Surviving & Thriving is a quarterly special that airs exclusively on WESH-TV. It's a program filled with hope, inspiration and possibility that shines a spotlight on those who refused to give in when confronted with the kinds of challenges nearly every family faces. From cancer to cardiac disease; the loss of a spouse to the loss of a job, Surviving & Thriving is about standing up and fighting for all that life has to offer and in some cases, for life itself. These battles are rarely fought alone. We all need inspiration from the examples of others who have not only survived but thrived in the aftermath of hardship. Surviving & Thriving provides those examples.
Nominated for Emmy Awards in its first three season, Surviving & Thriving is produced by Growing Bolder and hosted by three-time cancer survivor Wendy Chioji and WESH-TV's Jim Payne, with reports from Marc Middleton, Bill Shafer and Secily Wilson.
Charlotte Stewart, who played the beloved and wholesome teacher Miss Beadle on the Little House series, rips the petticoats off her “good girl” image and reveals that in her real life, things weren’t so G-rated. From road trips with Jim Morrison to partying with Bill Murray, she’s dishing the dirt and explaining how it’s never too late for any of us to start over again.
Melissa Etheridge is one of America’s most talented and original performers and someone who’s made it her mission in life to keep taking risks. We catch up with this legend to find out how her cancer diagnosis changed her life and inspired her to keep taking exciting new risks, like her new album inspired by the very roots of rock and roll.
Connie Curry laced up her first pair of skates at the age of 60, only to become a championship figure skater by the age of 77. She explains how it’s just the latest thing she’s learned to do throughout her life, including not learning how to read until she was in college due to a serious health challenge. She’ll inspire you to keep growing!
John Seevers was born with birth defects in both legs. A series of surgeries led doctors to perform a double rotation — turning his forward-facing feet backwards. He doesn’t want you to feel sorry for him or to tell him to “hang in there.” He wants you to watch him racing hard against able-bodied swimmers, setting records in the process, and realize that we’re all capable of standing tall.
What happens when an athlete who is mostly non-verbal or very shy comes alive in front of the camera? Magic. Step inside the studio for a day of media training with Special Olympians, and find out how you can help their dreams come true.
Find out how one man has evolved from a college dropout to enlisting in the Army and becoming an Army chaplain’s assistant on the frontlines of the war in Iraq to his current life: a husband, father of two and first-year med student — at the age of 40.
Growing Bolder contributor and Surviving & Thriving host Wendy Chioji is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, an adventurer racer, a world traveler, and a two-time cancer survivor in the midst of another battle against the disease. Yet it hasn’t stopped her from living life boldly. Find out why she calls worrying “wasted energy.”
Susan Helmrich is a three-time cancer survivor, a world-ranked masters swimmer and one of the country’s top health and wellness coaches. Get inspired by her passion for not only surviving but thriving as well.
Donna Dowless is an artist as well as Orlando’s Official Ambassador of Love, appointed to the position by Mayor Buddy Dyer in 2007. In the aftermath of Pulse nightclub tragedy, Donna’s love has never been more needed and more appreciated than it is now.