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Ten People Who Beat Incredible Odds

Updated on March 17, 2015

A certain type of person simply refuses to give up in the face of overwhelming odds. These are people who accomplish what others only dream of attempting, the kind of people who will not quit no matter what hardship may come their way. These are ten of the most dramatic examples of this type of person.

Nick Vujicic has used his disability as an opportunity  to inspire others around the world.
Nick Vujicic has used his disability as an opportunity to inspire others around the world. | Source

# 1: Nick Vujicic

Few people can imagine a life without the use of their limbs. Nick Vujicic, however, does not even know what life would be like with limbs. He was born in 1982 without his arms and legs. Despite this, Vujicic has an attitude about life that is simply incredible. He was often teased growing up, but he knew in his heart that he could make his mark on the world. Vujicic started a non-profit organization called "Life Without Limbs." He spends his time traveling around the world as an inspirational speaker sharing his story of love and hope.

Dawn Loggins' story proves that no one is a slave to their circumstances.
Dawn Loggins' story proves that no one is a slave to their circumstances. | Source

# 2: Dawn Loggins

As she grew up, Dawn Loggins experienced a cycle of poverty that would have discouraged most people. Loggins, however, is not most people. Even when she was abandoned by drug addicted parents, she used her difficult circumstances to motivate her to study hard. She graduated high school with an "A" average and the once-homeless Loggins is set to attend Harvard in 2016.

While growing up she had to deal with wearing the exact same dress several days in a row, studying by candlelight and wearing coats indoors because the power had been shut off. Nonetheless, during her sophomore year in high school her academic achievement earned her the opportunity to attend the North Carolina Governor's School camp. When she returned her parents had left. Loggins was homeless, but decided to adjust and was able to move in with a friend and complete her studies. She believes her life has simply been a challenge that has made her stronger.

Patrick Bet-David became an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur and philanthropist in spite of starting from nothing.
Patrick Bet-David became an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur and philanthropist in spite of starting from nothing. | Source

# 3: Patrick Bet-David

Patrick Bet-David was a child in Iran during the 1970s, which meant he witnessed all the effects of his country's revolution. After spending two years in a refugee camp in Germany, he and his mother were able to come to the United States when Bet-David was 12 years old. After he grew up he spent time in the U.S. military and eventually worked in the financial industry.

Bet-David worked his way up to a top firm, but eventually became bored there. That is why he started his own business, called People Helping People. It started slowly, but today is one of the fastest growing financial firms in the country. Not bad for a guy who once had parents of other children point to him and say he would never become anything!

Chad Mureta did not allow a horrific accident or the collapsing real estate economy to slow him down.
Chad Mureta did not allow a horrific accident or the collapsing real estate economy to slow him down. | Source

# 4: Chad Mureta

Originally a real estate investor, Chad Mureta created an entirely new business after surviving a serious car accident that almost took his life. He had a large amount of debt to pay off when he left the hospital; after reading about mobile apps from a magazine while being treated, he decided to completely reinvent his career and create an app called Fingerprint Security. It soon became one of the most popular smartphone apps available. To date he has created 46 apps that have been downloaded over 35 million times all over the world.

Prizewinning penmanship is an impressive achievement for anyone, let alone someone who, like Annie Clark, has no hands.
Prizewinning penmanship is an impressive achievement for anyone, let alone someone who, like Annie Clark, has no hands. | Source

# 5: Annie Clark


Sitting in the home of Annie Clark is a trophy that came with a $1,000 award for a penmanship competition. This is impressive for anyone; for Annie Clark, it is incredible, since she does not have any hands. At seven years old, this amazing girl writes by lodging the pencil into part of her arm. Her parents are understandably proud of their daughter's achievement, but even more so that their daughter is able to dress herself, eat with no assistance and use her computer.

Bethany Hamilton continued to surf after the shark attack, along with her outreach work.
Bethany Hamilton continued to surf after the shark attack, along with her outreach work. | Source

# 6: Bethany Hamilton

Some people let traumatic experiences ruin their lives; people like Bethany Hamilton, however, grow from them. In 2003 Hamilton, a dedicated surfer, was attacked by a tiger shark. She lost her left arm in the attack and almost lost her life. This experience would have deterred many from ever surfing again, but Hamilton was back in the water, on her surfboard and winning surfing competitions within a few months. She was the inspiration for the movie Soul Surfer.

J. K. Rowling's persistence and determination took her from being a penniless single parent to one of the most popular and successful authors in history.
J. K. Rowling's persistence and determination took her from being a penniless single parent to one of the most popular and successful authors in history. | Source

# 7: J. K. Rowling

Seven years after completing her university studies, J.K. Rowling looked at her life and felt she was a total failure. She was divorced, a single mother, living on welfare and feeling very depressed. Then she realized she had a daughter she loved, an old typewriter and a story that was waiting to be written. She began to write this story whenever she could find the time. Rowling's favorite spots were cafes, especially Nicolson's Cafe. Walking there was the best way to get her child to fall asleep. In 1995 she finished her first Harry Potter manuscript. After being rejected by 12 different publishing houses, it was eventually accepted. J.K. Rowling's story became a record-setting success. The Harry Potter series has sold tens of millions of copies around the world, and the receipts from the Harry Potter movies total over a billion dollars.

Hellen Keller faced almost unimaginable handicaps , but she refused to allow them to hold her back.
Hellen Keller faced almost unimaginable handicaps , but she refused to allow them to hold her back. | Source

# 8: Helen Keller

Helen Keller was born both blind and deaf, but that did not stop her from learning to write. She wrote a short story when she was 11 years old and her biography at the age of 21. Keller was taught how to communicate by her dedicated teacher Annie Sullivan, and eventually became a leader in the woman's suffrage movement.

Stephen Hawking has become of his field's most respected figures of all time.
Stephen Hawking has become of his field's most respected figures of all time. | Source

# 9: Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking knew he wanted to be a scientist when he was eight years old. When he grew up he went to Oxford University and then Cambridge University, where he earned his Ph.D. When he was 21 years old, Hawking was told he had ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. He was given only two years to live. However, he not only has lived far longer than that, he went on to make major discoveries in the world of science. Although he has almost no ability to move his body, he uses a computer to communicate. Hawking has written books, held teaching positions and been featured on television programs.

Many historians feel World War II could have progressed very differently without FDR's leadership.
Many historians feel World War II could have progressed very differently without FDR's leadership. | Source

# 10: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the 32nd president of the United States and the only one who was paralyzed from the waist down. He contracted polio in 1921, but was determined not to let the disease limit him. Roosevelt served as president for four terms and is credited with guiding the United States through World War II.

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