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Stories to inspire you.

A child sees her mother as capable, protective, nurturing. She is there to discipline, but also to doctor scraped knees and egos, and to get excited about accomplishments big or small. But when a mother becomes ill, how can she help her child understand that life is fragile?

Julie Miller is living with lupus, an autoimmune disorder with no cure and with symptoms that perplex doctors. Yet, more than 1.5 million Americans—ninety percent of them women—are currently affected by this disease. What's even more staggering is the fact that had Julie not pursued her gut feeling that her symptoms were more than the result of stress and anxiety, she would not be alive. 

Life is good. And through the lens of a camera, it's even better, especially for Terri Gillis. As the owner of her own photography studio in Rockford, Terri is invited into life's most precious moments and is utterly thrilled to capture time and make it last forever. 

When she was working as a marketing coordinator in Grand Rapids, Carla Flanders' boss asked her what her ideal job would be. Carla said she wanted to meet great people, plan big events, and be the behind-the-scenes person responsible for putting all of the big-picture pieces into place. Several years and several job titles later, Carla has seen this hope turn into reality. 

Liz Merriman, whose first degree and career were in welding, is used to working in a male-dominated field. As a graduate of Compass College of Cinematic Arts, the producer and production manager is on set with mostly men. But that doesn’t intimidate this go-getter, who was Compass College’s first-ever female valedictorian.

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