We were at our daughter's basketball game. He was on the bleachers and I was sitting on the floor next to the bleachers with a 5-year-old and 2-year-old on top of me. Literally. Almost 10 years married, and this is our life. A life we dreamed of. At one point, he looked down and smiled. The smile was that smile of, "I see you. I see how much you're doing." He knew I had endured a pretty rough day with the kiddos. I had to take them to work with me earlier that morning and it was a complete disaster. He could see it in my eyes. He could...

"I grew up in Southeastern Ohio and was born with a genetic disorder that effects the liver called Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency.  They found it in my baby well check up. So, Nationwide Children's Hospital followed me my entire childhood. The only cure for Alpha One is a Liver Transplant.  I grew up knowing that-- that I needed a liver.   It was hard at times, but I didn't know any different. My health started to slowly go down hill my senior year of high school.  Then, I went to Marshall University my freshman year of college in the Fall of 2000.  During my first semester my health...

My mom took her own life when I was six years old. She was 31. As I am quickly approaching the same age she died, I am fighting daily to make sure my story doesn’t end like hers. My name is Nikki. I’m 29 years old, a graduate from Grandview Heights High School, and a stay at home mom. I work at home by filming and editing videos for my YouTube channel (NikkiLeighLifestyle) where I have almost 60k subscribers and over 20 million video views. I’ve had this channel since 2010 and have received letters from all over the world and of all races and age...

"I am a scrappy activist and advocate. The seeds of my activism were planted and have bloomed in and out of seasons and pushed me ever closer to my purpose. Season One: Childhood I was born into a family of educators who spent their careers educating children in large urban school districts. Growing up I heard stories about children who were poor, lived in marginalized communities, and often did not have enough to eat.  Of the many stories that I heard there is one that stands out. My mother was an elementary school principal.  One morning my mother was called to the cafeteria because a first grade student...

"Backstory: June 30, 2017 I lived in my own apartment for almost 4 years in April. I call my place the Cozy Cottage. I never had any major issues with my neighbors, though at one point I had a neighbor that played extremely loud music all hours of the night and day, that I could feel and hear it through my noise canceling headphones. (Note: Sensory Processing Disorder). Anyways, end of June 2017 my Dad fell and broke his hip, so I was at the hospital with him from morning until 10pm. I knew I had new neighbors (a guy and a female) above me, because I had...

Dr. Phing Saurer's story is one of focus, resilience, and loyalty. It's a story about overcoming and working hard. Like all of us, Dr. Saurer's story begins with her parents. In this case, her parents' quest to America in search of opportunity. "My parents came to this country, leaving behind their entire family and everything they knew to give their kids a better life. They knew no one and barely spoke any English, but giving us a brighter future was the most important thing to them. I am in awe of their selflessness and sacrifices." Dr. Saurer's parents faced many obvious challenges in their journey, but no hurdle...

"Being Her Mama Has Made Me Strong" "When life flips upside down, you can either hang there and accept it or fight to flip it back. I chose to fight. Yet, I didn’t make that choice right away. No, there was a solid few months of self pity, followed by anger, then fear, and then eventually, and quite surprisingly, strength. This is important, because we often think that we have to choose an emotion and react immediately. We can only be strong, angry, scared, silent, or happy. Yet, in reality, we are typically feeling all of these things, all at once. We have become experts at displaying one...

"I first started dancing around the age of 3." "Around the age 10 I started dancing at  Judy Dollenmayer Studio of Dance in Gahanna. I started out taking a basic ballet technique class, because at the time, I was determined to become the next prima ballerina. Then, I started to get interested in different styles. So, I enrolled in a lyrical dancing class and a competition jazz class. This was around the time Dance Moms was becoming popular.  The competition world fascinated me beyond words. Today, I am competing 15 different dances and spending 15 hours a week dancing in the studio. My name is Alexis Collier. I'm 17. Last year I decided...

DESIGN, ENTER & WIN CHIPOTLE BURRITOS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR! It may be obvious, but we're obsessed with Chipotle.  OBSESSED.  As in, we literally eat there once a week.  But, that's not the point. We have good news. If you have an obsession too, than your dreams can become a reality, because they've partnered with one of our favorite local FitFashion apparel brands, Bend Active to bring you an "Avocad-ohhh Active Wear" design contest. But, it's much more than just a contest.  You know we can't hold back from a good story. Well, in this case, the story is one of you.  Local creatives are being asked to design an "Avocado"...

#CauseCuisine "I grew up in poverty. My mother and step-dad were alcoholics and addicts. I got into drugs at an early age, and my mother signed papers for me to drop out of school. I guess you could say my upbringing was training for the life of human trafficking that would eventually choose me. I see what my human traffickers must have seen when they coerced me into that life – easy prey. My life changed in 2010 when I was put into a treatment program in lieu of serving jail time for criminal activity. After three years of continued sobriety, I started my job search and...