All over the country people Live Fearless every day. They overcome obstacles, take on new challenges and embrace life to its fullest.

Faces of Fearless celebrates these people — people like you — who are running that race, climbing that mountain, taking the new job. Doing something you never thought you could do — stretching further than you ever thought possible.

Big and bold or quiet and strong, these moments — and all of you living them — are the Faces of Fearless.

Dani-Do

Dani Kinert's cerebral palsy never stops her from achieving her goals

Her grandfather nicknamed her “Dani-Do.” Dani Kinert was born with cerebral palsy and needed surgery shortly after being born. In the years since then, and despite many physical challenges, Dani continues to accomplish remarkable things and inspire the people around her. From a silver medals at the Special Olympic World games to golf and living independently, Dani’s fearlessness will inspire you, too.

Dani Kinert

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Pedaling through adversity

Stacy Kohl returns to a favored childhood activity to find her fearlessness again

Stacy loved bicycling as a child and into young adulthood. It was more than hobby. Seizures prevented her from getting a driver’s license. In her thirties she had brain surgery, which ended the seizures. Stacy traded her bike for a car and all was well for the next few years.

Over the decades, cycling came back into and out of Stacy’s life, but after losing both of her parents, she was at a low. In Stacy’s words, “I lost my cycling mojo and found myself slipping into a different mental state. My own health began to slip.”

Then Stacy’s personal health issues introduced challenges of their own. She lost two-thirds of her pancreas and became diabetic almost overnight, requiring insulin and pills to manage her blood sugar. It was the wakeup call that sent her back to cycling, the hobby that has always been there for her.

Her goal was bold and truly fearless: log 2,014 cycling miles in 2014. Within the first few months, Stacy came off insulin. By August, she had already met her 2,014 mile target. Shortly after, test results came back: no longer diabetic, and she had lost 25 pounds in the process.

Final tally: 2,600 miles logged in 2014. Stacy Kohl is definitely on a roll!

Stacy Kohl

Regence BlueCross BlueShield

Keeping heads above water

Flooding brings many fearless faces together for Heath Carll and countless others

Heath Carll had to act fast. The water was at three feet in the street. By the time he had packed up his kids to get to safety, it was to his shoulders. Fearless is leaving your home with only minutes to spare, but the courageous kindness of countless volunteers was the real revelation for heath.

Heath Carll

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

A mother's love makes for a fearless family

Alana Abney was in trouble. At 10 years old her kidneys were failing and she needed dialysis. Her mother’s faith and fearlessness shone through when she found out that against the odds, her kidney was a match for her daughter. In her words, “I don’t think I was nervous. I was happy. Let’s get this on the road.” Learn more about this family’s faces of fearless.

Alana and Teresa Abney

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

Today is someday

Losing loved ones helped Amber Mann focus on her dreams

Amber Mann lost her husband and her dog and was living with her sister when she felt the call to be fearless. Her daughter was her inspiration, “The thought of her pushed me to do what I couldn’t do before and become who I wanted to be.”

Fearless for Amber meant travelling to see places she’d always imagined. She took her daughter to see the redwood trees in Oregon and California, and the spirit of adventure just grew from there. This past summer she fulfilled a lifelong dream to see Alaska and danced on a glacier.

Once you start living fully, you want to share it with others. Now Amber volunteers with at-risk youth to encourage them to dream big. She asks, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid anymore? Life is a beautiful thing. Enjoy it instead of putting if off for someday.”

Amber Mann

Regence BlueCross BlueShield

Not scared to get their hands dirty for better health

Meet Myranda and Mee-Jean, who use the desire to be healthy for their children and Faces of Fearless as an opportunity to get in shape through a "mud run"

Sometimes it’s the little things that hold us back. Facing smaller fears teaches important lessons that can lead to greater confidence when future challenges arise. Meet Myranda and Mee-Jean, who use the desire to be healthy for their children and Faces of Fearless as an opportunity to get in shape through a “mud run”. As Mee-Jean says, “I want to do this because it’s time for me to get back in shape after having a baby four months ago.!”

Myranda and Mee-Jean

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

Like ducks to water

Meet Michael and Yolanda who use Faces of Fearless as an opportunity to learn how to swim

Not every fear is life threatening. Sometimes it’s the little things that hold us back. Facing those fears are important lessons that can lead to greater confidence when future challenges arise. Meet Michael and Yolanda who use Faces of Fearless as an opportunity to learn how to swim. As Michael says, “Full of faith, no fear!”

Michael and Yolanda

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

Adopting Change

Martha Knight's love overcomes all on the path to adoption

Martha Knight saw Minor for the first time at an orphanage in Honduras. In her words, “I couldn’t get him out of my heart.” The bureaucratic obstacles were huge, but she worked through them over four long years. Along the way, she would visit Minor two or three times a year, and every time it got harder to leave him behind. Learn more about the courage that carried them through.

Martha Knight

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

Split-decisions

Louise Gooche didn't let a cancer diagnosis deter her from becoming a cheerleader in her sixties and did her first full split at the age of 62

Louise Gooche became a cheerleader in her sixties and did her first full split at the age of 62. Then she was diagnosed with colon cancer. If you think that stopped her, then you don’t know Louise’s amazing and fearless spirit. Now she cheers again to promote active and healthy living for seniors.

Louise Gooche

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Head in the clouds

For Carol Silvestri, overcoming her fear of heights started with a single step

Carol Silvestri lived for years with a fear of heights that limited her opportunities and the adventure in her life. To Live Fearless for her meant planning a 26-mile hike along the Inca trail on the path to Machu Picchu, Peru.

She prepared for the challenge, training for six months hiking some of Pennsylvania’s hilliest terrain to prepare for thinner air at high altitudes and the precipitous drop-offs that famously border the trail.

The destination was amazing and beautiful, but for Carol it was truly about the journey, “From the valleys to the mountaintops, I felt joy in the grandeur of the Andes. In the end, the height didn’t matter at all!”

Carol Silvestri

Capital BlueCross

Fearless is... being brave for my grandfather

I had always wanted to give blood but was afraid to do it. Before my grandfather passed away he received several units of blood in the hospital. After he died I decided to give blood in memory of him. I was so proud of myself for facing my fears, and it felt good knowing I had helped save local lives. I even got my husband to give blood with me.

Laura Hromyak

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia

Fearless is... taking on a new adventure sport

I thought I'd done everything I was going to sports-wise. Who knew that I’d learn how to kayak after age 50… and LOVE it?

Rochelle Rabin

Independence Blue Cross

Fearless is... enjoying the adventure

I try to be a little fearless every day. Recently, I took my first bike-sharing ride on an Indego bicycle in downtown Philly. I also climbed a radio tower to help a friend who is a ham radio operator.

Michael Davis

Independence Blue Cross

Fearless is... becoming a father

Entering parenthood later in life takes fearlessness to a new level.

I got married at age 48 and at 54 just had my first child. That may not be the norm, but I couldn't feel more blessed. As my son's life begins, I feel young again, not to mention fearless.

Steven Sochay

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Fearless is... seeing yourself in a new light

For years I viewed my younger brothers and sisters as the smart ones in our family. They all had advanced degrees, while I only had a B.A. Shortly before I turned 50, I applied to Syracuse University’s online library science program and was accepted. The year began with an on-campus "boot camp," and I began to realize that it wasn't just about getting by. Instead I started to ask, "Is this good enough?" When I graduated, my GPA was over 3.9. By challenging myself, I earned more than a master's degree – I also learned to see myself as my siblings’ academic equal.

Ruth DuMont

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Fearless is... taking on the deep end

I recently conquered my fear of swimming by jumping from a diving board into 12 feet of water. I knew I could do it, and I did.

Jessica Morgan

Independence Blue Cross

Fearless is... never giving up

I went through a difficult time in my life when I lost many things and had to start over. With the help of family and friends I was able to stay focused, and now my life is better than ever. It was a long journey, but I took one day at a time and kept moving forward to achieve my goal. Life is good!

Michael Wolff

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Fearless is... a state of mind

In early 2016 my leg had to be amputated. I was not a star pupil during rehab, but doing my exercise regime diligently produced results. The greatest day was the test walk with my new leg. I knew everything was going to be better in an overwhelming way, and I would learn to walk again. Plus I was surrounded by my family’s love and never stopped feeling that love throughout my medical adventure. The picture was taken on my first day back at work, and the video shows my physical therapist helping me learn to climb steps again.

Ellen Schieber

Independence Blue Cross

Finishing fearless

Meet Keyisha, who uses Faces of Fearless as an opportunity to get in shape through a 5k run

Sometimes it’s the little things that hold us back. Facing smaller fears teaches important lessons that can lead to greater confidence when future challenges arise. Meet Keyisha, who uses Faces of Fearless as an opportunity to get in shape through a 5k run. As she says, “My goal is to not finish last while losing weight and living fearless!”

Keyisha

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

Fearless is… wearing BlueCross BlueShield socks to the Grand Canyon!

Renee Clark and I were headed to the FEP National Conference and stopped off at the Grand Canyon. We had to make a little BlueCross BlueShield memory of Live Fearless.

Ann Marie Usher

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

Fearless is… keeping up with my son

When most high-school students were planning summer trips with friends, my son Brian decided he wanted to visit Nicaragua. He and I went there on a humanitarian trip to bring aid to local children. Living Fearless is traveling to an unknown county. Living fearless is keeping up with my son's desire to show kindness. Living fearless is standing on top of Masaya Volcano.

Tyler Moulder

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

Courage is in her zip code

Sometimes it’s the little things that hold us back. Facing smaller fears teaches important lessons that can lead to greater confidence when future challenges arise. Meet Beth, who uses her recovery from breast cancer and Faces of Fearless as an opportunity to face her fear of zip-lining. As Beth says, “I’m scared, but I’m going to do it!”

Beth

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina

Fearless is... Conquering the Canyon and the rapids

When I was asked by my good friend and neighbor if I wanted to join him, his wife and 11 of our friends and family for a four-day Grand Canyon hike and whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River, I didn’t hesitate! 

But, I knew I had some work to do to be ready. There would be at least an eight mile hike down the Bright Angel trail to the river, plus an additional day of hiking, rock climbing and gear hauling. I powered through, rocked the Canyon and could have hiked eight more miles. 

It was an experience, an adventure and a memory of a lifetime!

Kathleen Stribrny

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona

Fearless is… creating

One of my lifelong dreams was to be a sci-fi/fantasy writer, and in 2012 I started writing. A few months later my life was turned upside down when my husband died of a massive heart attack. Our daughter was 9 at the time. Since then I have rebuilt my life one step at a time with my daughter. I have since remarried and started writing again about six months ago, and I recently had a flash fiction story accepted by a small U.K. press.

Julie Dollar

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.