Category Archives: Inspirational

Stories to help you pick up your day!

Dave Pelzer – A Child Called It

Dave has experienced a truly extraordinary life. As a child, he endured the horrors of child abuse which included physical torture, mental cruelty, and near starvation. Dave was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous games–games that left him Dave nearly dead. With only his willpower to survive, He learned how to play his Mother’s sinister games in order to survive because she no longer considered Dave a son but a slave, and no longer a boy but an “It.”

Upon Dave’s rescue, he was identified as one of the most severely abused children in California’s history. At age 12, Dave’s teachers risked their careers to notify the authorities and saved his life. Once he entered the foster care system, Dave fights for a stable setting, but found himself moving in out of five different homes, while continuing the fight to cope with his past. Throughout his journey, social service personnel, educators, counselors, and foster parents give their all to ensure Dave’s well-being and protection from his vindictive mother, who, at one point, wishes to have Dave committed to a mental institution.

Once he left the foster care system at age 18, Dave enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. As a young adult Dave was determined to better himself–no matter what the odds.

As a member of the armed forces, Dave was hand-picked to midair refuel the highly secretive SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Stealth Fighter, which played a major role in Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm.

Some of Dave’s distinctive accomplishments have been recognized through a number of awards, as well as personal commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. In 1990, he was the recipient of the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, making him the California Volunteer of the Year. In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. He joins a distinguished group of alumni which includes: John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Anne Bancroft, Orson Welles, Walt Disney, and Nelson Rockefeller. In 1994, Dave was the only American to be honored as one of The Outstanding Young Persons of the World. He also carried the coveted Centennial flame for the 1996 Olympics.

Dave’s first book, A Child Called “It,” was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. It tells his story as a young child. Dave is one of the only authors to have three books simultaneously on the New York Times Best Sellers List and the first author to have two books simultaneously on this list in trade paperback. All three books are highly acclaimed throughout the world. Dave’s incredible life’s story was featured on The Montel Williams Show, Sally Jesse, and Barbara Walter’s The View.

Dave’s unique and intriguing outlook on life, coupled with his “Robin Williams” like wit and sense of humor entertain and encourage men and women to overcome any obstacle while living life to its fullest. Dave is a living testament of resilience, faith in humanity, and personal responsibility. This is what makes him one of the most exceptional and unequaled entities of today. As an author, educator, and consultant, Dave has dedicated his life helping others . . . to help themselves.

Christopher Reeves

September 25, 1952 – October 10, 2004

He once played a man who could fly. Christopher Reeve demonstrated a rare ability that exceeds the speed of flight. Christopher learned to live outside his body in a way that few people have the strength or courage to do.

All of us are, in some ways, prisoners in life — some by limited thinking, others by physical limitation. But rarely has a man demonstrated such a wonderful ability to face limitation, to cry for all that it robbed him of, and then step beyond it into a life that knows no limitation.

Name: Christopher Reeve

Born: September 25, 1952 in New York, New York

Home: Westchester County, N.Y.

As a Role Model: Known the world over as Superman, Christopher Reeve served as a symbol of strength, the force of good, with the ability to fly and soar over the problems of man. He was strength and mobility personified to people throughout the world. Thus, it came as a shock when Christopher Reeve fell from his horse during a riding show accident, and landed on his head. The fall broke his spinal cord and paralyzed him from the neck down.

In the face of enormous frustration, Reeve held up as an example of courage in the face of enormous frustration. Although he was not able to move from the waist down, Reeve continued to travel, do public appearances, and serve as a voice for the paralyzed in the United States.

Christopher made numerous public appearances around the US after his accident. He was a proponent for medical research to help quadriplegics. He gave the commencement speech at Boston University in May, 1997 and urged the medical graduates to “show us the cures.” Reeve was unable to move his limbs and was confined to a wheelchair that he operated by sipping or puffing on a straw. Reeve continued to fight with incredible strength of will and optimism–and remained convinced that he would walk again.

The former Superman admitted that he cried every day dealing with the reality of being in a wheelchair. “In the morning, I need twenty minutes to cry,” he said. “To wake up and make that shift, you know, and to just say, “This really sucks”…to really allow yourself the feeling of loss…still needs to be acknowledged.”

But after his long, hard cry each day, he would tell himself, “And now, forward!”

Christopher Reeve has been an example to us all, that you keep on going in spite of limitations.

Despite his paralysis, Reeve directed the HBO film In The Gloaming. It starred Glenn Close, Bridget Fonda, and Whoopi Goldberg.

The film stars Robert Sean Leonard who plays the part of a young man with AIDS who comes home to die. He is cared for by his mother who is played by Glenn Close.

In April, 1997 Reeve was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The week before this in April, Christopher Reeve broke his arm and had surgery, but he still managed to attend the premiere of his directing debut. He was working out on an exercise bike and as he was being transferred from the bike to his wheelchair, the people who lift him got out of sync. Christopher fell over on his side and his arm snapped like a match stick. It was repaired with a titanium rod that was inserted into his arm.

Even though he felt a little “feeble” he went on with the premiere. He was grateful to be in the company of other directors who were welcoming him into the fraternity of directors. Christopher said: “I’m starting a new chapter in my life, and you have no idea how much that means.”

While under great handicap from his paralysis, Christopher Reeve continued to travel and do outreach work. He joined Cal Ripken, Jr. as a featured speaker at a motivational conference in Washington D.C. He went to the New School in Manhattan to give a speech to students. While doing so his body went into crazy spasms. While being attended to he joked, “Sorry. One second, guys. I’ll be right with you…. Now, where were we?”

The former Superman was given the National Courage Award at the Minnesota Courage Center. He also joined his good friend Robin Williams at a fund-raising dinner to benefit victims of spinal cord injuries.

Biggest Goal and Wish: Reeve said he had one wish, and that was to hug his son, Will. “That’s what he’s entitled to,” Reeve said. “And I believe that day is coming.”

Early Beginnings: As a boy, Christopher Reeve studied piano and voice, worked as an assistant orchestra conductor, and made his acting debut with a Princeton, New Jersey theater company at age nine.

College Education: Graduated from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. Studied drama at the Juilliard School in New York where he roomed with comedian Robin Williams. Performed his Master’s degree performances at London’s Old Vic and a t the Comedie Francaise in Paris.

Early Acting History: Played in a TV soap opera, Love of Life, and played on Broadway in A Matter of Gravity opposite Kathryn Hepburn.

Most Famous Role: Reeve was chosen from a pool of more than two hundred actors to play Superman. His looks, his fitness and physique and charming humility breathed life into the comic book hero. The great success of Superman meant three very popular sequels. While Christopher appeared in other films, it is his role as Superman that made him famous.

Other Interests: Reeve has done documentaries and a TV special about aviation and sailing, which are two of his life passions. He also has been a passionate spokesperson for the arts and helped to found the Creative Coalition, a non-partisan advocacy group of artists including Ron Silver, Glenn Close, Blair Brown, and Susan Sarandon — who concern themselves with the environment, homelessness and the protection of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Christopher Reeve’s Family: Wife: Dana Morosini, Son: William (with Dana). He has two other children, Matthew and Alexandra, (from his relationship with Gae Exton.)

Christopher Reeve believes that there is a cosmic purpose to his accident and he was very successful in his efforts to lobby in Washington for increased funding for spinal cord research. He wass trying to help other people with the same type of paralysis. Christopher Reeve was an example to us all.

Closing Quote from Christopher Reeve: “When the first Superman movie came out I was frequently asked ‘What is a hero?’ I remember the glib response I repeated so many times. My answer was that a hero is someone who commits a courageous action without considering the consequences–a soldier who crawls out of a foxhole to drag an injured buddy to safety. And I also meant individuals who are slightly larger than life: Houdini and Lindbergh, John Wayne, JFK, and Joe DiMaggio. Now my definition is completely different. I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

Local Businesswoman Changes Focus To Support Survivors Of Child Sexual Abuse

A St. John’s businesswoman is closing her business to pursue her passion for an organization she founded in support of adult survivors of child sexual abuse.

Bev Moore-Davis is closing August & Lotta Stockholm at the end of the season to devote her time to Miles for Smiles.

She says while it’s a difficult decision, it’s right for her.

She says while she enjoys running the boutique, after years of burning the candle at both ends, she decided to focus her energies on making a difference.

Andy Bhatti – Men of Hope

Sometimes the line we take through life isn’t always the straightest, and the ghosts of our past can haunt us for a long time. Andy Bhatti has been through that struggle and came out the other side. See more about him in this video.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQnrFx27vvU[/youtube]

The 1st Miles For Smiles Walk, featuring Yvonne Goss, Be the Voice

With the help of a very talented dear friend, Gerry Carew, we decided to create a video commemorating the first Miles for Smiles.  Along with the production of this video came the challenge of finding the perfect song to accompany.

Bev’s step-daughter, Sarah, decided she wanted to help. She quickly found ‘Be a Voice” by singer/songwriter Yvonne Goss from North Carolina. Yvonne, a victim of childhood abuse, wrote and recorded this heartwarming song to encourage us to be the voice that cuts through the darkness and spreads light on the victims that fall prey to abuse. In an email to Bev, Yvonne expressed gratitude to her for choosing her song and being that voice.

Listen to the video and let her inspirational words move you.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh3ZcFYAXa4&list=UUdG22kzFQrsnQprPDZXzRmQ[/youtube]

A message from the Miles For Smiles Founder

At age 17 I ran away from home. I ran from an environment that can only compare to a Hollywood Horror Film, a life of severe mental, physical and sexual abuse.
I kept secrets of the abuse my entire life and was contented to this, until meeting another survivor (from my past) in 2011. While talking I realized that he too had kept secrets of the abuse, and from the conversation I had 2 life-changing revelations.
1. As survivors we often struggle with shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, PTSD….as survivors we are more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases etc, and we struggle with all this as we SILENTLY protect the abusers. How wrong is this?

2. I also realized that I had to accept my past. It IS after all, the past and at this point there’s nothing that I can do or go back and undo, I cannot change or fix what happened…..I have to accept it, AND move forward knowing I can control today, and everyday forward.

With the help of a therapist and a wonderful support system I have been able to turn a very dreadful childhood into a positive. Since 2011 I have founded the Miles For Smiles Foundation and channeled my energies into supporting other survivors, raising awareness and I am now working on an educational tool aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse.

Clouds, by Zach Sobiech

On May 20, 2013, cancer took the life of Zach Sobiech but his legacy will live on through the beacon of love and hope he delivered through infectious lyrics and memorable tunes have imprinted on the minds and hearts of millions around the world.

Help fulfill Zach’s dying wish to help kids with cancer by supporting the charity he set up before his death- the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at Children’s Cancer Research Fund:http://www.ChildrensCancer.org/Zach.

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDC97j6lfyc[/youtube]

Someday we’ll see you again, Zach, up in those clouds where we’ll never see the end..

Check out Zach’s other song – Fix Me Up –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvSYZH…

“Clouds” is now available on iTunes!

To download go to: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/clo…

All proceeds support the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.

Zach’s CD – Now Available!

Zach’s family also started the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund-http://ccrf.convio.net/site/TR/Events…, to fund research for the cancer that is taking his life, in hopes that kids diagnosed tomorrow will have a better chance for a cure. For gifts $20 or higher, you will receive a copy of Zach’s album featuring the studio recording of “Clouds”, along with an acoustic version, and a selection of other songs. Click here for more information:http://www.childrenscancer.org/zach/

To read Zach’s story or to donate to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund, visit ChildrensCancer.org/Zach. Read more about Zach on his personal blog: CaringBridge.org/visit/ZacharySobiech

Special thank you to:
Dan Seeman – VP/General Manager KS95
Karl Demer – Atomic K Records and Production
Merritt Benton – Tracking Engineer
John Lynn – Piano
Zach Miller – Drums
Sean O’Hea – Bass
Matt Vannelli – Guitar
Mike Rominski – Video and Editing – Woolly Rhino Productions

CLOUDS LYRICS

Well I fell down, down, down
Into this dark and lonely hole
There was no one there to care about me anymore
And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge
You were sitting there holding a rope

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

When I get back on land
Well I’ll never get my chance
Be ready to live and it’ll be ripped right out of my hands
Maybe someday we’ll take a little ride
We’ll go up, up, up and everything will be just fine

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear

It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now
If only I had a little bit more time
If only I had a little bit more time with you

We could go up, up, up
And take that little ride
And sit there holding hands
And everything would be just right
And maybe someday I’ll see you again
We’ll float up in the clouds and we’ll never see the end

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now