It wasn’t all bad
When Jessie Rix joined Achilles International to be a guide for disabled and blind athletes, little did she know she would be blinded herself—by love. The first time Jessie Rix met blind runner Anthony Butler, she was drawn to his happiness and optimism. Rix chose to be his guide, and the pair began training for a marathon, running together connected by a tether. Friendship blossomed into love as Rix saw Butler’s formidable spirit. Butler has now completed six marathons, four of them with Rix. “He’s got an amazing perspective on everything,” Rix said.
Ho: A bet on kindness
In April, a Los Angeles–based Hong Kong native set out to rollerblade across America to empower women and prove kindness exists. Lugging a 43-pound backpack with no cash, Yanise Ho, 23, relied completely on the benevolence of strangers for food and shelter during her seven months on the road. For Ho, it was a bet on humanity. “I just always believe people are kind,” she says. Last week, Ho completed her 3,850-mile journey from Miami to Portland, Ore. She raised $33,000 for One Girl Can, a nonprofit that funds girls’ education in Kenya and Uganda—and made more than 1,000 friends along the way.
Emily Scheck, 19, was left with only $20 to her name when her parents disavowed her after they discovered she was gay. A cross-country runner at Canisius College in Buffalo, Scheck barely had enough money for food. A teammate launched a GoFundMe campaign for Scheck, but Scheck faced another hurdle: NCAA rules ban donations to amateur athletes, forcing Scheck to choose the money over her eligibility to play college sports. After an outpouring of public pressure, the NCAA relented, letting Scheck keep her donations and keep competing. As for her parents, Scheck says, “I hope to someday have a relationship again.” ■