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Inspiring stories

On this page you will find life stories of people who have experienced something, as a result of which their lifes have been changed drasticly. Illness, handicaps, misfortunes or other apparently dramatic incidents.

It is remarkable that by them it is not seen as a misfortune, but on the contrary, as a gift to fulfill their mission in life.

Dick and Rick Hoyt

Dick and Rick Hoyt

Father and son Hoyt
For the outside world a fully handicapped son with a father who has a heart condition. Together they do the most severe triathlon in the US, the Iron Man and they are an example for the world! More ….

Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic
Born without arms and even without legs. It didn’t stop Nick from building an independent and happy life, and even give world-wide inspiring seminars about items like happiness, endurance and inner strength. More ….

Paul Potts

Paul Potts

Paul Potts
Being teased at school, could sing well but didn’t dare to do so in public. After first successes got cancer, conquered and won Idols. Now he is a well known opera singer with world fame.  More ….

Maarten van der Weijden

Maarten van der Weijden

Maarten van der Weijden
Talented sporter. Was confronted with leukaemia. Conquered this, recovered, trained and won a gold medal with swimming in 2008.  More ….

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong
Youngest world champion ever with 21 years. Tremendous will power. Got confronted after 4 years with tumors in brains and lungs and had little chance to survive. Recovered by the right medical support and the struggle that Lance entered upon against his cancer cells. As a miracle he ended up totally recovered. Then he won one of the most severe sporting competitions, the Tour de France, seven times in a row.

After having fought for his own cancer foundation for 3 years, in 2009 Lance will return in the cycling platoon to prove that you can do more than you think after cancer, even when you are 37 years old. This to generate world wide publicity for his foundation. More ….

Dick and Rick Hoyt

The inspiring family of Hoyt

A son says to his father: Dad, do you want to run a marathon with me? Despite his heart condition, the father says YES.

Together they run a marathon.

Son asks: Dad, do you want to run another marathon with me?
Dad says yes again.

One day the son asks his father: Dad, do you want to do the Ironman with me? The Ironman is the most severe triathlon that exists (4 km of swimming, 180 km of cycling and then 42 km of running).

Father at first has some objections because he can’t even swim, not to mention 4 kilometres.
But nevertheless he says yes again.

The story doesn’t sound very exciting until you see this inspiring film. What about conquering misfortunes?
Ivo Niehe showed an interview with the family Hoyt on Friday 12th of December 2008 in his tv-show.


Nick Vujicic

No arms no legs no worries

We take it all for granted. To get up in the morning, take a quick shower, make a breakfast and go to work. But what if you’re born without legs and without arms?

Nick Vujicic doesn’t make a problem of it. He has got just a “little drumstick” for foot, like he says himself, because his dog sometimes mistakes it for a chicken paw. Even better, he has made it into a gift, and he addresses the world how to live and deal with misfortunes, and make it a profit. Nick is a very remarkable person. He is from Australia, but meanwhile he isn’t often there any more. Nick travels around the world for his organization Life Without Limbs and he is a speaker in great demand who shares his mission with millions of people world wide.

But it wasn’t always that way. As a child Nick was teased by the other children. He couldn’t manage it and more and more he withdrew into himself. As a teenager he decided that it couldn’t go on like this. He wanted to take his own life. So he threw himself down from the sink on which he was placed. “I hoped I would break my neck”, he says. But nothing happened.

“The problem was”, he says now, “that I thought the circumstances had to change. Only then I could be happy. I let the circumstances lead me. And the circumstances were, in my case, without arms and legs, not always very nice.”

Nick’s mother, who looked at the struggle of her son, recommended him not to look at his limitations, but on the contrary to the good things. “I did so literally”, Nick says. “I sat down in front of the mirror and looked at myself. I thought for example that I had beautiful eyes. I said to myself: ‘Those eyes are mine, no one can take them from me.’ In that way bit by bit I learned to see the positive side of things. As a result I got peace in my heart and I learned, by trial and error, to give less attention to the circumstances, but to deal with them. Now I am a satisfied and happy person. All the other things don’t matter any more.” The short film below shows the rest of the story of Nick Vujicic with on the background the sound recorded during a religious reading of the strongly religious Nick.


Paul Potts

Story Paul Potts

Paul Potts always thought himself insignificant. He always thought himself different from other people and he got teased at school. He had one real friend, his voice. Singing was his “escape”. He discovered his real passion, but by lack of confidence and fear of rejection he never dared to take a step. In order to prevent a no he stayed in his comfortzone.

He became a salesman of mobile phones. His manager told him that he was a natural talent as a salesman, but he himself felt that it wasn’t true.  In 2000 he used his savings and the money he won at a show for a 3-months Masterclass in Italy. During that masterclass he amongst others learned from Pavarotti to sing even better. But in 2003 cancer was established….

His world collapsed, but in 2007 he showed that passion and talent conquer in the end.
Paul Potts wins Britain’s Got Talent. Since that time he follows his real passion and he lives his ‘destiny’.


Maarten van der Weijden

Story Maarten van der Weijden

Maarten van der Weijden conquered leukaemia, and became an olympic champion on the 10 kilometres in 2008. He will go down in history as the  Lance Armstrong of swimming. On the 12th of March 2001 acute lymphatic leukaemia was found on the Dutchman. As the only one of the room of eight patients in the Amsterdam hospital he conquered the severe illness. Maarten doesn’t see himself as the new Lance, and he is most grateful for the medical staff that helped him.  

“The doctors – and not just the power of positive thinking and my love of sport – have saved me. It taught me to think step by step and be patient. When you are in so much pain lying in a hospital bed you aren’t thinking about the next month, but the next hour. This is the same strategy I use in the pack when we are racing and waiting my chance. Seven and a half years ago I was fighting leukaemia. Because of the stem cell transplant I received I had the luck to recover. So everyone who has donated money to cancer research in the past, I am extremely grateful to them. Maybe I wouldn’t be here otherwise”.

Below a quotation from another article:

BEJING – Maarten van der Weijden has caused a great scoop in Bejing. The 27-year old mathematician, who seven years ago still fought against leukaemia, won as the first swimmer the olympic ten kilometres open water in Bejing.

Van der Weijden had to fight with death seven years ago. Since the 12th of March, when the diagnosis leukaemia was made, the fighter in Van der Weijden arose. At the same time that after the ninth place on the ten kilometres during the WK in Hawaii (2000) a promising sports career seemed to be stored for him. No less than half a year he lied in hospital, a period in which he went through four courses of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. The immense and exceedingly strong body held out and since that time Van der Weijden is a real different person.

At the last WK in Sevilla Van der Weijden really broke through. He conquered on the 25 kilometres open water and finished fourth in the ten kilometres. As one of the favorites for olympic gold he travelled then to Bejing, Today he wrote history there. It seems only a matter of time before his remarkable life story becomes known all over the world and the other former cancer patient who became a great champion, Lance Armstrong, reports to him.

Source: de Telegraaf

Furthermore Maarten van der Weijden has been chosen to sportsman of the year on the 16th of December 2008. He announced then the end of his carreer. “Everything comes to an end. I have new dreams, new goals”. Van der Weijden was prefered to the two other nominated: skater Sven Kramer and cyclist Lars Boom. ,,I wanted to show the world whatever is possible after cancer”, the swimmer said who recovered from leukaemia, before he told to say goodbye to swimming.

Source: Nu.nl (quotation)
The story of Maarten (November 2008):


Lance Armstrong

Story Lance Armstrong

When he was 21 years old, Lance Armstrong became the youngest world champion cycling ever. Partly due to his tremendous will power and talent.

Four years later all at once Lance was confronted with cancer, by which he had caught many brain and lung tumours and had little chance to survive. Lance recovered by a proper medical threatment and the fight he put up against his cancer cells. Curious enough he came out totally recovered.

His team had dismissed him, they didn’t see any chances in the battered Lance Armstrong. The cycling public also never expected him to come out that strong.

The one that really believed in Lance, was Johan Bruyneel, team manager and former cycling professional.
Johan convinced Lance to join the Tour, and doing so, to go for victory (see the book “We might as well win” by Johan Bruyneel).

Afterwards Lance won one of the most severe sports matches, the Tour de France, no less than seven times in a row under the supervision of Johan Bruyneel. Never in cycling history anyone has achieved this.

After 3 years of “fighting” for his own cancer foundation Live Strong, in 2009 Lance returned in the cycling peleton to prove that after cancer, even when you are 37 years old, you can do more than you think. This to generate world wide publicity and funds for his foundation. In the Tour de France of 2009, Lance Armstron even became third in the overall standing, just behind young rider Andy Schleck and Lance his team mate at Astana Alberto Contador. After the Tour Armstrong announced to start his own cycling team next year with sponsors Radio Shack and Livestrong. Perhaps Johan Bruyneel, a friend and coach for live, will help him to create a competitive team with Lance going for a another podium victory at the Tour de France of 2010.

You can see the story of Lance Armstrong in the YouTube film below:


Fragments successes Lance Armstrong.
Highlights from some of Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France years: 1999 – 2005″