Alison's Story

Alison Bonds Shapiro was a busy business owner and aspiring illustrator when, at the age of 55, she experienced two brain-stem strokes within 24 hours. Alison lost her ability to live the life she had known. She was partially paralyzed, uncoordinated, and unable to swallow, focus her eyes, sit up, or even to take a deep breath on her own. Doctors told her that there was only a 50% chance of surviving one brain stem stroke, much less two. 

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Tracy's Story

When Tracy Akers was a high school basketball player at Colonial Heights High near Petersburg VA, she excelled on the court.  She also was an amazing example of perseverance through adversity, coming back to the team from a rare illness that required the replacement of her left tibia, and then from a serious knee injury which also required surgery.  But Tracy’s greatest challenge was still ahead of her.

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