14 Stories of Overcoming the Odds
Jackie did in fact survive—though she was left with impaired vision and a loss of short-term memory. When she appeared on The Oprah Show in 1988, she told Oprah that she had to go through a forgiving process after the hijacking, but she made the choice to be happy and move on with her life.
Kelly was eventually adopted by a couple in Seattle, but the obstacles did not stop there. At age 11, she was diagnosed with leukemia. With fight and determination, Kelly overcame her disease and went on to become a healthy and successful adult. "These obstacles that had happened in my life gave me strength and fueled my motivation to live and to succeed and to go on," Kelly says.
After his time in prison, Caron took big steps to change his life. He returned to high school and joined the basketball team. His success there landed him a basketball scholarship with the University of Connecticut, and he quickly became one of the team's star players. Today, Caron has a successful career in the NBA and is living the life he always dreamed of!
As the girls stood on Oprah's stage in 2006, Oprah announced that she'd flown their parents to Chicago for a surprise reunion.
In 2006, Oprah selected Elie's book Night as one of her Book Club picks.
When he appeared on The Oprah Show in 2006, Ty had undergone more than 30 surgeries and extensive physical therapy—and Renee never left his side. The couple married in October 2006, and Renee says she never had any intention of leaving Ty. "I didn't date him and marry him because of what he looked like," she says. "I married him because of who he is."
Isaiah says it was his mother's spirit that drove him to achieve his dreams: He graduated from Harvard with honors and led his team to their first Ivy League title in nearly a decade. After college, he fulfilled his childhood dream of playing in the NFL.
In May 2008, Charice flew 15 hours to showcase her talent on The Oprah Show. She stole the show with a soul-stirring rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," and she has been blowing away her fans ever since.
Before he got out, John saw the people around him strapped into their seats, burning. As he watched, he says he noticed what appeared to be auras leaving their bodies, some brighter than others. "I thought, 'The brightness and dimness of the auras were how one lives one's life,' so to speak," he says. "That's one of the major things that really has changed within me ... I want to live my life so my aura, when it leaves, is very bright." Today, John is left with severe pain from the crash and has to use a walker, but he says he will never forget the lessons her learned on that plane.
Oprah talked to Cody in 2009, when he was 6 years old. "These are my running legs, and I run very fast in them, and I bounce in them," Cody told Oprah. "Since I have different legs, I can do anything."
By 1998, her dream started to come true. Tererai moved to Oklahoma with her husband and five children. Just three years later, she earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education. In 2003, Tererai obtained her master's degree. After every achievement, Tererai returned home to Zimbabwe, unearthed her tin of dreams and checked off each goal she accomplished, one by one. When Tererai appeared on The Oprah Show in December 2009, she had just realized her greatest dream of all: a doctoral degree.
Three months after the accident, the couple decided to try for more children. On their first attempt with in vitro fertilization, Lori became pregnant with triplets—two girls and a boy. Almost exactly a year after Kyle, Emma and Katie died, Lori gave birth to Ashley, Ellie and Jake! "They'll never replace Kyle, Emma and Katie," Lori told Oprah in 2010. "But the joy is back in the house. It's back in our hearts. They fill our lives again with love and happiness and laughter."