Meet The 13-Year-Old With Cerebral Palsy Prepping for The 2020 Paralympics

To stand on a podium and receive a triathlon medal takes countless hours of preparation, practice, training, and toughness. Mental and physical toughness can be developed and enhanced, but for some people, it's clear that they were born with an above-average measure of both. One of those people is 13-year-old Kira Stevens.


When Kira was born, 3 months premature, she faced some daunting odds. She spent months in the hospital with her mother, Mia, and was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was just 1 year old. But when someone is a born athlete and competitor, it takes more than that to keep them away from their passions. And Kira was a born athlete through and through.
Today, Kira has competed in more than 30 triathlons. She's won enough medals and trophies to fill shelves. Later this year, she'll compete in the Junior Championships—and she eventually plans to take her competition to the next level, at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Despite all of her victories, the most impressive part of Kira's approach to competition just might be her attitude about it.
"I'm slower than everybody else," Kira says, "but that doesn't really stop me, because... everybody cheers me on."

And while Kira is a proven winner, with both the athletic ability and mental toughness to outlast her peers, winning is not the most important to her. First, she likes spending time with her friends in training, and second: "It's about competing for the joy of it."

Video via Stitch. To watch more stories of perseverance and inspiration, visit our Facebook page or subscribe to our Only Good News Newsletter!

Man Goes on Cross-Country Hugging Tour To Spread Love

Hugging is considered to be a rather intimate form of affection across the US. Everyone hugs, but rarely do we ever hug strangers. Arie Moyal is willing to do just that. He is the founder and creator of the Hug Train, a national tour of free hugs to promote mental health awareness. Arie travels across the country giving hugs to strangers who are willing to give him an embrace.

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Dan's Coffee Runs Bring Warmth To Chemo Patients and Staff

Coffee and a smile are sometimes the best medicine. When Dan Dewey's father was being treated for cancer, Dan found himself following a routine in a situation which needed a little perking up.

Thus began what has become known as "Dan's Coffee Run". Every Thursday morning, Dan does a special coffee run for the staff and patients at the Michigan Cancer Institute in Bloomfield Hills, bringing Starbucks Coffee and a lot of smiles to the patients and providers at the cancer treatment center.

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This Organization Feeds Their Entire Community

If you are a kid and your bed is a lumpy, old couch or a cold, hard floor and you leave home for school without a regular breakfast, you will not excel in your classes. This daily struggle is shockingly common in many areas of the country and it sets many children on a downward spiral at an early age that is difficult to recover from. This is where Meals By Grace is making a difference.

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Anonymous Authors of Love Letters Uplift The Lonely

While it is exciting to see the bold type of a newly arrived email from an old friend or the pulsing dots of a long awaited text, there is still something special about the arrival of a hand written, stamped envelope in your home mailbox.

For those who are facing personal difficulties, adjusting to new circumstances, or just feeling isolated, the physical experience of handling a letter, opening the sealed side of the envelope, and sliding out a beautiful card brings the thrill and anticipation of contact with another person, something they may been missing for long time. Fulfilling this need is at the heart of an inspiring organization called "The World Needs More Love letters".

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A Father, A Son, And A Hockey Fan’s Dream Come True!

Coca-Cola, Shaw's Supermarkets, and the Boston Bruins have teamed up to make one lucky Bruins fan's dream come true. After purchasing a Coke from Shaw's in the New England area, contestants were encouraged to enter for a chance to win a "Player for a Day Experience" with the Boston Bruins.

The lucky winner's name is Mark Karolkiewicz. Mark has been a Bruins fan his whole life and even though he had the opportunity to be a Bruins Player for a Day, he selflessly gave the prize to his son Eric Karolkiewicz, also a die-hard Bruins fan!

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Dancing Away From Illness And Onto The Stage

The hall lights dim…..a hush comes over the audience … the command "places everyone" is given… there is a palpable stillness in the air as the first notes of the opening piece float out of the speakers and hover above the stage…. the curtain rises with a whir … the lights come up… its time …

These are the moments a performer lives for. The hours of solitary sweat and toil practicing their craft in sparse, small rooms, are the dues required for the joy of putting their skill and craft out there for an audience hungering for something special and moving.

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Singer, Poet, Activist, Lupus Survivor - Shanelle Gabriel

"Rock out...live your life....live your art!" This was Brooklyn, New York native Shanelle Gabriel's response to her diagnosis of Lupus, an autoimmune disease where your body's immune system, that usually fights infections, attacks healthy tissue instead.

Shanelle first noticed something was off when her fingers turned blue and hurt in the cold and she could not seem to shake the feeling of fatigue no matter how well she slept. After being diagnosed in 2004, Shanelle decided that her health would not be something that would limit her success.

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NFL Player Mentors Kid Dealing with Mom's Cancer

For families with a member who is battling cancer, life can seem lonely. The trials and tribulations of such a scary disease can be very intense—how could anyone who hasn't gone through them understand?

Walk With Sally is an organization founded to provide loving support to children whose parents or siblings are fighting cancer, and they helped make a very special match between two people who could understand one another's experience personally. Will Svitek, a former NFL professional, lost his father to cancer when he was just 31. He joined Walk With Sally for the express purpose of mentoring youngsters who were struggling in similar situations. That's how he met Rocco.

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