October’s Most Inspiring News Stories

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

11. Refugees are museum tour guides
> Date: Oct. 2
> Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia is not like most museums of its nature. The tour guides of the Middle East gallery are refugees from Iraq and Syria. It’s a win-win situation for both parties involved. The refugees are given work and, in return, museum-goers get to listen to explanations about ancient artifacts from someone who grew up in that region and can add modern context. The tour guides also are trained to integrate their personal stories and memories into each tour they lead.

Source: Lindsey Wilkerson Alsup / Facebook

12. Ex-cancer patients tie the knot
> Date: Sept. 1
> Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Early last month, Joel Alsup and Lindsey Wilkerson of Memphis, Tennessee, got married after nearly 30 years of friendship. They first met at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as children in the 90s. Alsup was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, which lead to the amputation of his right arm. Wilkerson had leukemia. The two became very close as children but lost touch around the time they left Tennessee for college in different states. The love birds found their way back to Memphis and reconnected. People magazine wrote about their story on Oct. 2.

Source: Mario Tama / Getty Images

13. 2 women win Nobel Prizes
> Date: Oct. 2
> Location: Canada/U.S.

Two women made history this month when they won the Nobel Prize in fields that men have historically dominated. Francis H. Arnold became the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Donna Strickland became the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Strickland is a professor of physics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, and Arnold is a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

Source: COTA for Lilah Kate / Facebook

14. 3-year-old gets life-saving new organs
> Date: Oct. 4
> Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A rare kidney disease put Lilah Joiner’s life at risk, but she was saved when donors came forward to donate a kidney and a liver for her. Three-year-old Lilah was born with the condition called autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, which causes cysts to develop within the kidneys and can lead to the loss of kidney function. After she was born, her kidney became so enlarged that it posed a risk for liver failure. Doctors recommended a multi-organ transplant. On July 31, 2018, a year to the day she was put on the list for a transplant, Lilah had two living-donor transplants. Joseph Smith, husband of her mother’s best friend, was her liver donor, and family friend Missy Lathem was her kidney donor.

Source: Justin Gallegos / Facebook

15. Nike signs first athlete with cerebral palsy
> Date: Oct. 6
> Location: Eugene, Oregon

Justin Gallegos isn’t your ordinary competitive long-distance runner. Gallegos has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects motor skills, movement, and muscle tone. Despite such limitations, Gallegos has been running for seven years, and this month his hard work paid off. Nike signed the University of Oregon junior as a professional athlete, the first person with CP to become a pro athlete signed by the giant athletic gear company.