Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Happy Birthday to Gloria Estefan - September 1
Gloria Estefan from Bio.true story
Singer. She was born Gloria Fajardo on September 1, 1957, in Havana, Cuba. As a toddler Estefan fled Cuba with her family when Communist dictator Fidel Castro rose to power. Her father, Jos˜O Manuel Fajardo, had been a Cuban soldier and bodyguard of President Fulgencio Batista.
After coming to the United States, Fajardo was recruited into the 2506 Brigade, a Central Intelligence Agency-funded band of Cuban refugees that was involved in the unsuccessful 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. After President John F. Kennedy negotiated the release of the captured soldiers, Fajardo rejoined his family. He eventually joined the U.S. Army and served for two years in Vietnam.
As a child Estefan liked to write poetry, and though she took classical guitar lessons, she found them tedious. She had no inkling that she would some day become a popular music star, but music played a very important role for her as a teenager.
After her father's return from Vietnam, he was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis, possibly as a result of having been exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange while serving in the army. Estefan's mother, who had been a teacher in Cuba, worked to support the family during the day and attended school at night. Young Gloria was left to take care of her father and younger sister. She had little social life, and because she felt the weight of such responsibilities she turned to music as a release.
"When my father was ill, music was my escape," Estefan told Washington Post reporter Richard Harrington. "I would lock myself up in my room for hours and just sing. I wouldn't cry—I refused to cry...Music was the only way I had to just let go, so I sang for fun and for emotional catharsis."
Okay I'm thinking here. Here is this young girl, born in Cuba. Her family had to flee during the Cuban Revolution. Her dad is gone a lot with the military and then comes home with MS. How does one get from being a refugee and all those obstacles to a famous singer? She started in 1980 - 29 years ago! She never gave up.
“The sad truth is that opportunity doesn't knock twice. You can put things off until tomorrow but tomorrow may never come. Where will you be a few years down the line. Will it be everything you dreamed of. We seal our fate with the choices we take, but don't give a second thought to the chances we take.”
Or what about this story -
Never say NEVER or that you can't do something!
Jessica Cox, 25, a girl born without arms, stands inside an aircraft. The girl from Tucson, Arizona got the Sport Pilot certificate lately and became the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet.
Jessica Cox of Tucson was born without arms, but that has only stopped her from doing one thing: using the word "can't."
Her latest flight into the seemingly impossible is becoming the first pilot licensed to fly using only her feet.
With one foot manning the controls and the other delicately guiding the steering column, Cox, 25, soared to achieve a Sport Pilot certificate. Her certificate qualifies her to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet.
"She's a good pilot. She's rock solid," said Parrish Traweek, 42, the flying instructor at San Manuel's Ray Blair Airport.
Parrish Traweek runs PC Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Services and has trained many pilots, some of whom didn't come close to Cox's abilities.
"When she came up here driving a car" Traweek recalled, "I knew she'd have no problem flying a plane."
Doctors never learned why she was born without arms, but she figured out early on that she didn't want to use prosthetic devices.
Jessica Cox, 25, earned a license to fly airplanes on October 10, 2008. Jessica also has two black belts in Tae Kwan-Do, a college degree in Psychology, and a thriving career as a motivational speaker. What doesn't Jessica Cox have? Arms. A bilateral congenital limb deficiency doesn't stop Ms. Cox from achieving and surpassing her goals. From birth on, her feet became her hands. She can drive a car, type 25 words per minute, and fly an airplane using her feet, without any special adaptations. She is the first woman without arms to earn a license to fly.
"I highly encourage people with disabilities to consider flying," Cox said. "It helps reverse the stereotype that people with disabilities are powerless into the belief that they are powerful and capable of setting high goals and achieving them."
Jessica earned her Sport Pilot certificate after training with Able Flight, a North Carolina flight training company that specializes in helping people with disabilities learn to fly. Ms. Cox won an Able Flight scholarship and was able to train with instructor Parrish Traweek free of charge.
Now we can't all be hero's like these two women, but we can be little hero's . . .