For Ava Illingsowrth there are no barriers. There are no obstacles. For her, challenges are just opportunities to defy limits. Ava is a runner with the MDA’s Team Momentum, MDA’s endurance training team that helps people train for half or full marathons while supporting kids and adults living with muscular dystrophy. Ava herself is one . . .
When opportunity knocks, 15-year-old Justin answers. Born with CMD, Justin has traveled to China, been on a 500-mile bike ride across Iowa, and even modeled in a fashion show. How? Justin always says, ‘Yes.’ That’s how he lives unlimited.
Jake Roszelle is a “go big or go home” type of guy. Between Jake and his brother, their mom, Krista, is running out of room for all the plaques and medals. “He’s a very spirited go-getter,” Krista says of Jake. “He just never took his disability to heart, I guess. He works 100 percent of . . .
Fabiola and Matthew watched their daughter run one lap. Then two. Then three. Kayla rounded the same bend again and again, a look etched on her face that her parents knew well — determination.
All in all, the 10-year-old ran nine laps at the Grand Rapids, Mich., Juniors River Bank Run. Other kids may have run more, but to Kayla and her parents, those nine laps were a marathon. They were as big as beating Usain Bolt in the 100-meter.
Melanie Carson has peered into the Grand Canyon and craned her neck looking up at the giant Redwoods of Northern California. She’s felt the mist of waterfalls in Hawaii and gazed at Yosemite’s Half Dome. She’s done it all, and wants to do more. That’s all while living with a rare type of Limb-girdle muscular . . .
When Zac Henderson could no longer play baseball, he joined the school jazz band. When he could no longer hold his instrument, he migrated to the local 4-H. Then it was on to managing his high school’s basketball team. Now Zac has his own film production company thanks to working on the basketball team’s highlight . . .
Bernadette Scarduzio doesn’t like secrets. Her life is an open book — in fact, now it’s a documentary. But Bernadette and her struggles didn’t start out in the spotlight. Her disease was a secret. Born with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease or CMT, an inherited disorder which impacts the nerves in the legs and arms, Bernadette was in . . .
13-year-old Melissa Shang is an activist, an advocate and an author. She’s spoken at the United Nations, given a TedX talk and just published her first book. She is a girl on a mission. And it all started with an American Girl doll named Isabelle. For Melissa, Isabelle was the last straw. Every year, American . . .
Happy shrieks erupted from the crowd as Payton Smotherman was wheeled into the mob of campers. “As soon as I pushed her into the group of people in her wheelchair, like four or five people all saw her and recognized her at once,” says Angela, Payton’s mom. She chuckled as she recalled diving out of . . .