Leukemia and stroke survivor Olivia Story. (Photo by Julie O’Neill Photography) “Mommy, I’m tired” became a common refrain from usually peppy 7-year-old Olivia Story to her mother, Jennifer. Olivia also wasn’t eating as much as usual. And she often had a low-grade fever. The family was about to head from their home in Chino Hills,…

Heart failure survivor Jeff Russ (right) with his wife, Christina, and dog, Lacey. (Photo courtesy of the Russ family) Jeff and Christina Russ – and their beagle mix, Lacey – were walking their regular 2-mile loop through their neighborhood in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, when Jeff began to feel winded. It was a warm Sunday evening…

After spending 10 days in intensive care recovering from a stroke at age 32, Kelly Fucheck overhauled her life. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Fucheck) Kelly Fucheck woke up one summer Sunday ready to spend a quiet morning at home with her husband, Glen. Their toddler, Tomas, had spent the night at grandma’s house. She picked…

University of Kentucky offensive lineman Kenneth Horsey needed heart surgery when he was a senior in high school. (Photo courtesy of University of Kentucky Athletics) Kenneth Horsey was digging into a pile of baby back ribs with his family after church. It was Easter Sunday 2018 and Kenneth had much to look forward to in…

Heart attack survivor Cherée Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Cherée Johnson) We published nearly 100 inspiring stories of survival this year. These 10 profiles topped the list. 1. Months after learning to walk again, 24-year-old finally learns what caused her paralysis When Andrea Paez went from athletic to almost immobile, grief nearly overtook her. With determination…

Heart disease survivor Gary Saunders in a 2018 photo with his grandsons (from left: Jaxon, Austin and Jaden Banks) and black lab, Hunter. (Photo courtesy of Gary Saunders) For more than three years, Gary Saunders struggled with heartburn. Antacids helped – if he took a handful of them. He figured it was stress or the…

Stroke survivor Elizabeth Hindinger. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hindinger) A few days after her 42nd birthday, Elizabeth Hindinger woke up with a searing headache. A doctor gave her a prescription to treat migraines, though she’d not had them before. A couple days later, the headache unabated, Hindinger drove herself to the medical clinic in her…

Stroke survivor Bob Parker at his favorite coffee shop in Pasadena, California. (Photo courtesy of Bob Parker) Bob Parker was waiting for a parking spot at his neighborhood coffee shop when he suddenly saw a flash. His foot slipped off the break and he crashed into a pole. The café window shattered. Inside his crumpled…

Emily Meister has three heart conditions but is taking charge of how it shapes her future. (Photo by R. Dodson Photography) In second grade, Emily Meister was performing as Gretl Von Trapp in the local high school production of “The Sound of Music” when she felt her heart beating unusually fast. She also sensed pressure…

Heart attack survivor Michael Capalbo. (Photo courtesy of Michael Capalbo) Michael Capalbo was standing in an aisle at the pharmacy chain where he was a manager when he felt an intense burning sensation raging across his chest from shoulder to shoulder. He texted his supervisor. She rushed to call 911 and get Capalbo aspirin. Sitting…