About Courage to Shine™

Courage To Shine ™, Turning Adversity to Triumph,

Courage to Shine™ was founded to acknowledge, motivational and inspirational individuals and/or groups of patients whom have overcome congenital genitourinary birth defects and/or major urological surgeries in their childhood (but not limited too), and have the courage, strength and determination, to transform that adversity to triumph later in life.

Courage to Shine Logo
Courage to Shine Logo

Courage to Shine™ is dedicated to the memories of Lisha Martinez of Utah and Adam Young of Maine, as a celebration of their short lives. Lisha & Adam lived their lives to the fullest and they were pure examples of what is means to have the Courage to Shine™

Courage To Shine ™ is the patient awards program of the Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community http://www.bladderexstrophy.com

The Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community (A-BE-C) is an international support network of individuals with bladder exstrophy (including classic exstrophy, cloacal exstrophy, and epispadias), local parent exstrophy support groups. and health care providers working with patients and families living with bladder exstrophy.

The Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community (A-BE-C)

Please feel to email at teexler@courage-to-shine.org

History of Courage to Shine™

The original idea of Courage to Shine™ was to be an awards program, and was the original idea of Thomas Exler, however as he tells it , “it was just an idea in my head until August of 2009.”   That all changed at the 2009 ABC/HEA Exstrophy, Epispadais & Hypospadais Conference were he said, “I saw a few adult patients who were very upset they did not know anyone else when they were younger up.”  He went on to say, “There was nothing I can do about the past, but I could do something for the future to prevent this from happening again.

He put a proposal together an showed it to others in January 2010 under the project name the Adam ‘Forever’ Young Awards, named after Adam Young, a young man who passed away in 2005.

In February of 2010, Jennifer Howard a mother of a young man born with cloacal exstrophy, and regional vice president with a public relations firm, took all the key phrases that we wanted to accomplish and by morning came up with the name Courage To Shine ™,  and the motto Turning Adversity to Triumph.

Then in March of 2010 the Courage to Shine™ logo was designed by Stacye Dejulius by the direction of Thomas Exler and based on his original design.

In June of 2010, Courage to Shine™ gave out it’s first award to Tom Flood of New South Wales, Australia when he accepted the 2010 Tom Sylvia – Courage to Shine™ Australian Award at the BEECHAC Conference at the Coogee Bay Hotel, in Sydney, Australia.

In April/May 2011, Thomas Exler led an international team of patient role models under the name of the Courage to Shine™ Team to Breakaway-Visits in the Midlands of England, UK and to Iceland.

In December 2011, Courage to Shine ™ website is built & January 2012 the first Courage to Shine ™ Role Model is named Jamie Holmes

In November of 2012, Thomas Exler and Misty Blue Foster went to Spain where they spoke on living  with bladder exstrophy

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ginger Russell says:

    How do we apply for Courage to Shine of the Month- My daughter has a fantastic life to share-

  2. Vivian Seal says:

    I was born 1963, with “Extrophy of the bladder”. Age 15yr’s old was giving a ileoconduit due to kidney failure. Had a Kidney Transplant in Dec. 18th 2000, sister gave me one. I have had over 88 surgeries, I planning to get a new conduit due to chronic UTI’s also running gout of antibiotics. Looking for any information or advice in repairing the conduit. My Doctor is Dr. Edwin Robey of Virginia. I was born in Pa. Dr Emile Sayegh was in the hospital when I was born. He is die 20yr’s ago. Did my primary closure at age of 4 months. History goes on…Sincerely Vivian Seal …Thank you so much for time

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