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Success Stories

Theater Brings a Community Closer Together

A girl holds her doll.
Raised in an impoverished village in Armenia, Mariam has hardly left her home in nearly 20 years. Confined to a wheel chair because of her cerebral palsy, Mariam never went to school or learned to read and write. She spent her days sitting outside, looking for children to talk to as they passed by and inviting them to play.
“We were launching a theater group with the involvement of children with special needs,” explained Tamara, a psychologist with a CFC-supported organization. “[The organization was] recruiting children when we met Mariam.

Zaynab's Story: A Pathway to Education

Zaynab doesn’t remember the moment a coalition aircraft dropped a bomb on her family’s home north of Basra. It was 2003, just months after coalition forces entered Iraq, and she was about to turn 10. Her mother, two brothers and 14 other relatives were immediately killed, while Zaynab was so horribly injured that doctors had to amputate one of her legs. 
“Lots of other children were also badly injured like me, and have had to live with the impact ever since – it was like our lives were already over,” Zaynab said. “The war didn’t improve life for us in Iraq.

Nature Nurtures Youth

Since 1973, a program run by a CFC-supported organization has promoted the creation of certified schoolyard wildlife habitats across America. These school gardens are learning laboratories and outdoor classrooms where students engage in active, hands-on learning as they design, plant and tend gardens. In the process, kids discover and connect with nature – and sometimes even with themselves. 
One teacher’s experience at a middle school in Virginia is especially moving.

Education as a Tool Against Violence

Dark curly hair. Sweet and piercing eyes. The ability to engage her interlocutor with innocence and, at the same time, ancient wisdom. Inaam is a child of war. During her short but extremely intense lifetime, she has known little besides violence, deprivation and uncertainty. 
Inaam was born on March 15, 2011, the very day the Syrian Civil War broke out in her country. This war would eventually lead to the death of at least 250,000 people. Since her birth, Inaam has known nothing except a life shaped by conflict.

Unexpected Support Brings Hope to David and His Family

On Christmas Eve in 2013, 7-year-old David had a fainting spell and was rushed to the emergency room. Doctors suspected he had cancer and sent him to a specialized CFC-supported research facility. There, tests confirmed that David suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Life-Changing Research: Tristan's Beginning

Premature delivery was anticipated for Tristan, so his mother, who was active in the U.S. Navy, was given a round of drugs to help develop his lungs. The doctors were attempting to treat him in utero by administering drugs to his mother, but after many specialist appointments, Tristan’s mother was rushed to the hospital – Tristan's heart was no longer responding to the drugs and fluid was beginning to build up around his heart. 
Tristan was delivered by C-section at 30 weeks gestation.

Hugo Finds Hope in a Helping Hand

Hugo proudly served as a soldier in the United States Army and deployed to Iraq in 2004 to serve his country. Upon arriving to Baquba, Iraq, as a member of the 1st Infantry Division, also known as “Big Red One,” they immediately took on responsibilities that included security patrolling, VIP escort duty and guard watch. On June 21, 2004, Hugo’s patrol was ambushed and he was shot, once in the back and once in the arm. Seriously injured, Hugo found himself near a buried explosive, which detonated.

A Bright Future for Greyhounds

On her first greyhound rescue, a woman walked through a dingy, dark racing kennel filled with a hundred hopeless retiring greyhounds, all stacked in wire crates, on top of each other, waiting for someone to want them. She could only take eight greyhounds. As she walked past each kennel and looked into their eyes, she tried to pick out the neediest of those skinny, flea-and-tick-infested, miserable little greyhounds that she knew no one else would take.
She was compelled to stop by one particular crate.

New Research and Clinical Trials Bring Hope

women and young girl
A CFC-funded organization is bringing light to the science of cognition research for people with Down syndrome – they have developed a public/private partnership for the world’s first clinical trial targeting Alzheimer’s disease-like characteristics in those with Down syndrome.
Maureen, a supporter of the organization and mother of a young boy with Down syndrome, watched her mother’s memory erode, and then faced Alzheimer’s disease for the second time in her family. 
“The first was the day I learned my son, Charlie, who is only four years old, i

Finding Independence During Recovery

Tim was a proud 25-year-old Marine serving in Iraq in 2006. “Being a Marine is indescribable. I thought I was tougher than anyone I came across,” Tim says. “Even though I was only about 150 pounds, I thought I could take on the world!” 
On May 18, his life changed forever when he lost his legs, right eye, part of his skull and a finger to an IED. While recovering from his injuries, a Lieutenant Colonel shared a video about capuchin monkeys who were trained as service animals for people with limited mobility due to injury or illness.