Katie Piper has endured one of the worst tragedies imaginable. In 2008, she was the victim of rape and her attacker threw acid on her face severely burning and disfiguring her. After enduring many painful surgeries, Katie rebounded to reclaim her life and now, she regularly shares her story as a motivational speaker in order to help others.

Prior to the attack, Katie was model and budding TV presenter. The attack destroyed her - both physically and mentally. She spent seven weeks in the hospital followed by two years where she had to wear a special pressurized mask for 23 hours out of every day.

After her surgeries, Katie spent time at a specialist rehabilitation center in France. Here, she began interacting with other burn victims. It was the beginning to a long journey for Katie to reclaim her life. She researched support for burn victims and learned about many cutting edge techniques for dealing with the scars.

Katie endured several reconstructive surgeries on her face for the next several years. In 2009, she shared her story in a Channel Four documentary called: Katie - My Beautiful Face. In 2011, she wrote a book called: Beautiful. Katie's hopes are that others will find strength and hope through her story.

Katie also started her own foundation to help raise awareness and give support to burn victims. It is called the Katie Piper Foundation and you can read more about it here: www.katiepiperfoundation.org.uk.

Katie Piper is moving forward with her life and helping others in the process - a truly remarkable young woman. "I am living proof that disfigurement doesn't have to destroy lives. I am happy with who I am and I have learned to live with disfigurement, and that scars don't mean am in attractive," sad Katie.

See a truly inspirational video from Katie here: http://vimeo.com/35895292
 In general, it is a nurse’s job to help save lives, especially if they work in the ICU. But Allison Batson is a nurse who gave the gift of life to a patient in a way that goes beyond her job requirements. She donated her kidney to a patient to help him live.

The patient is Clay Taber, 23, who suffered double kidney failure in 2010. He had just graduated from Auburn University and moved back to Georgia when he became ill. He was being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta when he first met nurse Allison Batson, a 48 year-old transplantation nurse.

After five days of testing regarding his kidney failure, he was diagnosed with Goodpasture’s Syndrome, a rare kidney disease that affects approximately 1 in a million people each year. The reason that he was at Emory University Hospital is because this hospital specializes in kidney diseases.

“I was just trying to start my life, start my career, even wanted to propose to my girlfriend soon and then I had to deal with all this. It was frustrating,” Taber said.

As doctors and nurses visited him frequently in his room, he didn’t think it was unusual with nurse Allison Batson came to see him. She had heard of Batson entering her hospital and she wanted to meet him.

“It hit close to home because I have kids between the ages of 16 and 27. I thought it wasn’t fair,” Batson said, adding that her father died of liver disease in 1995. When Batson went into Taber’s room, she said, “I heard there’s a good-looking young man in here.”

Over the next month, Batson and Taber’s family grew close as she offered sympathy and support to Taber’s mother. Even though she often wasn’t assigned to Tabor, she would come into his room every day after her shift. A friendship blossomed from there as she even gave Tabor some ideas on how to propose to his future fiancee.

Taber was discharged but he returned to Emory University once a month for check-ups and he always made it a point to see nurse Batson.

A year later, in August 2011, doctors felt that Taber was ready for a transplant. He was placed on the transplant waiting list along with 90,000 other people living in the U.S. waiting for a kidney.

Taber’s mother was interested to see if she would be a match and underwent testing to determine if she would be a fit. But nurse Batson approached Taber’s mother and made a selfless offer: “I discussed it with my husband, I’m the same O-positive blood type, our children are grown and healthy, I’m healthy, so why not?” Batson said. “It breaks my heart he just wanted to start his life. I’ve seen my children start their lives and he deserves that.”

Shortly thereafter, Taber and Batson underwent transplant surgery early in 2012. The surgery was successful and they have long been on the road to full recovery. This story shows that there is still good in humanity and people like nurse Batson renew my faith in people.

 source: http://gma.yahoo.com/atlanta-nurse-donates-kidney-hospital-patient-163203818–abc-news.html

Jim MacLaren (1963 - 2010) was  a real life lesson in bouncing back and never giving up.  Born in 1963, Jim grew up an athlete. At Yale University, he played both lacrosse and football. But in 1985, at the tender age of 22, Jim was in a serious motor cycle accident. 

As Jim describes it, he was "dead on arrival". That was the diagnosis given to Jim MacLaren in Bellevue Hospital after being hit by a bus on his motorcycle and spending several days in a coma. When he woke from his coma, he was missing his left leg below the knee.

 Jim was down, but not out. He decided to move forward and learn to live as an athlete with a disability. He learned to swim and run on a prostetic leg. He entered and completed the NYC Marathon in 3 hours and 16 minutes. He  entered and finished the grueling Ironman triathlon in Hawaii with a time of 10 hours and 42 minutes.

If the story ended there, it would be an amazing tale of come-back and triumph over tragedy. But just eight years after the first accident, in 1993, during the Orange County Triathlon, MacLaren was struck by a van during the cycling portion of the race and collided with a signpost, which left him a quadriplegic.

Complications from that condition ultimately led to his death in 2010. However, for 17 years after that second accident, MacLaren fought back as he always had, and became a renowned motivational speaker and author.
"There are times I don't like the way my life went, but that doesn’t mean that I'm not in love with life," said the 43-year-old motivational speaker who created the Choose Living Foundation. He continued:  "Is it fair what's happened to me? No, of course not. So what? I still have to get up in the morning. By engaging life, by moving what few muscles I have, my bed suddenly becomes an exercise mat."

MacLaren never was one to shy away from his challenges and obstacles. He launched the Choose Living Foundation in 2005 and went around speaking to others about moving forward in your life after tragedy. He also attained two masters' degrees and was working on his Ph.D. in depth psychology. MacLaren considered himself blessed not only because of the enlightenment achieved through his recoveries, his studies and self-exploration, but also because was able to share those experiences with others through his speaking engagements. 

Later that year in 2005, Jim was honored by ESPN when he received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2005 ESPY Awards along with Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah.  The onslaught of media attention that followed this award included televised apperance with Jim Rome and Oprah Winfrey.   

Jim is no longer with us, but his "never say die" attitude

To read more about Jim, visit his website:   www.jimmaclaren.com

Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with autism as a young girl and was mute for the first ten years of her life. Her parents and the experts though she was mentally retarded and she had no way to communicate. When she turned eleven, however, everything changed. Carly found her voice through a computer and she began to type out her thoughts. It turns out she is a very sharp young girl who just needed to find a way to communicate. Carly was featured on ABC News and has since written a book about dealing with autism called Carly's Voice. She also has a blog to inspire other kids with autism to keep moving forward. Watch the video above. It is powerful and inspirational. To visit Carly's blog, go to: http://carlysvoice.com/