She was told that extreme sports aren't for blind folks. Now she's proving them wrong.
True
Nature Valley

Nancy Stevens is an adventurer. She's biked cross-country, walked the Grand Canyon, and climbed huge mountains.

Image via Death to the Stock Photo.

Nancy also happens to be blind.


"I’m kind of a risk-taker, and I enjoy the challenge of it," she says.

Blind since birth, Nancy has never seen the view from the summit of a mountain she's climbed or the ocean from a kayak she's paddled. But that doesn't mean she hasn't had incredible experiences on each and every one of her adventures.

Nancy having a great time kayaking. Image via Nature Valley.

For Nancy, being out in nature, hearing the trees blowing in the wind, and feeling the kayak paddle cut through the water fills her with the same joy a sighted person might experience.

Image via Death to the Stock Photo.

That feeling translates over to the many endurance sports she's tried.  

"It’s fun to try different sports so that when I dream, I have all these experiences, and that’s part of my dreams," Nancy explains.

But she doesn't just try her hand at sports, she pushes herself to the limit.

In 1998, Nancy competed in the Nagano Winter Paralympics in cross-country skiing. She also happens to be the first blind woman to climb the Grand Teton Mountain. When she sets her cap at achieving a new athletic feat, you better believe she's going to make it happen.

Nancy at the summit of the Grand Teton. Image via Nature Valley.

Today, she's using her fearlessness to help other disabled people set out on their own adventures.

She works as an outreach coordinator with Oregon Adaptive Sports, which organizes outdoor recreational activities to people with disabilities in order to help them be more active and independent.

Nancy hugging an Oregon Adaptive Sports member after a race. Image via Nature Valley.

If she can help people who also live with disabilities have unforgettable experiences, they'll likely gain the confidence to try more exciting things.

One memorable example of this mission in action is Nancy's friend Bruce. When she met Bruce two years ago, he had decided he was going to get rid of all his sports equipment because he was going blind and thought he wouldn't be able to use it any longer.

"I was like, 'Oh no no, don’t do that!'" Nancy recalls.

Pretty soon, Bruce was learning to ride a bike under Nancy's tutelage, so he didn't have to give up on his active lifestyle.

"It's an amazing feeling," says Bruce. "I can focus on the sounds and the smells."

Bruce and Nancy after a bike race. Image via Nature Valley.

It's not always easy to adapt, especially if a disability is new, but Nancy isn't the type of person to give up on anyone.

She's experienced discrimination because of her blindness, so she's empathetic to people who might be struggling, but her purpose at Oregon Adaptive Sports is to push them forward. After all, you can't achieve great things without stepping through a little fear.

Photo by Jason Thompson/Unsplash.

Like with Bruce, it's about showing people they're capable of so much more than they thought. It's about that feeling of crossing the finish line they never thought they could reach.

And as Nancy puts it, "That’s the kind of stuff you can’t experience from an armchair."

Nancy in a bike race. Image via Nature Valley.

Watch Nancy's whole story here:

She's taken on some of the most extreme sports in the world while blind. Now she's helping others get out there and do the same.

Posted by Upworthy on Monday, August 21, 2017
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

More

7 secrets to raising awesome, functional teenagers.

One mom gets real about parenting teens.

I occasionally get asked by mothers of young children what the secret is to raising great teenagers.

My initial response is that I have absolutely no clue. My kids are who they are IN SPITE of having me as a mother. (The young moms don't find that answer too helpful.)

Really, the first thing that I will tell you is to disbelieve the myth that teenagers are sullen, angry creatures who slam doors and hate their parents. Some do that, but the overwhelming majority do not. Every one of my kids' friends are just as happy and fun as my kids are, so I know it's not just us.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

Keep Reading Show less