The Most Inspiring Stories of 2017 You Need to Know About

  • 12. Artist Born Without Hands Draws Stunning Photo-Realistic Portraits Polish-based Mariusz Kędzierski was shockingly born without hands, and yet not even that could stop him from pursuing a career as an artist. "For me, a disability doesn’t mean that I can’t live my own, great life," he tells The Huffington Post. Kędzierski has created over 700 hyper-realistic drawings by balancing a pencil against the ends of his arms. He says of his work, "Each drawing takes me more than 20 hours. But if you want to be the best, you have to practice, and you can not look for any excuses." Follow all of his uploaded masterpieces on Facebook. Mariusz-Kedzierski-Art-8  
  • 13. A Tearful Reunion of a Refugee Father with his Family After 4 Years This film by Robert Fuqua shows the heartwarming reunion between a Sudanese mother and children, who had moved to America in 2012, and the father, Dyan, who had stayed behind in a refugee camp until the immigration process had been finalized. Dyan's wife was pregnant when she first arrived in the U.S. and was quickly taken under the care of a Christian ministry called The Village Church. She was unsure if her two sons would ever see their father again. And then, just a few months ago, Dyan's immigration status was approved. This video shows the moment when Dyan steps off the plane and sees his wife, his eldest son, and for the first time, the newest addition to his family. He is home again, and you can feel the love. [embed][/embed]
  • 14. 70-Year-Old Woman Runs a Marathon on Every Continent in Just 7 Days If there was an Iron Woman movie, Chau Smith would be its leading role. In March of this year, Smith completed the Triple 7 Quest: a running challenge which requires participants to travel to Perth, Australia; Singapore; Cairo, Egypt; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Garden City, New York; Punta Arenas, Chile; and King George Island, Antarctica. Immediately following the marathon, Smith would hop on a plane to her next destination, recover with a restful sleep in a hotel, and then run another 26 miles the next morning. She also just celebrated her 70th birthday! Running has always been a hobby of hers. Prior to this challenge, Smith had completed 70 marathons between running her dry-cleaning business in Independence, Missouri. Although a veteran runner, every race deserves proper training. For this challenge, Smith tells CNN, "It took me eight months to train. The last four months, I really put in long, long runs. Every week, I ran from 15 miles to 130 miles." Her next goal? To complete the Triple 8 Quest—which involves a marathon on each continent plus the microcontinent of Zealandia.