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10 amazing survivor stories

Tim Harris, who has Down syndrome, always dreamed of owning his own business. His restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and hugs. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/10/health/human-factor-harris/index.html'>Read more</a>. Tim Harris, who has Down syndrome, always dreamed of owning his own business. His restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and hugs. Read more.
During his rookie season in 2006, Jon Lester was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer. A year after his diagnosis, Lester was back on the mound, winning Game 4 of the World Series to clinch the championship. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/17/health/human-factor-jon-lester/index.html '>Read more</a>.During his rookie season in 2006, Jon Lester was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer. A year after his diagnosis, Lester was back on the mound, winning Game 4 of the World Series to clinch the championship. Read more.
Stephanie Hammerman wasn't always in love with going to the gym, but it's something that became important to her after she lost one of her best friends. Hammerman is the first certified CrossFit trainer in the world with cerebral palsy. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/03/health/human-factor-hammerman/index.html'>Read more</a>. Stephanie Hammerman wasn’t always in love with going to the gym, but it’s something that became important to her after she lost one of her best friends. Hammerman is the first certified CrossFit trainer in the world with cerebral palsy. Read more.
Samantha Brownlie was diagnosed with nonsyndromic sensorineural bilateral hearing loss when she was 3. She wrote a book to explain why she wears a hearing aid in school. <a href='http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/14/8-year-old-writes-book-on-hearing-loss/'>Read more</a>.Samantha Brownlie was diagnosed with nonsyndromic sensorineural bilateral hearing loss when she was 3. She wrote a book to explain why she wears a hearing aid in school. Read more.
Ryan Chalmers was born with a birth defect called spina bifida, which leaves him with limited use of his legs. He recently pushed his wheelchair across the United States to raise money for a scuba program that helps people with disabilites. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/26/health/human-factor-chalmers/index.html'>Read more.</a>Ryan Chalmers was born with a birth defect called spina bifida, which leaves him with limited use of his legs. He recently pushed his wheelchair across the United States to raise money for a scuba program that helps people with disabilites. Read more.
At 15, Chelsea Roff had a stroke brought on by her severe anorexia. When she was admitted to Children's Medical Center Dallas, she weighed 58 pounds. Roff is now a writer, speaker and yoga instructor. <a href='http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/12/from-58-pounds-to-thriving-one-womans-story/'>Read more.</a>At 15, Chelsea Roff had a stroke brought on by her severe anorexia. When she was admitted to Children’s Medical Center Dallas, she weighed 58 pounds. Roff is now a writer, speaker and yoga instructor. Read more.
Rich Clifford kept his Parkinson's disease diagnosis a secret to follow his dream of being an astronaut. "Having Parkinson's disease is no reason to stop living life to its fullest extent," he says. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/03/health/human-factor-clifford/index.html'>Read more.</a>Rich Clifford kept his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis a secret to follow his dream of being an astronaut. “Having Parkinson’s disease is no reason to stop living life to its fullest extent,” he says. Read more.
As a teenager, Clay Walker dreamed of being a country music star. Soon after he topped the music charts for the first time, he was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. But Walker hasn't let this chronic disease slow his career down. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/07/health/human-factor-walker/index.html '>Read more</a>.As a teenager, Clay Walker dreamed of being a country music star. Soon after he topped the music charts for the first time, he was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. But Walker hasn’t let this chronic disease slow his career down. Read more.
Don Wright ran 50 marathons in 50 states -- all while battling cancer. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/25/health/human-factor-don-wright/index.html'>Read more</a>.Don Wright ran 50 marathons in 50 states — all while battling cancer. Read more.
Janne Kouri's life changed dramatically after a freak accident in 2006. Paralyzed from the neck down, he founded the nonprofit NextStep to help others in similar situations. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/23/health/human-factor-janne-kouri/index.html'>Read more.</a> Janne Kouri’s life changed dramatically after a freak accident in 2006. Paralyzed from the neck down, he founded the nonprofit NextStep to help others in similar situations. Read more.

Editor’s note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle — injury, illness or other hardship — they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. Check out more on our Human Factor page.


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