Finding Peace in an Uncertain Future with Gerda Saunders
Gerda Saunders was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 61. She had been working at the University of Utah in a teaching and administrative role, but she realized something was wrong when she forgot half of a meeting she had chaired. At Easter, a similar event happened when she failed to cook the meal for her family. Gerda was distraught and for the first time, she felt as if a part of her had just melted away with her memory. In order to cope, she discovered the importance of self-care and finding her limits. Rather than giving dementia power over her life, she decided to research the timing of when to end her life on her own terms. Listen to the Living Full Out Show to hear how Gerda relies on family as her support system. Click to watch the her testimonial video.
Swimming through Adversity with
Jeff Float suffered from spinal meningitis as an infant causing him to lose 90% of his hearing in one ear and 65% in the other. He found himself frustrated at a young age due to his hearing loss until he discovered swimming, which gave him the ability to be part of a team. Jeff soon progressed to the Olympic level and was set to compete in the 1980 games, but President Jimmy Carter boycotted the Moscow Olympics as a statement against communist aggression. Jeff overcame his disappointment by dominating at the 1984 games where he was a peer-elected team captain and swam a leg on the world-record-setting 800 freestyle relays, earning him a gold medal. Listen to Jeff connect his past experiences to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on athletes and encourage us to live every day like it’s the first of our lives. Click to watch the full testimonial video.
Accepting Loss with Fran Sadin
As a mother, Fran Sadin had to overcome the death of a child at two separate times in her life. Jeffery, her youngest, died of Meningitis at 17 months old. When her old son, Steve, was 29 years old, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and renal disease, and passed away at the age of 43. Fran was distressed about why this was happening to her since she was a woman of faith, and she had difficulty understanding the purpose of her boys dying. Fran was able to better understand these feelings through writing. Over time, she realized the need to develop gratitude for the people she still had in her life, increasing her appreciation for family even more. Listen to Fran as she explains how she coped with grief, or watch the full video on YouTube.
Getting Over Life’s Greatest’s Hurdles with Mildred Muhammad
For years, Mildred Muhammad suffered domestic violence by her ex-husband. Throughout their marriage, he played psychological mind games and degraded her. She divorced him and took steps to protect herself against harm, but then he kidnapped her children and took them to Canada for 18 months. Mildred spent time caring for herself, mentally and physically, so she would have strength for her family when the kids came back. Soon after, the Witness Protection Program returned the children to her, and she resumed a new life on the East Coast. Little did she know her ex-husband would become the “D.C. Sniper,” murdering 10 people in his effort to kill her. Listen to Mildred explain how she maintained her strength and self-confidence in the face of danger. Click here to watch the full episode.
Opening Up to Others with
Since a young age, Christine Pattillo has had Multiple Personality Disorder due to a history of mental illness and abuse in her family. In kindergarten, she realized other children didn’t have these “alters” and felt isolated in her situation. She spent the majority of her life struggling to hide the personas from her husband, family, and friends. After 10 years of marriage and 18 years of therapy, she had the strength to open up about her experience and discovered support and love. Today, she is more transparent about her life than ever and even wrote a book called I Am We: My Life with Multiple Personalities. Take a moment to watch Christine’s testimonial video. Then listen to the full episode to hear Christine explain how sharing her story with others allowed her to live full out.
Managing Loss with Brynn Johnson
Brynn Johnson lost her 17-month-old daughter in 2014 when she was accidentally struck by her friend’s car. Though she was in shock and disbelief, Brynn managed her roller coaster of emotions by being positive. She focused on herself through activities like finding a hobby and exercising, and then Brynn was blessed with another child—a great source of emotional healing. She went on to write a book and start a foundation that assists families dealing with loss just like hers. Listen to her testimony as Brynn explains how she came to terms with her grief through faith and positivity or click here the full episode.
Overcoming Your Limitations with
Abbey Curran was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two. As a child, her gait was heavily affected, and she struggled with learning how to walk. While having cerebral palsy presented multiple hurdles, Abbey developed resourcefulness in facing her challenges. Although some people said it was impossible, Abbey listened to her heart and went for her dream: In 2008, she became the first disabled person to compete in and win Miss USA. Abby went on to found the Miss You Can Do It pageant, a national non-profit pageant for girls and women with special needs and challenges. Listen to her testimonial and then check out the full episode here. For other stories like this, check out our YouTube channel and learn to Live Full Out!
Discovering Who You Are with
As a young child, Autumn Asphodel suffered trauma and abuse from her mother. As a result, she developed a multiple personality disorder that caused her to feel disconnected from her body. For years, Autumn felt uncomfortable with who she was before her transition. She overcame these obstacles by bringing her personalities into one through integration and transforming her gender identity by way of hormones and a sex change operation. Now, Autumn has dedicated herself to a path of self-healing and is confident and happy with who she has become. Listen to Autumn talk about her journey of discovering her authentic self. Click to watch the testimonial video.
Life Keeps Going with Sandy Peckinpah
Sandy Peckinpah took her son to the doctor after he came home with a headache and fever. She was promptly told he had the type A flu. Later that night, at just 16, he passed away due to misdiagnoses of bacterial meningitis. After dealing with this sudden, traumatic event, Sandy journaled about her experiences, guiding her to start writing about her grieving process and recovery. Hear how Sandy was motivated to inspire others along the way through her new passion for journalism. Click to watch the full episode.
Moving Through Resistance with Jenni Grover
Jenni Grover grew up in an abusive household and dealt with neglect that caused various ailments from a young age. In her early twenties, Jenni was riddled with a string of diagnoses, from increased panic attacks to migraines. At twenty-five, she was told she had fibromyalgia along with anxiety and asthma. When she is confronted with people who are dismissive of her condition or if she has a particularly difficult day, Jenni understands the importance of a support system in maintaining mental health while managing a chronic illness. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Jenni share how she became her own advocate and how she discovered the resources to manage her illness. Jump over to our YouTube channel as Jenni shares her testimonial with us.
Keeping Optimistic with Kat Harrison
At 15 years old, Kat Harrison contracted a bacterial ear infection that spread to her skull. During her 8-week antibiotics treatment, while successfully healing her, the high dosage disrupted Kat’s balance. She had to relearn how to walk, undergo multiple surgeries, and withstand daily chronic migraines. Despite being diagnosed with SUNCT syndrome, another rare condition, she is a true warrior. Kat’s supreme optimism motivates her to celebrate her own journey and milestones. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Kat share her incredible path and how she manages frustrations. Watch Kat’s testimonial about her experience on YouTube.
Reinvent Yourself with
Dr. Aundrea T Harris
Dr. Aundrea T. Harris had to endure one of her biggest challenges when she was involved in a five-car pile-up on July 8, 2016. Being the first car hit on impact, she banged her head on the dashboard multiple times, leading to a traumatic brain injury. While the weeks afterward were challenging and disheartening, through her relationship with God and meditation, Aundrea was on a journey to rediscover herself. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear how Dr. Aundrea T Harris used her inner strength. Click to watch her testimonial video on YouTube.
Keep Making Adjustments with
Jodi Michele Cooley
Jodi Michele Cooley was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after giving birth to her daughter at the age of 32. She understood the disease well, because she had been a caretaker for her own mother who also had the condition. Rather than letting her limited walking ability—with a cane, then a walker, then a scooter—stop her, Jodi created backup plans to prepare for the unexpected. She has inspired others to view their circumstances in a hopeful light, so they are able to remain optimistic and live a fulfilled lifestyle. Listen to Jodi explain how she made adjustments to her life like leaning on her family more. Click to watch Jodi’s testimonial video.
The Journey to Acceptance with
Jeanine Hoff struggled with OCD, anxiety, and depression. As a busy mother of three and working 70 hours a week, she neglected her psychological well-being, and did not realize her life was spiraling out of control and her mental health was declining. Jeanine got to the point where she considered suicide, but hospitalization gave her a new perspective where she was able to meet others going through similar experiences. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear how Jeanine came to accept treatment through internal reflection. Click to watch the full testimonial video!
Discovering Coping Skills with
Shoshana Bennett suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her two children. As soon as her first child was born, Shoshana immediately experienced severe doubt and anxiety. She felt shame and conflict while still at the hospital, which smothered joy for her newborn. She had to deal with professionals who dismissed her symptoms and her husband who was unable to understand her condition. Shoshana combated suicidal thoughts, but she was able to keep going by remembering her family needed her as a mother. She then used her experience to assist women in recovering from postpartum depression by putting together recovery plans so they would not have to struggle as she did. Click to watch Shoshana’s testimonial video, and listen to her full story on the Living Full Out Show.
Beat the Odds with Kechi Okwuchi
Kechi Okwuchi is a Nigerian-born singer who lived through a plane crash on December 10, 2005. She was one of two survivors out of a total of 109 passengers. She suffered third degree burns over 65% of her body and underwent multiple intensive surgical procedures in South Africa. Instead of succumbing to survivor’s guilt, Kechi decided to keep moving forward and honor the lives of those who passed away by working and accomplishing her goals. She relied on her faith and family as a support system, finished high school in America and went on to college. She later auditioned for America’s Got Talent and became a top 10 finalist. Kechi speaks about gaining control of her life again on the Living Full Out show. Listen to her story in her testimonial video.
Getting Through the System with
By the time Lydia was 18 years old, she had lived in 35 different homes, had 18 social workers, and changed her name 4 times as a foster child. Her mother suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was unable to care for her, so Lydia was taken away. She was also unable to go to college because she would have been placed back into the system. Now, as an adult, Lydia works in the film industry and tries to raise awareness about the challenges that American children endure within the foster care system. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Lydia talk about her difficult journey and the ability to adapt and overcome change. Click to watch her testimonial video.
Hit it Out of the Park with Jim Mecir
Jim Mecir was born with clubfoot (his right foot was turned in toward his left leg), and he had surgery at age 1 to straighten it. When he was 7 years old, Jim had another procedure to prevent the foot from returning to its original position. As a kid, he struggled with the appearance of his leg and had to relearn how to walk with physical therapy. He continued to love sports and decided to pursue baseball; using his high tolerance for pain as a strength to become a quality relief pitcher for 10 years, primarily with the Oakland Athletics. He then went on to become a motivational speaker and teach leadership and teambuilding skills. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear how Jim transformed his setback into a superpower. Click to watch the full episode.
Running Toward Hope with Michael Veltri
Michael Veltri battled with testicular and lung cancer beginning at age 34. Instead of retreating from the disease in fear, he used his background as a decorated Marine combat veteran to keep going. He thought he had recovered, but he was then given the diagnosis that cancer had spread to his lungs. Michael went through aggressive chemotherapy every day for three months and ended up with one and a half lungs. Through his support structure of family and friends, he was able to survive the experience. In 2010, Veltri even formed a team to run in a marathon for the American Cancer Society. Listen to the Living Full Out Show as Michael shares how he overcame his challenges. Watch his testimonial video for even more of his story!
Using Passion to Build a Legacy with
Nic Novicki, made a successful career for himself in the entertainment industry despite being born with a rare form of dwarfism called Pseudoachondroplasia that was undetectable until he was 2 years old. He had numerous surgeries beginning at the age of 11 to reconstruct his knees, legs, and pelvis so he could walk, and he constantly grappled with pain. Nic found his purpose through using his life to change the perspective of the TV industry as he felt people with genetic deformities needed to be more represented in Hollywood. He decided to create his own Disability Film Challenge to give people with genetic conditions a chance in the spotlight, which was a massive success with films from 12 different countries. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Nic tell his story. Be sure to watch his testimonial video on YouTube!
Finding Your Purpose by Supporting Others with Kevin Briggs
Kevin Briggs has been through numerous hurdles in his life. At age 20, he was in the army and diagnosed with testicular cancer but defeated it. Then, only 6 years later, he lost he mother to lung cancer. In his late thirties, Kevin’s trials continued when he suffered head trauma after a motorcycle accident on the job as a California patrolman. Then, a few years later, he dealt with symptoms of a heart attack. Despite all these trials in his life, Kevin never lost hope, and he acted as a source of good for others when he became a highway patrol officer at the Golden Gate Bridge. He talked people off the ledge and prevented multiple suicides; this experience led him to become an advocate for mental health—especially given his own diagnosis of depression. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear how Kevin uses the idea of listening to understand and support others and how he realized his purpose through life experiences.
Moving Forward with Marcia Phipps
By age 28, Marica Phipps had already survived one life-threatening incident of domestic abuse. Despite this traumatic event, she welcomed her boyfriend back in the home. It was only after a second near-deadly attack that Marica found the strength to remove him from her life and seek justice through the judicial process. Her tragic experience with domestic abuse gave rise to her non-profit organization, “Battered not Broken,” that offers support and guidance to other survivors. Listen to Marica as she explains the trauma she endured and how she moved forward and away from her past. Watch the full video here on YouTube.
Having Patience with Mandy Meehan
Before her wedding at the age of twenty, Mandy Meehan thought she had a case of mononucleosis due to the symptoms she was experiencing. As time went on, her pain worsened to the point where she had to change her eating habits and leave her job as a youth pastor due to chronic fatigue. In an effort to deal with her unknown condition, Mandy fell in love with nutrition, and she started to share her story on YouTube in the hopes that she would find others with a similar mindset and experiences. Through patience, she finally found a doctor who would come up with the correct diagnoses and assist on her road to recovery. Today, Mandy shares her story on social media in order to educate and inspire others to live healthier. Listen to Mandy encourage hopeful thinking and tenacity or watch the full video.
Dealing with Grief with Emily Gram
During Christmas of 2015, Emily Gram’s seven-year-old son fell ill with strange symptoms like loss of mobility and fever, so he was taken to the ER. As the doctors tried to do a spinal tap, things spiraled out of control. Emily tried staying calm, but soon after she lost her son to an undiagnosed hereditary blood disorder. Through this difficult time, she remained resilient for the sake of her other two children. After going through the stages of grief, she encouraged others to lean in and accept deep emotions – balancing the heaviness of them with the happiness of daily life. Click to listen to Emily share how she dealt with grief. Be sure to watch Emily’s testimonial video about her interview with Nancy.
Finding Your Purpose with
Tiffany Ketterman grew up in a home where she felt restricted from expressing herself because of the large number of siblings, including brothers and sisters with disabilities. She struggled with her identity and started filling a caretaker role with people, which led to emotional and physical abuse in romantic relationships. After multiple dysfunctional partners, she decided to get guidance from a counseling service. Tiffany made choices to take control of her life, such as going to the gym more and focusing on her daughter, grandchildren, and career. Tiffany shares her testimonial in this short video. Listen to Tiffany explain how she found her purpose and reclaimed her life by watching the full episode here.
Creating Wins with Diana Moshier
From the age of five to fifteen, Diana Moshier was physically and sexually abused by her alcoholic stepfather. Growing up in a traumatic environment, Diana matured quickly and tried to use her intelligence to prevent the assaults. She took on the protector role in her family, while also starting to drink at age twelve to cope with the tumult in her life. Later on, Diana relied on her friends as grounding influences and they took care of her. She also relied on her faith to persevere, find love, and, ultimately, forgive her father. Listen as Diana explains how she created wins throughout her life. For the full episode, listen on Spreaker.
Miracles Do Happen with Patti Foster
Patti Foster suffered a traumatic brain injury after a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of her car. She was flung onto the highway after the impact and skidded across multiple lanes of traffic. She woke up five days later from a coma, unable to make any noise and without recollection of her previous life. Patti had to relearn every single function of living, like how to swallow food and use a spoon to eat. By being persistent and leaning on her family members for support, she was able to function and speak again. Listen to hear how Patti overcame these tough circumstances and learned the importance of using every moment to make a difference. Click to watch the full episode.
Moving Past Mistakes in Life with
Zachary Gauvin was in a serious car accident related to his drinking that resulted in numerous internal and external wounds and being placed in a medical coma. He sustained a traumatic brain injury that resulted in having to relearn how to walk, talk, and use his left side. Through his dedication to physical therapy and intensive training with his mom, Zachary was back to playing baseball and even offered the chance to be a walk-on for the University of Massachusetts. Hear how Zachary used his determination and pragmatism to overcome this life obstacle, surviving all odds and assisting others along the way. Click to watch the full episode.
Perseverance is Key with
Jami Marseilles was trapped in a car for 11 days during a blizzard and had to have both of her legs amputated after they were affected by gangrene. Following months of painful rehabilitation, Jami was able to walk with prosthetics, and through physical therapy, she discovered her love for running. Eventually, she became a Paralympic runner, winning several gold medals and setting numerous world records. Jami is currently the only “double below the knee amputee” woman in the world to have successfully completed both a half marathon and full marathon. She was able to get to where she is today by making adjustments to her life path and dream. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear how Jami preserved. Watch Jami’s testimonial on our YouTube channel!
Celebrating Life with Donna Wiegle
In 1990, Donna was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer; however, after thirty years of being cancer free, April 2016 brought the devastating news that she had Ovarian Cancer with a five-year prognosis. When she initially received the second diagnosis, she was undergoing chemotherapy and developed the painful side effect of neuropathy, which created a rapid decline in her quality of life. Three years into her battle, Donna decided to take life by the horns and do things that were important to her. She took her Harley on the road, and she now travels across the country for her Ovarian Cancer Tour called “Teals on Wheels” where she shares her journey with others. Listen to The Living Full Out show to hear Donna recount her experiences and how she lives in the moment. Be sure to watch Donna’s testimonial about her experience on our YouTube channel!
Come Out and Live with Jackson Bird
Jackson Bird, born as a girl, found he was most comfortable wearing male clothing and acting like a tomboy. Toward the end of college, he discovered the transgender community, and for the first time he realized the possibility of being a gender other than female. After 6 years of reflection and countless hours preparing packets to inform friends and family about being transgender, he transitioned in 2015. Jackson’s story has continued to inspire others to have the confidence to come out. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Jackson speak about being true to himself. Be sure to watch Jackson’s testimonial video on YouTube.
Developing Resilience with
Jason Schechtertle’s life was altered the night of March 26, 2001 on his 10-hour long shift as a Phoenix Police Officer. Tragedy struck when his patrol car was ferociously hit by a taxicab at 100 mph, causing his car to immediately explode and trapping him inside. Jason survived the crash, but he was in a medically induced coma for 2 months while undergoing multiple surgeries, including rebuilding his nose. Jason had to find his own way to independently perform everyday tasks like talking and eating. He always set goals for himself and recognized the best way to deal with changes to his body was understanding that his character and heart would always remain the same. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear how Jason keeps moving forward, and click here to watch his testimonial video.
The Road to the New
Justin Willoughby weighed an astonishing 799 pounds at age 16. He recognized he had a food addiction at a young age and struggled with a fear of death and anxiety. In order to overcome these feelings, Justin used faith as a motivator to change his life and found people who inspired him on his journey. He lost a staggering 600 pounds without drugs or surgery, and became an advocate for all people grappling with weight loss. Even though he continued to battle with his weight, he used these experiences to inspire others in his book One Step Method: A Step by Step Plan for Permanent Weight Loss. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Justin share how he stayed fixed on his goal to stay healthy. Click to watch the testimonial video on YouTube.
Turning Tragedies into Triumphs with Debbie Salamone
In 2004, Debbie Salamone was attacked by a shark in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Her Achilles tendon was severed, requiring therapy and surgery to recover. Instead of allowing this experience to become a permanent fear, Debbie used it as motivation to bring about change. She is the founder of the organization Shark Attack Survivors for Shark Conservation, which promotes international trade protections, as well as being an officer for The Pew Charitable Trust. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear how Debbie turned tragedy into a triumph. Click to watch the full episode.
Escaping Darkness with
Paula Rumbolt suffered domestic violence from her husband. He manipulated her emotionally for years, and once they were married, he physically assaulted her, threatened her with their children, and isolated her from people she knew. She escaped the abusive relationship with her children because of the support from her pastor and parents. Paula was able to courageously report him to the police for physical violence against the family, and she relied on her faith to overcome fear. She went on to become a social service worker and navigate others through similar experiences. Listen to Paula as she shares her insights on the Living Full Out show. Watch her testimonial video on YouTube!
Dedicating Life with Kristine Greer
Kristine Greer was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer, and the prognosis was dismal, because it was 100% resistant to chemotherapy. Kristine developed a personal wellness routine to take care of herself like being surrounded by positive people. After surgery, she found that, miraculously, the cancer did not return. Inspired by her friend Charlene Postigo who also suffered from the illness, Kristine founded and became executive director of Charlene’s Light, a foundation dedicated to curing ovarian cancer. Listen to the Living Full Put show to hear how Kristine used her experiences to be a source of positivity for others. Watch her testimonial video for even more of her story!
Turn Your life around with Ethan Fisher
At the age of 23, Ethan Fisher was charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol. As a teenager, he struggled with peer pressure, depression, and drugs, and used illegal substances to fit in. He failed out of college and began drinking in an attempt to die, bottling up his emotions and fears. After the fateful night of the crash, Ethan spent three years in prison. He found his purpose through self-discipline and speaking to others about his experience, and makes a better world from his past mistakes. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Ethan talk about his life. Be sure to watch his testimonial video on YouTube.
Surviving Tragedy with Roseann Sdoia
Roseann Sdioa is a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. While she was with her friends watching the race, she heard an explosion and began to run but turned straight into the second bomb. Roseann saw a white light underneath her feet and found herself blown off the ground. When she landed, she was carried to safety but knew then her right leg was gone. She was taken to the hospital in a police van, and fought to stay conscious. Roseann survived, but she had to learn how to adapt to her new life, like walking with a prosthetic leg. From the tragedy, she discovered how to stay positive and accept help from others. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Roseann share her story. Click to watch her testimonial video.
Bouncing back with Casey Berna
Casey Berna developed Endometriosis at age 14, which causes infertility and severe pain. At first, she thought it was a painful period and did not receive treatment. Casey was in constant pain from the disease, as it was impacting many systems in her body and causing illness. It was not until she tried to have children that she received the diagnosis. After fertility treatments, she was finally able to conceive a daughter with her husband. After two excision surgeries, Casey regained a quality of life she thought impossible and decided to use her journey to educate others about the condition. Listen to the Living Full Out show to hear Casey speak about her experience. Learn even more about her story from her testimonial video!