3 stories that will make your day a little brighter and inspire you

You're guaranteed an extra smile and an extra kick in your step as you read what strangers did to give these survivors hope. Read then share. You'll be glad you did!

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  • You may think you know what cancer looks like - but with an estimated 1.6 million diagnoses of new cancer cases just this year in the United States, the face of cancer is ever changing. From the elderly nursing home resident to the young boy next door, cancer plagues people from all walks of life. But with this diversity comes a myriad of unique, personal stories that help to inspire, unite and comfort - both those fighting the disease and those who are inevitably affected by it.

  • Youngest NBA star dunks despite disease

  • Think cancer could get a little guy down? Think again. When JP Gibson, lifelong basketball fan, was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia, he didn't put his dreams on hold. JP's dream was to join the Utah Jazz, his favorite NBA team. That dream came true when five-year-old JP was signed to a one-day contract with the Utah Jazz. Complete with an authentic uniform, he joined the Jazz on the bench for an open scrimmage, which included a slam dunk.

  • Check out the highlights from JP's day in the spotlight in the video above.

  • She traveled across the country for cancer treatment; what strangers did for her will inspire you to be better

  • Most 18 year-olds worry about college admissions, senior proms and buying their first car. But for Madison Jones, early adult life wasn't so simple. Just after enrolling as a freshman in college, Madison had an MRI for a sore neck that revealed she was a victim of Chordoma, an extremely rare bone cancer. After researching treatment options, Madison decided to be treated at Massachusetts General Cancer Institute, where some of the country's only Chordoma experts practiced. But leaving her home in Southern California for Boston presented challenges of its own. Not only was Madison a young adult who would be leaving friends and school for endless medical treatments, but she and her family would need somewhere to stay. Thanks to generous donors, Madison was able to stay in the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge. What would have been an expensive stay, in addition to treatments, turned out to be a relief. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, she not only found a place she could temporarily call home, but she found a network of other Chordoma patients who were sharing her experience.

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  • These four girls faced cancer together, and you'll never guess what they did to fight back

  • Photo courtsey cancer.org
  • As friends who did everything together, high school friends Stefani Doyle, Cailee Dennis, Kristen Lee and Anna Elkin likely never thought they'd be sharing the experience of cancer together. Within the same year, three of the four girls experienced the pain and worry of having a parent diagnosed with cancer. Rather than spending their time in denial or self-pity, Kristen, along with Anna, determined to raise money for cancer research to help other families. Through a simple lemonade stand, the girls helped to raise funds but were determined to do more. That's when they thought of holding a garage sale. After raising $5,000 in just the first sale, Anna and Kristen's friends pitched in and organized a larger sale that generated another $8,000. Not only did the girls provide funds to help expand and support cancer research in the United States, but they also inspired their families and communities with their efforts.

  • _The American Cancer society provides hope to cancer patients and families alike. You can make a difference, too. Consider providing hope by funding a night in the Hope Lodge or making another donation of your choice. To make a donation, visit www.GiveHopeAHome.org

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Kristen has a journalism degree and has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/kradfordprice

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