Amy Oestreicher – Turning Adversity into Gratitude


For information about TEDx Syracuse University go to Amy’s Webpage Turning Adversity into Gratitude By Amy Oestreicher I’ve been called a surgical disaster, a medical miracle, barely alive to the energizer bunny that just keep going. It was the night of our family Passover Seder – a favorite holiday of mine, reminding me of Spring,…

Caelin Mooney – Kinder than Necessary


Kinder than Necessary By Caelin Mooney My name is Caelin Mooney, I am 22 years old, a future child life specialist, an advocate for children and families, a Godmother, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a daughter… the list could go on and on with labels that pertain to me.  Along with all of these…

Rachel Fisher – Turning Fear Into Confidence


Turning Fear Into Confidence By Rachel Fisher, My name is Rachel Fisher, I’m 23 years old and I was born with classic bladder exstrophy.  My life began in New Bern, North Carolina in 1992.  My medical experience started with an immediate closure, reclosure and bladder neck reconstruction.  Unfortunately, at age four I developed blockages in…

Jessica Sanchez – Embracing Bladder Exstrophy


Embracing Bladder Exstrophy By Jessica Sanchez My name is Jessica Sanchez.  I am 26 years old, born and raised in Washington State and I was born with classic bladder exstrophy.  But bladder exstrophy is not who I am, it’s just a part of me.  I am a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a…

Brittney Freeman – Teaching Others To Shine!!


By Brittney Freeman Hello world, I am Brittney Freeman.  I am 26 years old and born and raised in Oklahoma.  Its interesting the phrase born and raised because we all say it.  Except we are not all born the same, some of us are born on a special days such as Christmas, or maybe in…

Emily Broeren Kohlman – My Journey!!!


By Emily Broeren First and foremost, my name is Emily Rose Broeren.  I am 23 years old, 5 foot 4, and have blonde hair and blue eyes.  I was born and raised in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, but now live in Massillon, Ohio.  My family means a great deal to me and are some of the most…

Kirsteen Lupton Plop – Pride of Britain


Editors Note:  Kristeen Lupton will be toured the USA in 2014.  She attended the Association of Bladder Exstrophy Community (ABC) Great Lakes Chapter Campout July 25-26, 2014,  and attended the California Bladder Exstrophy Support Team (BEST) Campout August 1 -3 2014. By Kristeen Lupton Plop Hey, my name is Kirsteen Lupton Plop, I am twenty years…

Kiersten Kelly – An Angel’s voice overcoming adversity – Part 1 of 2


Editor’s Note: I (Thomas Exler) had the pleasure of meeting Kiersten Kelly at a fundraiser for Jamie’s Dream Team on March 23, 2013, and I was so impressed with her, not only the way she presented herself, but also in her vocal talent, so please sit back and enjoy this amazing story from an international YouTube sensation…

Courage to Shine™ – Tour III – Spain – November 2012


Courage to Shine™ – Tour III – Spain – ASEXVE Medical Conference, Avila, Spain – November 23-25, 2012 News Release: Courage to Shine™ Team to Attend ASEXVE Medical Conference in Avila, Spain from November 23 –25, 2012 In early 2012, Thomas Exler and Mist Blue Foster were invited to attend and to speak at the ASEXVE (Asociación española…

Joanna Burgess–Joy’s Way–A Journey of Survival, Hope and Inspiration – Reposted June 9 2012


Editor’s Note: In honor of Joanna Burgess being honored tonight (June 9, 2012) in Charlotte, North Carolina as this year’s  Great Comebacks® National Award recipient, we at Courage to Shine would like to re-post her original story “Joy’s Way – A Journey of Survival, Hope and Inspiration” Originally Published on March 24, 2012:  Courage to Shine™ is honored to present the original story of…

Misty Blue Foster & Jamie Holmes Featured in eBook Honoring the Best of UroMed Hometown Heroes


Misty Blue Foster and Jamie Holmes, two of Courage to Shine Role Models of the Month, have had their stories published by UroMed Hometown Heroes Blogg converted along with 14 others into eBook: Courage: Stories of Hometown Heroes which can be purchased on Amazon.com at  http://www.amazon.com/Courage-Stories-Hometown-Heroes-ebook/dp/B007WU2RX4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335785891&sr=8-1 UroMed Launches E-book on Hometown Heroes Overcoming Disabilities MAY 2, 2012 LEAVE A…

ENRIQUE ESCAJADA – Courage To Shine™ – Role Model of the Month for March 2012


Enrique Escajeda of California has been named the March 2012 – Courage to Shine – Role Model of the Month. In his honor we have reprinted his story below from January 26, 2012 ———————————————————————– Enrique Escajada – Aerialist Overcomes Adversity to Fly Published on January 26, 2012 Aerialist Overcomes Adversity to Fly by Enrique Escajeda Hello,…

THOMAS EXLER – Founder & Chairman of Courage to Shine


Note: In 2012, John Walsh from  Stomawise website:  http://www.stomawise.co.uk/ which is based in the United Kingdom, invited Thomas Exler to write about his story for the My Story section of Stomawise website. The following  below was submitted to be placed on the website, however it had to be edited due to the available space and here is the link the article up on the…