Paul Anthony – Police Officer and Family Man

By Paul Anthony

My name is Paul Anthony. I’m 35 years old. I’m a husband, a father and a police officer.  I love my life and I love my career but it was a long challenging journey to become the man I am today. Here’s my story.

I was born on February 2nd 1988 in Brooklyn, NY. My mom was just 21 years old when I was born and my father was MIA. I was born with a condition called Bladder Exstrophy which caused my bladder to be outside of my body when I was born.  There is no known cause for this birth defect and it happens to about 1 in every 45,000 births.  I have been through 21 surgeries and over 100 procedures. There were many ups and downs throughout my life and sometimes I felt like the fight was hopeless, other times I felt like a warrior who was built for battle. While growing up I often felt like I was cursed with a condition that I did not have much control over but as I got older I realized I was also blessed, I had a huge support system. I had a mom that was by my side for every single doctor’s visit and surgery, I had 2 brothers, Dom and Joey that were there for me my entire childhood and never let me use my condition as a crutch to not play a sport or try something challenging, including getting beat up by dom, who happens to be younger than me. i ‘ still convinced he was lucky every time he beat me… all 728 times. I had a large number of cousins who were just as supportive as well as a stepfather who was there for me in his own special way. I also had a handful of aunts, an amazing uncle and a grandmother who all helped raise me.  My grandmother was my absolute guardian angel who made me feel like anything was possible. This support system never let me down and they gave me everything I needed to overcome every challenge of growing up with exstrophy, including a bit of tough love which I definitely needed growing up. Considering some of the more severe cases of bladder exstrophy i was on the lesser end of the spectrum in regards to complications and effects on my body.

Camryn Young – This New Chapter

Hello, my name is Camryn Young, I am 23 years old, and I was born with Bladder Exstrophy (BE). Being born with Bladder Exstrophy has granted me a handful of opportunities which I am beyond thankful for — but, to be honest, I did not always feel this way. Today, I am ready to share my story, and help to inspire others who may have or are currently experiencing the same journey I have.

Priyanka Kallur – Overcoming Mental Boundaries

By Priyanka Kallur Whenever someone asks me about my life, I never know quite what to say. For many years and even sometimes today, I don’t think of myself as anything but ordinary. However, I am reminded frequently by friends and family of how unique my life truly is. I was born in a small hospital in the suburban area of Bangalore, Karnataka, India on Shivarathri night, an important religious holiday, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. My life started off pretty much the same as any other baby. My mom went into labor two months early with me, and had me via cesarian section, something about amniotic fluid levels being too low. At the time of my birth doctors were prepared for a premature baby, but nobody was expecting me to be born with so many health conditions. At my birth, in addition to being premature (I was 4 pounds at birth), I was born with a rare condition called Cloacal Exstrophy/OEIS syndrome, something the doctors who delivered were not prepared to treat. Nobody up to that point had even detected my condition before, something that can be detected very early during ultrasound today. I needed multiple surgeries and a specialized incubator in a NICU, something that was not in the hospital I was born in. I also had a very high body pH at birth that they were struggling to get under control. Unable, to treat me in the small hospital, doctors told my family to take me to St. John’s hospital, at the time, one of the only specialty hospitals in the city. At barely hours old, I was loaded with my uncle into an autorickshaw, headed to St. John’s hospital, leaving my mother behind. At St. John’s hospital I was very much fortunate, that they had a pediatric surgeon who had seen my condition before and knew how to treat me. Despite having experience treating my condition, it was not an easy task. I was born with my bladder and colon connected and on the surface of my body with no skin. My pelvis was not joined together, no proper abdominal wall, and no vagina, urethra, or rectum. I also had spina bifida, sacral agenesis and mild scoliosis in my lumbar spine. It was a miracle that I survived that night, and I had multiple unsuccessful surgeries before they were able to properly stabilize me. I had to be operated on multiple times in just the first few days of my life.

Cory Conacher

MIRACLE, BABY making the NHL with Type 1 Diabetes | Bladder Exstrophy l Cory Conacher The ultra competitive world of professional sports is daunting for any athletic hopeful, let alone Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher. As we explore the young hockey star’s journey to the NHL, we discover that dealing with type 1 diabetes…

Mrs. Patsy Pope – Bladder Exstrophy – A Miracle Happened

Mrs. Patsy Pope l Bladder Exstrophy l A Miracle Happened l Urostomy l Courage to Shine l Oct 28 2022 –

92 Year old Patsy Pope of Tennessee born with Bladder Exstrophy and all her medical challenges she has had in live with including a ureterosigmoidostomy then a ileal conduit – urostomy, and her life, marriage and children, Great Story and truly a Courage to Shine story,

Christy Humberd, Wrote:

I was blessed to visit with Mrs. Patsy today. She was born in 1930 with “bladder exstrophy” and has an amazing testimony! Doctors told her parents that her life would be short. But God had other plans! Take some time this weekend to listen to “A Miracle Happened” Click this link:👇

I am blessed to know Mrs. Patsy. She came up to me at church and gave me a written copy of her testimony. As soon as I was home, I read it and the tears flowed. This amazing Christian woman has been through a life with many difficulties. She has leaned on the Lord and at 92 years old she stills gives praise to Jesus!💖

Thank you Christy Humberd for the video:

Christy Humberd Facebook Page:

Mrs. Patsy Pope original video:

If you would like to write Patsy do so by writing

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 ™ website:




Dilara Arslan – A Scientist from Istanbul, Turkey

Dilara Arslan – A Scientist from Istanbul, Turkey By Dilara Arslan Hi Everybody, I am Dilara from Turkey.  I was born as likes some of you with a bladder exstrophy in 1991, İstanbul, Turkey.  To treatment of my bladder exstrophy was needed a series of operation since my born. I don’t remember my early ages….

Damon Little

Damon Little Damon Little is a National Gospel and Grammy Winner Artist, I (Thomas Exler) ran into his at the United Ostomy Associations Conference.  During his childhood he has many surgeries and live with a colostomy for years. Damon Little: Damon Little / Be Alright-2019:  Courage To Shine™, Turning Adversity to Triumph, Courage to…

Kaitlin Morris – Finding Bravery in Unexpected Places

Note: I first met Kaitlin, when I came to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia to speak at the 2010 BEECH Australian Community Conference in June, 2010 – Thomas Exler YouTube: Mrs. Morris  Finding Bravery in Unexpected Places By Kaitlin Morris Hi there, I am Kaitlin (Sheedy) Morris,  I was born on April 15, 1992 with classic…

Matt Elkins – Angling over Adversity

Angling over Adversity By Matt Elkins My name is Matt Elkins; I’m 40 years old; I’m married; I live in Spencerville, Ohio; I’m an environmental specialist by trade; and I have a passion for hunting and tournament bass fishing. That pretty much sums me up in as few words as possible. What is missing from…

2016 Courage To Shine ™ – Brittney Freeman – July 9 2016

Read more about: Brittney Freeman – Teaching Others To Shine!!  Click Here 2016 Courage to Shine™ Lisha Martinez & Adam Young Award . Brittney Freeman was presented with the 2016 Courage to Shine™ Lisha Marttinez & Adam Young Award on Saturday July 9 2016. Read more about: Brittney Freeman – Teaching Others To Shine!!  Click Here Brittney Nichole Freeman is…

Rachel Fisher Althizer – 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…

World Rare Disease Day – February 28, 2013

The Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community (ABC) for the first time has become a partner for World Rare Disease Day in the USA. – WORLD RARE DISEASE DAY – FEBRUARY 28, 2013 For more information click on the fliers below are go to                  Bladder Exstrophy is one of about 7,000 rare diseases listed by NORD (National…

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…

12th Annual California Bladder Exstrophy Support Team Campout – August 3 – 5, 2012

12th Annual California Bladder Exstrophy Support Team Campout Friday August 3 – Sunday August 5, 2012 Campground by the Lake, South Lake Tahoe, California, USA By Thomas Exler This past August 3-5  2012, 15-20 families living with bladder exstrophy, came  together  in South Lake Tahoe, California, for the 12th Annual California Bladder Exstrophy Support Team (B.E.S.T.)…

4th Annual ABC Great Lakes Chapter Campout – July 20-22, 2012

4th Annual ABC Great Lakes Chapter Campout Friday July 20 – Sunday July 22, 2012 Eby’s Pines RV Park & Campground, Bristol, Indiana, USA In late July 2012, Alice Ambrose of Michigan, along with her husband Brad Ambrose were honored to again be the hosts for the 4th Annual ABC Great Lakes Chapter Campout, at Eby’s…