It wasn’t all bad
Eight months ago, Kiko Matthews was in the hospital recovering from brain surgery. Now the 36-year-old Briton has become the fastest woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Matthews nearly died from a tumor caused by Cushing’s disease in 2009 and survived a second tumor on her brain last year. Wanting to give back to the London hospital that saved her life, the former teacher set off on a 3,000-nautical-mile fundraising trek from Gran Canaria to Barbados. Matthews completed the voyage in a record 50 days and raised more than $120,000. “Anyone can attempt anything given the right attitude, belief, and support,” says Matthews.
Not even triplets can slow down Ann Marie Cody. The California mom of three just broke her second Guinness World Record, becoming the fastest woman to complete a marathon while pushing a triple stroller. Cody and her 15-month-olds, who together with the stroller added 120 pounds to the strenuous feat, already hold the half-marathon record. For both races, Cody raised funds for the neonatal unit where her three preemies received care. “It’s fun to break records,” she says, “but more important to help support the hospital that took such good care of us.”
When a father and his 4-day-old daughter became stranded at a Phoenix airport, a stranger stepped in to save the day. Rubin Swift had flown from Cleveland to pick up his newborn, of whom he had just gained custody, and was boarding a plane with his daughter when the airline unexpectedly told him she needed to be at least 7 days old to fly. With no money for a hotel, a desperate Swift called hospital volunteer Joy Ringhofer, whom he’d met hours before—and she kindly offered up her home for three days. “I didn’t expect her to say, ‘I’m coming to get you,’” said Swift.