Share Your Triumph

At iOvercame.com, we believe in a basic truth—life is hard. However, we believe in the power of each other. In the space below we ask you to share your story of triumph. Whether you got cut from a sports team or dealt with with depression, your story can help someone. Your identity will be kept anonymous. You never know who you might inspire. #iOvercame

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Growing up I was forced to have sex with my father beginning at age 5. If I resisted, I was beaten and he would do it anyway. This happened on average 2-3 times per week for many years. My emotionally unavailable alcoholic mother knew but did nothing (although she did comment on how sick and disgusting it was when I was a teen). By the time I got out of the house, it had happened probably somewhere near 1,500 times and I had developed quite the alcohol/drug habit as my way to escape.

8 years later I became a father and decided I needed to escape the shadow of my childhood if I were ever to be the kind of father my daughter deserved. I quit the meth but couldn't quite stop drinking, spending the next 15 years trying to deal with what my father had done....

Josh Ruchotzke is a quadruple amputee. At just 13 years old Josh was diagnosed with streptococci bacteria in his bloodstream. Basically, blood flow to his extremities had stopped. Doctors had to perform emergency surgery to remove to both of his legs, all of his left hand and most of his right hand. Josh's dream was always to play baseball and he was not going to let losing his limbs stop him. Josh was given one of the worst challenges a young man could face, but instead of succumbing, he overcame.

After learning to walk again and going through tedious rehab, Josh slowly learned how to play baseball again. Opposing players don't even know he has no legs because of how well he runs.

The tragedy in Boston left many with amputated limbs. Josh has a message for them which symbolizes his attitude.

"If I could, I'd tell them, 'It sucks...

Millions watched in horror as Louisville guard Kevin Ware's shin literally broke through his skin. The image was haunting and Ware had to endure a moment of incredible adversity on national television. An injury so devastating and so gruesome would turn some away from the game forever. But Kevin Ware has taken a positive attitude in what will be a long and laborious rehab.

"I look at it all as motivation," Ware told ESPN. “You can’t finish until you get started.’’

Ware was a constant source of inspiration to his teammates during their run to the National Championship. Right after breaking his leg while dealing with unimaginable pain, the first thing Ware told his teammates was "don't worry about me, just win the game."

Ware knows challenges are coming and he is ready for them.

“I’m sure the hard days are coming,’’ he said. “I know they are. But I think I’m a...

Hi, Im Sammy C. And Im 16 years old! When I was 2 I was diagnosed with Alopecia Universals which is a disease were your immune system attacks ur hair follicles.
Through out my life I've been mocked, bullied, and even physically beaten! But how can a gem be beautiful and shiney without a good polish? 16 and I still have alopecia, I know who I am! My personality is more vibrant than ever before! and its all because of what I had to go through..I am not here to tell some sad story of how Im pleading for people to come up wit a cure for my disease, I'm here to tell u that I simply do not want a cure! This is who I am, and I am positive that I will touch millions! My story brought out the passion of music in me! I started playing guitar...

Charlie Villanueva is used to people staring at him. Not just because he is a seven-year NBA veteran who had a decorated college and high school basketball career, but because he suffers from alopecia universalis.

Alopecia Universalis results in total hair loss throughout the entire body. Villanueva was diagnosed when he was 10 years old. By the time he was 12, he had no hair at all. He used to wear a baseball cap in class because he was embarrassed by his condition. But over time, he used his condition as inspiration to work harder both in the classroom and in the gym.

"All those kids who made fun of me, I thank them now," he says, smiling. "They helped make me who I am," Villanueva has said in interviews.

Best of all, Charlie has made helping others with a condition a huge focus in his life. For over 7...

The person who started it all was the first person I ever truly let myself care about. He's the only person who ever received, and will ever receive all of me. He's the person who did everything imaginable, sometimes without even realizing it, to let me know how little he cared back. I feel slightly embarrassed that I'm still affected by the ordeal today, and although we're friends now, I'm still haunted by emptiness I felt during that tumultuous year in high school. I knew I didn't deserve the treatment I was receiving, but the pain I felt every time he hurt me didn't compare to the loneliness I felt when we weren't speaking at all. So, like a true masochist, I kept going back.

I kept going back until he just wouldn't have me anymore. Looking back on it, I think that's the saddest part of it all; the...

I came out of the closet four years ago. It took my parents about a year to fully accept who I am, but they did. Some of my friends were distant at first but now things with them are back to normal. It turns that coming out was only half the battle, outlasting the initial apprehension from those close to me was just as difficult. But things are fine now. My relationships are back to normal, but now I feel free and liberated from the secret I carried for so long.

A year ago, Chris Wright couldn't walk. Wright, who played basketball at Georgetown, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, first thought something was wrong when he lost sensation in his right food and hand during a March practice last year with his professional team in Turkey. Shortly after, Wright was diagnosed with MS. Common symptoms of MS are fatigue, numbness, loss of balance, poor coordination, blurred vision and problems with memory and focus. The disease is unpredictable and affects the central nervous system. Not exactly ideal for a professional athlete.

But instead of letting his disease beat him, Wright beat his disease. At first, doctors told Wright his basketball career was finished. But he would not be deterred, and trained harder than ever all the while keeping tabs on his disease.

Last week, Wright made history as the first professional basketball with MS after he was signed by the Dallas Mavericks. While...

When I got to college schoolwork was the last thing on my mind. In high school I did pretty well, but only because my parents threatened me with being grounded or taking away my car if I got bad grades. I got into a respected state school and was just so happy to be away from my parents and that I could finally stop having to work at all in school.

At first things were amazing. I made a lot of friends and partied ALOT. I rarely went to class and didn't pay attention when I did go. School just seemed really stupid to me, I just wanted to go out and have fun. I did not care at all when the bad grades kept piling up. But my total indifference to school finally caught up to me. While I was able to get by my first semester, I failed out...

Today, Caron Butler is an NBA star. A starter on the championship contending Clippers, Caron is well respected throughout the NBA and has made tens of millions of dollars during his career. But things weren't always easy for Caron. In fact, as a teenager it seemed Caron would never even go to college.

Butler was arrested 15 times before he was 15 years old. In multiple interviews, Butler has lamented at the time he "admired pimps and drug dealers." However, Butler used his early failures and adversities to become a better person. After being locked in solitary confinement for two weeks, Butler changed his ways. He apologized to his mother, stopped running with the wrong crowd and put his energy into academics and athletics. His hard work earned him a scholarship at the University of Connecticut, where he laid the foundation for his pro career.

Butler has done more than...

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