After Planning His Funeral, Boy Given Chance to Live
Deryn Blackwell figured if he was going to die young, he would at least have a good funeral.
The 14-year-old from Watton, Norfolk was given just days to live this past December after suffering for nearly four years from leukemia and Langerhans cell sarcoma, two forms of cancer. Deryn had his entire memorial planned; from the Mohawk pink haircut he would sport in his casket to the song he would have played in the procession (“Move Your Feet” by Danish duo Junior Senior). Read More>
When she was in high school, Lizzie Velasquez was dubbed “The World’s Ugliest Woman” in an 8-second-long YouTube video. Born with a medical condition so rare that just two other people in the world are thought to have it, Velasquez has no adipose tissue and cannot create muscle, store energy, or gain weight. She has zero percent body fat and weighs just 60 pounds.
In the comments on YouTube, viewers called her “it” and “monster” and encouraged her to kill herself. Instead, Velasquez set four goals: To become a motivational speaker, to publish a book, to graduate college, and to build a family and a career for herself. Now 23 years old, she’s been a motivational speaker for seven years and has given more than 200 workshops on embracing uniqueness, dealing with bullies, and overcoming obstacles. She’s a senior majoring in Communications at Texas State University in San Marcos, where she lives with her best friend. Her first book, “Lizzie Beautiful,” came out in 2010 and her second, “Be Beautiful, Be You,” was published earlier this month. Read more>