AN EX-MEMBER of the Amish community has opened up about why she left the religious group. Misty Griffin currently happily resides in Pasadena, California with her husband, however she had an incredibly strict and difficult childhood where her parents enforced an Amish-style life. After Misty attempted to run away from home, the family moved into an Amish community. But after three years of living as an Amish woman, Misty was molested by the bishop of the community. After enduring months of abuse, she made the decision to leave after living in the community for three years.

A MARTIAL artist is perfectly imitating the lightning fast fighting techniques of Bruce Lee - and he’s just eight years old. Child prodigy Ryusei Imai amazed his parents when they saw him start to swing his kid-sized nunchucks in time with his idol on screen when he was only four years old. Now, Ryusei, from Nara City, Japan, is throwing fists and high kicks like a mini master. One handed press ups, walking on his fists, pull ups and forward flips are just some of the moves in Ryusei’s repertoire - as in order to achieve speed, agility and control akin to that of the iconic fighter, Ryusei must train like few other eight-year-olds. “I’ve watched his movies since I was one year old and tried to be like him. I made a lot of mistakes at the start, like I couldn’t get the exact timing. Sometimes I was too fast, sometimes too slow, but I’m getting better and better. Now I can imitate his moves along with the movies,” Ryusei told Barcroft TV.

LEAVING the busy city life behind and returning to nature has been a “magical” experience according to a couple who gave it all up to live in a custom house 40ft off the ground in rural Oregon. Dabney Tompkins, 61, and Alan Colley, 70, swapped high-paying jobs, expensive cars, and lively social lives in Dallas, Texas to live on 160 acres in a custom-built fire lookout tower. The couple initially moved from their large house in Dallas to a condo in Portland, and built the fire lookout property as a weekend getaway location in 2010. But in May 2014 the pair decided to try living in the house full-time and now say they couldn’t imagine going back.

A quadruple amputee is embracing her difference through the power of spoken word. Hannah Olateju, 18, from London, had all four of her limbs amputated after contracting meningitis, followed by gangrene, at just two and a half years old. After hiding behind dark clothes for years, Hannah’s confidence began to transform after a trip to Jamaica helped her to embrace her body. Now she shares her journey with 50,000 followers on Instagram and is using spoken word to share her personal journey with body confidence.

A 26-year-old woman with Down Syndrome – who didn’t start walking until she was two - has succeeded in the world of gymnastics and is now hoping for more success as a model. When doctors told Ray and Lisa Werner their daughter had Down syndrome, they were shocked - there had been no complications or warnings during the pregnancy. Doctors went on to tell the couple, from Oakland, California, that their daughter would have low muscle tone and be unable to excel at any physical activity, which has since been proven wrong as their daughter Chelsea now competes – and wins – in gymnastics competitions and, more recently, has taken to the catwalk as a model. Chelsea Werner is proof that determination and hard work go a long way.

A ten-year-old motorcycle racer is thrashing adults in competition while reaching speeds of 130mph. Kayla Yaakov, from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, developed a passion for racing at the age of five after she saw videos of her dad competing. After some persuasion, doting dad Dave took her to her first racing track and she started competing just a couple of months later. Now aged ten, Kayla has won countless races and titles and has set her heart on a professional career.

HOPE for a woman with one of the most severe cases of Lymphedema in the world has come in the form of a new therapy that will help reduce her massive leg swelling. Janice Greene, 53, has had Lymphedema all her life – a condition caused by blockage in the lymphatic system, resulting in lymph fluid collecting under the skin causing swelling. But in recent years, the swelling in Janice’s right leg reached such a level, the leg weighed 150 pounds by itself, prompting an expert in Lymphedema to claim Janice as one of the most severe cases in the US he’s ever seen.

DESPITE being born with an incredibly rare condition that makes her skin crack and shed, Bailey Pretak is redefining beauty standards - by becoming a beauty queen. Bailey, 31, has battled lamellar ichthyosis all her life, a genetic disorder that affects just one in 200,000 people worldwide and has no cure. Ichthyosis prevents the skin from separating cells at a normal rate, causing a dry and scaly appearance to the outer layer. This means Bailey, who resides in Wilcox, Pennsylvania, must exfoliate and moisturise her face, hands and feet on a daily basis, or her skin will peel and leave her in pain. Bailey was bullied as a child and called names like ‘scaly Bailey’ and ‘the contagious girl’. But despite the hardship she faced when growing up, Bailey has reached a point of happiness in her life, winning beauty pageants and leading motivational speeches for those in need.

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD double amputee is showing that her differences won't hold her back. Daisy-May Demetre, from Birmingham, UK was born with a condition called fibular hemimelia, a birth defect where part or all of the fibular bone in the leg is missing. In Daisy’s case she had one tiny fibular bone in one leg and on the other side it was completely missing. With Daisy's balance and mobility affected, Alex and Claire (Daisy’s mum) decided the best option was for their daughter to have below the knee amputations on both legs. After her operation, Daisy was fitted with prosthetic legs, and learnt to walk, run, jump - and more in them. Alex set up an Instagram account for Daisy, and following the attention she received they applied to Zebedee Management, a modelling agency for diverse models.

A tiny contortionist is amazing audiences with her foot archery skills in the world’s only kids circus. Lila Woodard, 12, joined Le PeTiT CiRqUe at nine and, according to her coach, is a “child prodigy”. Nicknamed Elastic Lila, the 4’7” spitfire has performed all over America and even performed at the Noble Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway last year. Nimble Lila now trains up to 30 hours a week in gymnastics, contortion, aerial arts foot archery and ballet.

Life in the 21st century can be very hard. The money, the tempo, the stress can really get to us, and if that’s not enough, we always have the mass media to tell us about something terrifying that happened half a planet away from us. It seems like everyday it gets harder and harder to enjoy the little things in life and just genuinely relax. But sometimes, there are stories like this one that makes us feel grateful to be human, grateful to be kind and grateful to have the ability to help others.

It is really easy to succumb to the pressure of society. It’s easier to not care at all about what is right and what is moral when you’re struggling for a piece of bread to get you through tomorrow. Having no shelter and living in 2018 BC without water and electricity is not something everyone can bear. It takes a lot of resilience and a bit of help from others to keep you on the right track.

We often see movies where there is that one person in the city who is trying their best to keep these people’s spirits lifted. They protect them from harm and from the evils lurking on every corner, they give them food and warmth and act as a shadow that watches their every step.

Each and everyone of us has grown up with one of these imaginary superheroes as idols. We all want to be like them but we have long accepted the fact that it can’t be done and it can never be real. After all, we don’t own a fortune our parents left us, nor do we have a cave where we can keep all of those fancy gadgets. We haven’t fallen to earth from outer space (that we know of) and we didn’t get bitten by a radioactive spider. We can’t just go and start jumping off of buildings and barging in other people’s homes unannounced. We just have to accept the fact that there are some rules of society and some laws that prevent us from going on this kind of an endeavor. Luckily for the people of <a href="" target="_blank">New York</a>, some residents have decided not to follow society’s rules and have actually become the real protectors of the city.

Meet the world’s first real life <a href="" target="_blank">superhero</a> couple - who patrol New York's streets confronting criminals and helping the needy. When Victoria’s Secret manager Nicole Lund’s love interest Chris Pollak claimed he was a superhero, she had no idea he was being serious. Now the crime-fighting duo patrol side-by-side across New York, with Nicole, 27, dressed as her leather-clad alter ego ‘Nykita’, and Chris, 33, as action man ‘Dark Guardian’. Confronting drug dealers has seen the couple threatened with violence and even death threats but the pair are determined to carry on making the streets a safer place.

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A woman has grown out her facial beard after years of shaving every day and refusing to let anyone touch her face. Nova, 26, from Virginia Beach, first started growing facial hair when she was just 12-years-old and began shaving it off after she was bullied. She wasn&rsquo;t diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), until she was 16-years-old. The condition causes a hormonal imbalance and can result in excess facial hair. The bearded beauty decided to grow out her luscious beard during No Shave November 2017 - and hasn&rsquo;t looked back since. Finally embracing her hair growth, proud partner Ash loves Nova's new furry face.

A woman, whose birthmark made her a viral meme, has used her online fame to help others with facial differences. Crystal Hodges, 26, from California, was born with a port wine stain birthmark on her left cheek, which induces extra blood flow to the face and affects the symmetry of her face and jaw structure. Up until 2014, Crystal was at peace with her birthmark until one day she came home from college to find that she had gone viral as a meme on Facebook. The meme - titled &lsquo;One Like = Beautiful&rsquo; - subjected her to brutal cyberbullying and it reached over 30 million views. Although the experience affected her confidence, Crystal decided to use her new online fame to expand her motivational speaking career to help other people with facial differences.

A QUADRUPLE amputee, who was given a less than 1% chance of survival, has overcome incredible odds to become a national trampoline champion. At the age of seven, Isabelle Weall, of Derby in the UK, suffered organ failure and a heart attack after contracting Meningitis, which resulted in her losing the lower part of her arms, and her legs to stop the infection spreading. But the 14-year-old&rsquo;s resilient spirit has led to an incredible list of achievements, including becoming a national trampoline champion and winning awards for her inspirational story. Isabelle, who trains twice a week, told Barcroft Media: &ldquo;At one point I did have a less than 1% chance of survival. With how well I&rsquo;m doing now, it&rsquo;s amazing that I took the 1%.&rdquo;

A WOMAN is playing cupid to the wealthy elite, with her services costing from $30,000. Taylor Francois-Bodine runs a matchmaking service from her home in Washington, DC, and travels throughout the USA for her clients. Taylor began her career whilst working for a private senator on Capitol Hill when her successful matchmaking for colleagues inspired her to take it up professionally. She now counts doctors, lawyers and celebrities amongst her wealthy clients and claims that her success rate for clients finding love is 85-90%.

A young woman living with a skin-hardening condition has found confidence with her &lsquo;Tragic Doll&rsquo; persona. At just nine-years-old Shirley Alvarez was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma, an autoimmune disease which hardens soft tissue throughout the body and can affect the entire body, including blood vessels. Within a matter of months, Shirley went from using a walker to being a full-time wheelchair user and had to quickly adapt to her new life. Shirley, from Queens, New York, created a new persona called the &lsquo;Tragic Doll&rsquo; to express how it feels to live with scleroderma.

A NEWLYWED ageing at twice the normal rate is refusing to let her condition slow her down. At 30-years-old, Challi Muguira is one of the oldest surviving people with progeria in the world. Progeria is a rare genetic disorder characterised by premature ageing, growth delay, short stature, small face and hair loss. Challi, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has a rare form, which was so unusual that it took doctors 16 years to formally diagnose her. Her form of progeria is different from the classic form and she does not age at quite the same rate, but is still mistaken for someone who is decades older. After meeting her partner online, Challi tied the knot with the love of her life in November 2017.

A TRAFFIC COP who measures a massive 7ft 6in is the tallest policeman in India - and possibly the world. Jagdeep Singh, from Punjab is so big he has to have his uniform especially made by a personal tailor and imports his enormous size 19 shoes from abroad. The colossal constable has been dubbed &lsquo;a monster&rsquo; on social media but has become a local celebrity, with locals constantly stopping him for selfies. Previously the world&rsquo;s tallest traffic cop was believed to be Rajesh Kumar, from Haryana in India, who is two inches smaller than Singh, at 7ft 4in.

AN INSTAGRAM model believes she has the biggest breasts in Germany following surgery to fit her third set of implants. Paris Herms, known as the &lsquo;Real Barbie of Berlin&rsquo;, has forked out more than &pound;35,000 on plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures to achieve her pneumatic doll-like appearance. While the 27-year-old German model loved her iconic namesake from playing with the dolls as a little girl, her cosmetic transformation began after she was bullied at school for being &lsquo;ugly&rsquo;. Paris&rsquo; grandma - with whom she still lives - paid for her first set of breast implants, and Paris has since had a nose job, facial fillers, and two more boob jobs taking her cup size up to an eye-popping 80 L. Paris currently has over 200,000 Instagram followers, and frequently posts lingerie-clad snaps from photoshoots, often garnering thousands of likes on the social networking site.

A MODEL who has undergone a double mastectomy has successfully relaunched her modelling career on a New York catwalk. Allyson Lynch, 30, started out as as a fit and catalogue model for alternative fashion brand Sourpuss clothing in 2014, but feared a breast cancer diagnosis would end her career before it could really take off. The young woman from Philadelphia found the lump during a routine breast exam when she was just 26 and elected to have a bilateral mastectomy for 'peace of mind.' Despite her fears, Allyson found that her experiences opened up even more doors for her modelling career and she hopes to encourage more survivors to embrace their new bodies.

FIVE-year-old prodigy Ramses Sanguino has astonished his mother by displaying signs of being TELEPATHIC. According to Nyx Sanguino, 32, Ramses is able to recite random numbers written in secret - and is now the focus of a scientific study on the subject. Nyx is used to being surprised by her child, who at just five is already learning seven languages and solving complex mathematical equations. The youngster from Los Angeles, California, is believed to be one of the top five savants in the world and Nyx posts videos of her son showing off his talents online. Now his exploits have even caught the eye of a respected neuroscientist - who is studying Ramses as part a cutting-edge research project into telepathy.

AN INSPIRATIONAL woman born without fully developed limbs is making waves in the motivational speaking and beauty blogging world. Sinikwe Kademaunga, from Harare, Zimbabwe, manages to do her own and others&rsquo; makeup and hair without hands - using just her arms, which end at the elbow. The pretty 24-year-old has an unknown disability that caused her limbs to stop growing in the womb, leaving her with shortened legs which stop before the knee. Sinikwe now educates about disabilities in her native country, and inspires thousands at her speaking events and online.

A YOUNG dancer with Tourette Syndrome is pursuing her dream career by using her 150 different tics to transform her movements. Cassidy Richardson, 20, was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at eleven but started displaying tics at seven-years-old and believed the disorder would stop her from ever dancing professionally. The dancer, who is training at Transit Dance School in Victoria, Australia, has learned to incorporate her tics into her movements and says she never feels more free than when she&rsquo;s dancing. While many still associate Tourette Syndrome with swearing, Cassidy wants to educate people about the different ways the syndrome can present.

A NEW YORK artist has transformed herself into a 'living art doll.&rsquo; Otherworldly performer Toshi Salvino, 24, has always been intrigued by dolls and the Harajuku style, so she has spent her life to transforming into an 'art doll'. The make up artist and hair stylist, originally from Pennsylvania, plans out three hours a day to become her doll self and wears her full doll look four to six days a week.

A SCARRED body confidence coach campaigns for other women to embrace both their bodies and scars. From a young age, Michelle Elman had 15 surgeries to correct an obstructed bowel, a punctured intestine, resect a brain tumour and remove a cyst in her brain. Michelle, from London, who also lives with hydrocephalus, quickly became aware of how different her body was to her peers and spent years hiding her scars away. After coming to terms with the trauma her body had been through, Michelle, now 24, decided to bare all and embrace her bikini body.


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