In 1971, Lena Lonardo's grandson was born with a serious heart problem which necessitated treatment at Boston Hospital. The realization of having to send an infant to Boston for cardiac surgery was met with a great deal of stress by the entire family. Stress not only because of the obvious concern for the child's condition, but also because of the additional problem of having to leave other children behind during these visits.
When a pediatric cardiac surgery program was initiated at Rhode Island Hospital, Lena Lonardo decided to do something to support and increase public awareness of the new program. Because of her love for these children, Lena founded the RHODE ISLAND ASSOCIATION FOR CARDIAC CHILDREN.
THE RHODE ISLAND ASSOCIATION FOR CARDIAC CHILDREN was founded to respond to the growing needs for research, increased funding, and development in the area of cardiac surgery and treatment for the ever increasing number of Rhode Island children with cardiac problems. THE RHODE ISLAND ASSOCIATION FOR CARDIAC CHILDREN is an organization composed entirely of volunteers from all walks of life. Growing in numbers and scope through the years, the Association offers emotional support and direct financial assitance to cardiac children and their families. It sponsors family-oriented activities such as an annual Christmas party, trips to the circus and a softball tournament.
Lena is now in her 80's and as active as ever. She still heads the RIACC Board of Directors. She sets up at craft fairs to raise money. Lena still personally responds to the needs of cardiac children and their families.
Lena has shown what motivation, need, and perserverance can do!
WE offer heartfelt condolensences to Dana Reeve as well as Christopher's 3 children.
Mr. Reeve was truly a Special Hero and a Super-Man.
The boy and his sister, neither of whom swam, were temporarily left alone by their mother and grandmother. The boy decided to try swimming in the deep end after separating himself from his sister. When she saw what happened, she called for help on the pool phone and began screaming.
Jack did what many of us would hope to do in this type of situation. He did it without concern over his suit, liability, or ...
An instant as a SPECIAL HERO has meant an extended lifetime for Shaquille.
From New Delhi, India, comes the story of Puram Chauhan, an amputee who is teaching karate to police.
After losing his right leg in an accident when he was 5 years old, Puran started to learn karate. Amazingly, he holds a black belt in karate.
This year, the 26 year old, won the Red and White Bravery Award and some money. He has won other awards in the past.
Puran runs a self-defence academy for women and teaches the police. However, this MBA holder is primarily jobless. What he earns from these 2 endeavors does not pay his basic needs. A local newspaper is trying to help him to be noticed more and to hopefully get a well-paying job.
Meanwhile, we can learn much from this amputee who has tackled a tough sport and is helping 'everyday' citizens and law officials, alike, to defend themselves and their community.
The name of the child who he saved is unknown and neither the child or the parents have even visited Kim. Yet, many Internet folks have heard of Kim's heroic deed and are commited to seeing that Kim is recognized as the hero that he is.
Hats off to you, Kim!
That night was rainy and Jimmy was driving his fiancee Nicole and their daughter to his father's home. There on Interstate 275, a car driven by 2 recent Bosnian immigrants, swerved off the road into a ditch of water. Between smoking and filling with water, Narcis and Ernesto Pavolv, the occupants, were scared.
A minority member helping an immigrant in this great land is just a reminder of what America is made of and stands for!
Detective Steve McDonald
Approximately 16 years ago, in 1987, Detective McDonald was shot by one of several youths who he was chasing in a park. Wounded in the throat, this man still pursued the gang until he was again shot. He became a paraplegic from these injuries.
Rather than hide in self-pity and anger, Detective McDonald, with the spiritual guidance of a priest, forgave his shooter. He also began going to numerous schools and groups, where he speaks on violence.
Summers can be brutal. And when you have mobility problems it can be even more trying.
In July 2002, in Oakland Hills, a Chicago suburb, John Askew not only proved himself a hero, but that heroism is not blinded by bigotry or discriminates based upon the recipient's nationality.
While getting what little air there was that summer, he heard an explosion from the building next door. 80 years young, Azezeh Abdallah accidentally lit a firecracker instead of a candle. The resulting explosion took off most of her hand!
Azezeh's family thanked him, the mayor gave him an award for his actions, and he was invited to join in a 9/11 parade. His actions serve as an example to us, aside from the obvious, for looking past someone's ethnic background and realizing that human life is sacred.
If YOU know of someone who is a Special Hero, please click on the Nominate A Hero link to your left.
IF YOU KNOW OF SOMEONE WHO WOULD ENJOY OUR WEBSITE,
Those of you who donate time, money, or gifts are SPECIAL HEROES!
Too often, folks get too wrapped-up in their own lives and hustle and bustle, to stop and realize just how fortunate that they are. - That even if things are not great in your life, they are probably better than what some others have going on in their lives.
SO REACH OUT TO SOMEONE ELSE. Surely, you can give something. If only an old coat or a 50 cents or... Someone will appreciate your effort and kindness.
AND REMEMBER: Nominate a Special Hero on our Nominations page!
Cypress Gardens and its area can be quite beautiful. But for one disabled woman driver, it proved almost life-taking, not breathtaking.
Dave Williams, a newly employed tow truck operator, had been doing paperwork, late at night in a parking lot. A driver approached him, asking for Dave to call the police because of a car that missed a curve and had plunged into the water.
By the way, coincidence or not, Dave Williams was doing paperwork in a church parking lot when he was alerted to the accident.
A caregiver gives the gift of life to another.
John Ndungu is a care attendant at Kumquat House in Coon Rapids, MN. Kumquat House is a residence for adults with disabilities.
In June of 2003, while driving Scott Niles, a resident, John noticed flames coming from the back of the handicapped-equipped van that he was driving.
John Ndungu came to the US from Kenya, approximately 3 years ago and has become an American citizen.
When fashion and heart meet, you will find Deborah Koenigsberger. This one-time model and current owner of Noir Et Blanc Bis, decided to volunteer at a homeless shelter.
After hearing Stevie Wonder in concert sing of the homeless and being asked to run a 'dress for a job interview' workshop at a New York City shelter for homeless mothers and their children, Deborah knew she wanted to do more.
She began Hearts
of Gold, a
charity to help the homeless. They conduct fashion related fundraisers with some famous celebrities serving as honorary chairpeople.
With the economy so bad, jobs scarce, rents high, and... homelessness in our country is affecting more and more folks, including those who you would never guess were homeless.
July 2003, was a hot day in more ways than one at the Aliamanu Military Reservation in Hawaii. Approximately, 4 in the morning Jasmine and Brandon Rice were awoken by their cockateil. They took their young daughter and left the apartment building.
Suzanne Lawrence Forsberg
This Texas beauty with much more than looks on her side has climbed to new heights in helping others face a serious disease that she has lived with for years.
Susan and Paul Moore
'Double the Pleasure' refers more than to great chewing gum. Susan and Paul Moore discovered that when in August 2003, they twice chose to be Special Heroes.
Steve Kolthoff and Jesse Peterson
May 2002 was a month that a California woman, Martha Hernandez will likely remember the rest of her life. That's because, it was the month that a member of the US NAVY saved her life.
She was on a beach with her daughter and other family members, camping. After walking into what appeared to be calm waters, she was swept away by the tide. The more she tried to resist the pull, the worse-off she was.
Luckily, two Navy personnel, Steve Kolthoff and Jesse Peterson were in the area. They had been training at the Naval Air Station North Island. They were spending time hiking along the Kern River when Martha was spotted. They acted swiftly, getting her to shore, where they checked for signs of obvious serious injury.
Both men were honored by the US NAVY. -- Hats off to these 2 brave men!
Aaron McCraw and A.J. Hart
Who says young folks do not have values or think of others? At 23 years young, A. J. Hart and 19 year years young Aaron McCraw risked life and limb to save a 56 year old motorist, Alfredo Tapio from a burning car.
Mr. Tapio's car spun out on a major highway. After his car was hit by another one, it burst into flames and was crossing other lanes. Both young men, who were in separate cars, pulled to the side of the road and rushed to the burning auto. They each broke a window. Then, they dragged Mr. Tapio to safety.
What would you have done? Called 911, just kept going, or perhaps, also been a Special Hero?
Unknown 'Good Samaritan'
An unidentified, Good Samaritan rescued a Miami area teacher in August 2003.
Dorothy Schilke, a 7th grade teacher, while driving to school, had her Ford Explorer struck by a school bus, of all things! Her car slid and eventually landed in a lake. Water began to quickly enter the auto. The teacher was unable to open her doors or windows.
What could have been a tragedy, became one of those 'Random Acts of Kindness'.