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Benjamin Pessah is a miracle. Not just because of what he endured, but because he remains positive despite his tragedy. Benjamin, who lives in San Francisco and is 21, was walking home from a Halloween party with his girlfriend and two others when a stranger came up and began harassing her.  Benjamin tried to protect her and the stranger pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot all four people. He missed the others, but the last bullet hit Benjamin in the head.

He was taken to the hospital and placed in ICU. Surgeons were afraid to operate on him because his brain had been severely wounded by the bullet. He was given only a 25% chance of survival. They did operate on him, though, and then induced him into a coma where he survived for a month with a breathing tube.  (sound familiar?)

After a month and right before Thanksgiving this year, Benjamin suddenly awoke from his coma, looked up at his mother and said: "Hi mom." He saw the rest of his family members and told them that he loved them. Although he doesn't remember being shot on Halloween, he remembers normal things like his address, the names of his family members and even his computer passwords.

Then, another miracle happened. On Thanksgiving Day 2012, he stood up from his bed and took his first steps. See video here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/man-shot-head-awakens-coma-thanksgiving-17793511

When you watch the video, you can see his positive attitude shining through. He is already smiling and enjoying a little teasing from his brother. He is obviously a fighter and was determined to stand up and walk as soon as possible after waking up from the coma. It is this attitude that keeps him moving forward. Benjamin has been an inspiration to many around the country and my gut tells me that he will use his tragedy to help inspire others for many years to come.


 
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In 1982, Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia. He was born without arms and legs. There was no medical reason for it, but it just happened. Growing up was difficult. In addition to dealing with typical childhood issues like bullying and self-esteem, he also had to deal with severe depression and loneliness.

He struggled with the questions about why he was different than the other kids. His questions were never answered. But he realized at the age of 19, that he could  use his unique situation to speak to others. He had a strong faith in God and he knew that his story could help others overcome their struggles. He moved to California where he started the non-profit organization called: Life Without Limbs.

He wrote a powerful book about overcoming his challenges called: Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action. He has numerous videos on the internet (similar to the one above) from speeches he has given around the world. In this video, he talks about the role of his faith in staying positive: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/knowing-god/

Discussing his motivation, Nick said: “I found the purpose of my existence, and also the purpose of my circumstance. There’s a purpose for why you’re in the fire.”

To see more about this amazing person, visit: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/


 
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Petra Anderson was one of the shooting victims in the Colorado massacre at the premiere of the new Batman movie. She was shot in the face and left for dead among the many other fatalities in the shooting. She survived because of a rare genetic condition that left her with a small channel of fluid running from the front to back of her brain. When she was shot in the face, the bullet entered right through her nose and went all the way through her brain to the back of her skull. But because it followed the exact channel created by her brain defect, it avoided hitting any vital areas. It did very little damage and she is expected to make a full recovery.

Petra's mother, Kim Anderson, who had terminal cancer at the time of the shooting, said her daughter was expected to make a full recovery. "I believe that she was not only protected by God, but that she was actually prepared for it," she said. "God won't let the suffering or the setbacks have the last word." 

In August, Petra's mother passed away. Petra continues to remain positive, but struggles with these incredible burdens. A relief fund has been set up for Petra to assist with her medical bills and surgery. Many of the stories I post here are about people who have overcome their tragedy. Well, this one is about someone who is currently in the process and is working hard to move forward by tackling her obstacles one at a time.

For more information, see article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9423968/Colorado-Batman-shooting-woman-survives-thanks-to-brain-defect.html

Video: http://www.godvine.com/Girl-Shot-in-the-Head-in-Colorado-Tragedy-Has-Miracle-Recovery-1831.html

To donate: http://www.indiegogo.com/readytobelieve


 
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When 12-year-old Jason Lester was hit by a car and suffered, among many things, a paralyzed arm, he could never have dreamed that decades later, he’d be a world-class endurance sports champion. Today, he can swim faster, ride further and run incredible distances as an Ironman and Ultraman, and he does it all without the full use of his right arm.

He endured many trials and tribulations in his early life, but overcame them all through his desire to be a world-class athlete. The car accident resulted in 21 broken bones, a collapsed lung and a paralyzed right arm. Shortly after his recovery and while he was still learning to cope with his challenges, his father and sole guardian died at the age of 39.

Lester continued to adjust to his new reality and by the age of 16, he was competing in running events and biathlons. At the age of 18 and still without the use of his right arm, Lester was ranked #2 in Arizona in biathlon events.

In 2009, at the age of 35, Lester was named the ESPY award winner for "Best Male Athlete with a Disability" and the first male triathlete to win such an honor. He was also the first disabled athlete to compete in the Ultraman triathlon. In November 2011, he became the first male athlete to run 316 miles non-stop from Las Vegas to Mt. Whitney over six days. Later in 2011, Lester ran and biked 5,000 miles across the United States in 102 days. His endurance is amazing and is only surpassed by his will to finish the race.

In addition to numerous championships, Lester founded the NEVER STOP Foundation, which is dedicated to using athletics as a means to get full potential out of youth through athletics. The Foundation’s goal is to help young people find their own voice and build confidence through values learned in sports: discipline, trust, compassion, self-reliance and respect.

He’s also the author of Running on Faith: The Principles, Passion and Pursuit of a Winning Life.  This autobiography chronicles his rise to fame and how he conquered his physical impairment to keep moving forward. He cites his faith in God as a major component to his success and ability to overcome his tragedy. To sum up his message, he wrote: “If you don’t stop, you can’t be stopped.”

To learn more about Jason Lester, please visit his website: www.jasonplester.com