Heroes Living The Lighthouse Wave!

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacle”- Christopher Reeve

Everyday heroes touch our lives with their extraordinary efforts to change the world! These special people put their needs aside to help others in our community. Everyday heroes bring hope, courage and inspiration to our lives. They live to give and show us all how to embrace The Lighthouse Wave! Celebrate these everyday heroes as they teach us all valuable lessons living The Lighthouse Wave – Denise

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My Heros – My Family

picture with kidsMy heroes are my immediate family, mother and father, grandparents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and professional network who contribute to the greatness in my life every day. My life would not be the same without this core group of heroes who have modeled living life with love and compassion regardless of their circumstances.  Family relationships can be family reunion picturecomplicated for many people but I repeat this simple lesson I learned about everyday heroes – find something to love in everyone! Focus on the positive aspects of your family members and celebrate them for the unique people they are.  Also your family is in your life to teach you lessons so remember even if there are difficulties with certain people learn lessons from them and send their spirit light and love.  I need not list each of my family members by name, but if you are reading this, thank you for being my hero. We need more people like you in the world.

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Vicki Meadows Gives Her Kidney to Save a Friend

vicki meadowsThere are many heroes in the world but teacher Vicki Meadows is one of the most amazing people I have ever met.  She heard about a high school friend’s rare kidney disease and need for a kidney and in January of 2015, gave him one of hers. Danny Keim was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called IGA Nephropathy at 17-years old. As time passed he had decreased his kidney function and in August 2013, he found out his kidneyswere only functioning at 21 percent and it was time to look at transplant and dialysis.

Vicki heard about Danny’s need,  got tested and found out she was a match.  “I really didn’t have any doubt that this was going to be a good thing,” said Meadows. “Even from the start, I was pretty sure this was going to work out.”“It is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do in your life,” she said.

Living individuals can donate one of the two kidneys as there is minimal risks as the remaining kidney provides the necessary function needed to remove waste from the body.  A living donor can donate one of two lobes of their liver because liver cells in the remaining lobe of the liver grow or regenerate until the liver is almost its original size.

Thank you Vicki Meadows for being a hero to us all and saving a life!

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Heroes Saving Animals!

The Lighthouse Wave salutes our everyday heroes who work to protect and enhance the lives of all animals. These heroes are passionate about protecting all animals, educating humans on alternative food choices, housing pets and endangered wildlife, and training service animals.

linda nebbeMy friend Linda Nebbe, assistant professor of applied human sciences at The University of Northern Iowa, has spent her life in service of animals. Linda has been involved in wildlife rehabilitation for more than 35 years and founded the Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project more than 18 years ago. This volunteer program in Iowa serves individuals by helping them work with and care for orphaned, injured or displaced wild animals. She always was involved in organizing P.E.T. P.A.L.S., a local Animal-Assisted Activities/Therapy program.

Linda strongly believes in biophilia: the connection of humans with the life on earth. Linda’s home has been a haven numerous animals and children.  When appropriate, animals are also incorporated into her profession as a therapist – she brings her owl with her often! Her book Nature as a Guide is about the application of animals, plants, and nature in counseling, therapy, and education.

Furthermore, The Lighthouse Wave salutes all animal foster kittensparents.  A foster parent is an animal lover who volunteers to take in a homeless pet for a short period of time. Animals are fostered for a variety of reasons. Many puppies and kittens are too young for adoption, some animals need a home to recover in after a medical procedure, some animals are pregnant or nursing, and some simply need more socialization. Foster families provide the love and stability these pets need to be happy and healthy, both mentally and physically. Foster families help the pet’s transitions into its forever home much easier!

We solute those who donate money, walk dogs at their local shelter, stuff envelopes for an educational mailing, assist with a fundraising event and adopt animals from their local shelters.  Your action saves the lives of many of our animal friends…The Lighthouse Wave appreciates you!

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A Salute to Teachers

There are so many careers that can be saluted for their heroism but Teenagers Jumpingfirst a salute to teachers must be included.  After over ten years in education, I have witnessed first hand the challenges and sacrifices teachers face each day.  Today’s teachers face significant hurdles as they are expected to prepare students for the ever changing world while managing the demands of standardized testing, school liability, social media and decreased parental engagement.  Here are a few stories of teachers who may seem like superheroes but they are all my colleagues and just like so many  other educators I’ve met over the years.

Dennis, a high school teacher in California, found out one of his student’s was being abused at home. Her parents kicked her out of the house.  Dennis and his wife, worked a deal out with this students parents and let her live with them for eight months until she graduated.  They facilitated her admission to college and helped her until she graduated from college.

• Stephanie teaches in a rural district in Iowa. When she discovered that one student’s family was in dire need at Christmas time, she organized a group of teachers to anonymously purchase gifts, clothes, and bicycles for the student and her family.

Marcia, a teacher at a low-income high school, has driven students to college visits, interviews and even paid students’ college application fees.

• Jody, found funding so all students at her school could learn to bowl – one student is now on the Olympic Bowling team.

The Lighthouse Wave salutes all the wonderful things teachers do daily and all the lives they touch. Thank you for being heroes every day and for all you do to enhance the lives of your students!

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