"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...

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...

"My name is Jenny Aquino and I was born and raised in Columbus. I am an avid Justin Timerblake and Gilmore Girls fan. I also love spending time with my family and friends. I am a first grade special education teacher at an amazing school. I really hope that my story can help others that may be experiencing a tremendous loss. The last 3 years have been really trying on my family, and I would love others to see that it’s possible to celebrate your lost loved ones. 2015 was an exceptionally tough year for my family. It started out incredible, on January 14th I got engaged to...

"I was a normal kid growing up. I cheered ever since I was little and did it all through school. I went to The Ohio State University for college. In 2015, my sophomore year of college,  I started experiencing numbness on the right side of my body.  All of a sudden my body couldn’t do what it used to do. I thought I was getting a cold or something. So, I went to the chiropractor's office where I lived, and they thought I had a pinched nerve in my neck. Which I did. But, the chiropractor saw me everyday for a week and I wasn’t getting better. I...

"I am a mother of 3 loving children. I have 2 girls and 1 boy who are the light of my life. I am also a mother with a child who has cerebral palsy and cancer. In June of 2017, a routine MRI turned into something no mother, father, or family should ever have to go through. Trey was born with cerebral palsy which led doctors to order a routine MRI. After the MRI my family and I sat in front of a doctor as he told us that they found a tumor. After completion of a biopsy, it was confirmed that not only did Trey have a...

 "I moved to Columbus from Cleveland, OH in 2010. Shortly after the move I went through a difficult divorce and became a single mother of 3. I needed to find supplemental income to make ends meet and keep life going. I run an in-home daycare during the day and didn’t want to put my children through having a Mom with more than one full time job. I have always been in love with art and I’ve been painting as long as I can remember. I do not have an art degree and hadn’t explored earning an income through my painting beyond selling pet portraits; I...