Feeling a Bit Down? Seven Things to Help Inspire You

What's Your Mountain, Boston?

Is daily life really so tough?

Well, yes, it can be.

Here, though, is to keeping things in perspective. For more than a month now, Patch and Grape-Nuts have teamed up to present stories about your neighbors – neighbors who have faced challenges that would seem insurmountable to many of us. 

But not to the people we’ve featured in this series, Journeys.

Not surprisingly, the stories have generated dozens of comments on Patch and on Facebook: “Great story…” “Thanks for sharing…” “So wonderfully inspiring…” 

And, so, here they are again. Great stories shared to inspire. Take a look at what these people have faced. Then click on the story to see their responses. And, feel better about things.

Local Woman Helps Run Girls Soccer Club in Haiti

For Taryn Silver, what began as a 10-day trip to Haiti in 2011 turned into a new home and close to 50 new friends.

A former Sharon resident, Silver helps run the Association Sportives des Jeunes Filles de Fond des Blancs (The Sports Association of Young Women of Fond des Blancs), a girls soccer club in the rural town of Fond-des-Blancs, about 70 miles west of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

The club offers an opportunity that Haitian women rarely get due to lack of funding, time and also due to the cultural roles Haitian men and women often play. 


Cleanup Organizer Sees a Future of Smaller Footprints

Pat Conaway is “kind of a nut” about the environment, and when he retired from teaching in 2008, it didn’t take long for him to find a number of productive ways to spend his time. He now sees hope in the young people who help him clean trails, waterways and roadways.

“I wanted to get people fired up about the environment, to try to encourage citizens to get involved locally,” he said.


Home Sales for the Love of Rescued Animals

Three years ago while on the Internet, Weston real estate agent Leslie Mann read a story on the Internet that horrified her: A female pit bull-type dog named Turtle had been abandoned in a wooded area in the middle of winter. 

Badly injured, Turtle showed signs of being a bait dog, one used to test the fighting instinct of a potential fight dog.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston stepped in to help, and nursed Turtle back to health through six months of treatment at Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Walpole. The story was enough to inspire Mann to raise about $ 6,000 for Turtle’s treatment.

And even though Turtle is now on the mend, Mann and her husband, both agents with Gibson Sotheby’s Realty in Weston, are donating $ 1,000 to the ARL from every home sale they make in the area.


Death of Abandoned Dog Spurs Legislation Effort

One resident’s efforts to find justice for a lab that died after being abandoned in a foreclosed property resulted with the filing of a bill to protect animals in similar situations.

“This is the bill that I want,” said Lyn Gorka, a local real estate agent and animal rights advocate, who had spoken out for such a bill after being moved by the story of the 2-year-old Phantom that died after being abandoned in a foreclosed apartment. “I have been praying for this bill for two years and I am very, very happy. I want this law passed. I don’t want this to happen to any other dogs.”


Months After Heart Transplant, Woman Seeks To Give Back

It’s not every day that a person gets to experience both sides of being an organ donor. 

But that’s exactly what happened to Jane Tecce. After her son’s death at the age of 24, his organs were donated. And now, Tecce is recovering from a heart transplant she received nearly two years ago, when she also received a kidney transplant. 

“My kids are starting to have kids now,” Tecce said. “I’m being a grammy. I can’t imagine not being here.”


Cancer Survivor Rides for Charity

In a 2001 motor vehicle crash, Gina Utegg sustained a serious brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and had to relearn many life skills that most people take for granted.

Then, in 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. 

Now, Utegg has opened up about the obstacles she’s faced and what inspired her to overcome them.


Tell Us: What’s the Biggest Challenge You’ve Ever Faced?

But what about your biggest challenges? 

In honor of the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s historic scaling of Mount Everest, Patch wants to know from readers across the country: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to overcome? 

South End Patch