Jim Wienhoff's life is on hold. After receiving a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis in 2014, he was given six months to live without chemotherapy and three years with chemotherapy. He decided a third option was his best path. Wienhoff instead decided to pursue Gerson therapy, an alternative treatment method not approved by the FDA for use as a cancer treatment in the United States.
Sam Karoll's life experiences transcend his young age. Karoll, 26, was born in Atlanta and adopted by Monty and Laura Karoll of Quincy when he was 6 months old.
Through a civil war and several setbacks, Dr. Emmanuel Bessay never gave up his dream of practicing medicine. He is a native of Liberia, a country first formed as a colony for free-born American blacks.
A lifetime of advocating for others has helped Dawn Whitcomb open up about and cope with her son's suicide. Whitcomb found her son, Dylan Muldoon, after he committed suicide at 18 in November 2015, and she now suffers from PTSD. A breast cancer survivor, she had been an advocate for that cause. After Dylan's death, her focus shifted.
Everyone knows him as Toby Dick Ellis, but to his family, he is still Richard. Born in 1927 in Minneapolis, Richard Elsenpeter's early years came at the height of the Great Depression. "Nobody knew it," he said. "Everybody was poor, but you didn't know that. Everybody was in the same boat."
Dennis Boden has served his country as a soldier, his community as a police officer and his family by adopting an orphaned relative. "My wife told me once, ‘In your lifetime, there's only been three things you've ever stuck with. Me being the first, and I thank you very much for that, but you've always stuck with your work and the military.'"
Dennis Williams was the troubled kid in school. Today, he runs Quincy Teen Reach. "What my teachers didn't know was I had two parents that were alcoholics, that practiced all the time," Williams said. "My father only came home on the weekends. When my dad did come home, he was very violent."
As an aimless young adult, the Rev. Bishop E.L. Warren had a spiritual moment - what he considers an awakening - that would alter the path of his life. Warren grew up on St. Louis Ave. and Union Blvd., in the heart of the St. Louis ghetto.