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,…

Joanna Burgess – Joy’s Way – A Journey of Survival, Hope and Inspiration


Editor’s Note: Courage to Shine™ is honored to present the original story of Joanna Burgess’s amazing and inspirational life.  Joanna originally submitted the following story to be published in a major national magazine, but the magazine elected not to publish it, however their loss is Courage to Shine’s gain.  Joanna Burgess is a nurse, a cancer survivor, a wife and…

Family Campouts for Bladder Exstrophy


Family Campouts for Bladder Exstrophy By Thomas Exler Each year there are two family campouts for Bladder Exstrophy held in the USA, one in South Lake Tahoe, California and the other one in Northern Indiana In August of 2002, I was invited as a guest speaker to attend the 2002 California Bladder Exstrophy Support Team…

THOMAS EXLER – Founder & Chairman of Courage to Shine


Note: In 2012, John Walsh from  Stomawise website: which is based in the United Kingdom, invited Thomas Exler to write about his story for the My Story section of Stomawise website.  Also at end of this blog are the links to articles from the UroMed Hometown Heroes blog;  which they featured Thomas Exler and Courage to Shine for…

A “You Can” Attitude Helps Children with Disabilities Find the Courage to Shine


http://uromed.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/a-you-can-attitude-helps-children-with-disabilities-find-the-courage-to-shine/ From UroMed Hometown Heroes – Originally posted on January 27, 2012 When parents learn that their children have a medical issue like bladder exstrophy, often their dreams for those children cease, and the parents suffer along with the children. However, on the front page of the Courage to Shine website, we can show parents what their children…

Life’s Great Possibilities Await For People With Disabilities Who Find The Courage To Shine


http://uromed.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/the-great-possibilities-in-life-for-people-with-disabilities-who-find-the-courage-to-shine/ From UroMed Hometown Heroes – Originally posted on January 26, 2012 Exler: Courage to Shine, a new project we created, was originally created to be an awards program to honor outstanding people, especially those with bladder exstrophy. We wanted to honor accomplishments in society and in the greater world. As we developed the idea, we thought that a better…

Courage Is The Key To Overcome Fear With Thomas Exler


http://uromed.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/courage-is-the-key-to-overcome-fear-with-thomas-exler/ From UroMed Hometown Heroes – Originally posted on January 25, 2012 I’m often asked, “Why is a support group so important for an individual who has a physical challenge to overcome?” The only way to get courage is to face your fears and overcome them. The benefits of courage are success, happiness and bravery. Most people run away from fear….

A Life-Changing Decision: Jamie Holmes Decides Christmas is About Giving, Not Receiving


http://uromed.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/a-life-changing-decision-jamie-holmes-decides-christmas-is-about-giving-not-receiving/ UroMed Hometown Hero – Jamie Holmes Part 2 – Originally Posted DECEMBER 7, 2011 Right before I was 15-years old, I went in for another surgery. My sister always would stay with me in the hospital before my operations. This time there was a little girl in the room with me who needed a heart transplant. Her…

Jamie Holmes of Jamie’s Dream Team Explains You Have to Know What Your Focus Is


http://uromed.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/jamie-holmes-of-jamies-dream-team-explains-you-have-to-know-what-your-focus-is/ UroMed Hometown Hero – Jamie Holmes Part 1 – Originally Posted DECEMBER 6, 2011 Hi, my name is Jamie Holmes. I’m 24-years old and live with a condition called V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome, which was diagnosed in utero. I have endured over 42 surgeries in my life, with the surgeries starting at the time of my birth, to reconstruct my…

Enrique Escajada – Aerialist Overcomes Adversity to Fly


Aerialist Overcomes Adversity to Fly by Enrique Escajeda Hello, My name Is Enrique Escajeda and I was born with Bladder Exstrophy. For those that don’t know bladder exstrophy is when a person is born with their bladder on the outside of the body.  It’s a complicated ailment that demands many surgeries especially throughout childhood. The…

JAMIE HOLMES-WARD – Jamie’s Dream Team


DREAMS BY HOLMES, A YOUNG LADY WHO TRULY MAKES DREAMS COME TRUE. By Thomas Exler Twenty-four year old Jamie Holmes, from White Oak, Pennsylvania  has been named as the first Courage to Shine™ – Role Model of the Month for the Courage to Shine™ program.  Jamie has earned this recognition because she has turned her…