skin was covered with sores, his hands curled and tremored. He was 15. He was ours. He told us the drugs he’d done, the girls he’d been with, and the things he’d seen, and I couldn’t help but see the beginnings of a boy who would leave that past behind.”

‘I shouted to my husband, ‘I think I’m having a heart attack!’ There I was, lying naked on the table as they announced my weight. ‘249 pounds.’: Mom of 3 loses ‘whopping 125 pounds’ after nearly fatal heart attack

“I remember feeling the most horrendous pain shoot up my left arm. ‘Please, God, don’t let me die. My three children still need me.’ An overwhelming sense of doom came over me. All I could see were the dark eyes of my doctor hovered over the rail of that hospital bed. He told me, ‘This is a wake up call, Adrienne.’ I was alone, naked, vulnerable, and helpless. The only thing I could do was pray.”

‘I think I have heartburn.’ He winced, shook it off. ‘As long as it’s not my pancreas!’ We laughed, having no idea.’: Woman loses partner to pancreatic cancer, ‘I walked with him, through life and death’

“As the days passed, he couldn’t eat or sleep. Then came the shocking weight loss. This body I once knew was now all bones and sharp edges. I could see his ribs through his t-shirt. ‘We see a large mass,’ the doctor informed us. I cried silent tears. I could no longer touch any part of him, except his hands. Everything hurt too much. We were no longer laughing. We were hoping for one more day.”

‘I got sober for a man, stayed sober for my baby, now I stay sober for me.’: Woman credits abusive relationship for sobriety after meth addiction

“I became pregnant at 16. The partying escalated. To pay for my habit, I started prostituting. Most of the guys were married men wanting to cheat. They disgusted me; but then again, I disgusted me too. One night, I got a text from someone new. A John that would become more than that. I got pregnant with our daughter. It was awful. I lived in fear of him taking her from me, and when she was 6 months old, he tried and failed.”

‘I grew up fat. I’d gotten down to eating only 1 orange a day. Then I got the phone call. My mother had died.’: Woman overcomes eating disorder, childhood trauma, ‘Cheers to a new year. And a new me. Everyone loves a good comeback, right?’

“My mother was an addict. My senior year of high school it got bad. One day she called me from rehab and told me to get out. I was 17 years old. I packed my bags and have been on my own ever since. My world spiraled out of control. I didn’t know how to cope. The only thing you can ever control in your life is what you put in your mouth. So, I went the opposite direction. I would see how long I could go without eating. I was sick. I knew what I was doing was wrong.”

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