StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

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10:01pm

Thu March 15, 2012
StoryCorps

After Tragedy, An Aunt Plays A New Role: Parent

Laura (left) and Phil Donney (right), with their Aunt Abby, whom they call "Tabby."
Liebman Family Photo

One night in 1995 completely reshaped the lives of Phil and Laura Donney. Their parents were arguing, and their father stabbed their mother, killing her. Phil was 7; his sister was 4.

Ken Donney was sent to prison, and the children went to live with their mother's sisters.

Phil, 23, recently sat down with his aunt, Abby Leibman, the twin sister of his mother, Nina Leibman.

"What was it like becoming a parent to my sister and I overnight?" Phil asks.

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4:21pm

Wed March 7, 2012
StoryCorps

A Mom Becomes A Man, And A Family Sticks Together

Les and Scott GrantSmith visited StoryCorps in San Diego to discuss how they moved on together, after a crisis point.
StoryCorps

This spring, Les and Scott GrantSmith will mark their 25th wedding anniversary. The couple raised two daughters along the way. But 15 years ago, they hit a crisis that nearly shattered their family. Les was keeping a secret, and that became a problem. But they solved it as a family, in a way that kept them together and happy.

In the weeks leading up to that day back in 1997, Les was certain of two things: She was a mother who loved her daughters — and she was also transgender, the term for someone born in a body of the wrong sex.

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1:41am

Fri March 2, 2012
StoryCorps

'Life Is Really Good,' Says Cancer Survivor, 12

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 6:27 am

Jennifer Coursey with her son, 12-year-old Grant Coursey, at StoryCorps in Ukiah, Calif.
StoryCorps

When Grant Coursey was a toddler, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer often found in young children. A tumor had wrapped itself around Grant's spinal cord and had grown so that it pushed against his lungs.

Now 12, Grant is cancer-free; he received his first "clean" scan 10 years ago in March 2002. He had to undergo several procedures to rid his body of the cancer.

Recently, Grant and his mother, Jennifer, sat down to talk about his young life and how cancer has affected it.

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3:29am

Sun February 26, 2012
National Teachers Initiative

A Vietnam Vet Teaches More Than The Alphabet

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:20 am

Ron Cushman taught kindergarten and second grade for nearly 30 years. Jamie Marks, 16, is one of many students Cushman is still in touch with.
StoryCorps

Ron Cushman's journey to teaching started when he was wounded in the Vietnam War. He joined the Marines in 1968, at the age of 19. He was severely injured the following year.

"I was a scout in the Marine Corps, and I must have stepped on a land mine or a booby trap. That's all I remember," he says.

Cushman's right hand was mangled and eventually amputated.

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10:01pm

Thu February 16, 2012
StoryCorps

Professor Hits A Wall And Falls In Love

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

Gwendolyn Diaz and her husband, Henry Flores, at StoryCorps in San Antonio.
StoryCorps

Henry Flores was walking down the hallway at St. Mary's University in San Antonio when he noticed that the last office in the hallway's door was open.

"I just kind of looked inside to see who was in there, and I saw a flash of ankle, and I saw this blond hair, and I went smack-dab into the wall," says Flores, who is now a professor of political science and dean of the graduate school at St. Mary's.

It was the mid-1980s and Gwendolyn Diaz, who had just joined the university faculty, was sitting in the office.

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