LIFE STORIES: Former football player finds life beyond traumatic brain injury
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: Former football player finds life beyond traumatic brain injury

Ryan Jansen was on track to go to West Point and eyeing a military career when a hard hit during a particularly hot football practice shattered those dreams.

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LIFE STORIES: Australian voice actor settles down in Hannibal
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: Australian voice actor settles down in Hannibal

Born in Sydney, Australia, Kate Roth used her nationality to break into a competitive career. A former nurse, Roth spent the first part of her life taking in as many cultures as possible. After building a family and settling down, she found a second career as a voice-over actor.

LIFE STORIES: Single mom works up from poverty, fosters 12 kids
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: Single mom works up from poverty, fosters 12 kids

Minnie Johnson was 71 when she bought her first house, an unassuming white ranch-style home in Quincy with blue shutters and privacy fencing, a crowning achievement for a woman who slowly worked her way beyond the hand-to-mouth existence of her earliest days.

LIFE STORIES: Love goes further than money for prison corrections officer
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: Love goes further than money for prison corrections officer

Jody Parrish had any number of chances to go down the wrong path. A love of sports pulled him through the hard times, and once he graduated, the military forced structure and maturity upon him. He's now a corrections officer at the Clayton Work Camp and is involved with Special Olympics to support his brother, Wesley.

LIFE STORIES: Blind date leads to 50 years without a fight
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: Blind date leads to 50 years without a fight

Elsie was a 32-year-old divorcee with two young girls when she met John Hayes, a divorced World War II veteran, on a blind date at a no-longer standing corner tavern. Set-up by Elsie's sister and John's brother, the pair instantly clicked.

LIFE STORIES: Chance encounters take Quincy musician to national stage
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: Chance encounters take Quincy musician to national stage

Quincy native Bob Havens, 87, has been on TV somewhere in the country every Saturday night for more than half a century. From playing jazz in the clubs on New Orleans' famed Bourbon Street to becoming a fixture on the Lawrence Welk Show, playing the trombone with Welk's band each week for a national audience, music and chance encounters drove Havens' career.

LIFE STORIES: Van Ness on whirlwind journey as one of Fab Five on 'Queer Eye' reboot
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: Van Ness on whirlwind journey as one of Fab Five on 'Queer Eye' reboot

Jonathan Van Ness' role on Netflix's "Queer Eye" reboot has thrust him into a national spotlight, a far cry from his Midwest roots. Van Ness recently recapped the whirlwind journey that took him from being one of the few openly-gay kids in Quincy to being the "flamboyant" grooming expert on a Netflix show able to be streamed by the service's 100 million subscribers in 190 countries.

LIFE STORIES: Widowmaker survivor credits God
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: Widowmaker survivor credits God

Dennis Bergman knows the value of life. The 66-year-old Kahoka, Mo. native credits God with carrying him through a nearly-fatal heart attack that caused his heart to stop twice last fall.

LIFE STORIES: From cooking crack to cooking contests
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: From cooking crack to cooking contests

Gerome Crayton, a former drug dealer, went from cooking crack cocaine and selling it on the streets to cooking comfort food and selling it through the catering service he started. "I got a second chance," he said. "With the right care and unconditional love, anybody can rebound."

LIFE STORIES: The life of an 'average country boy'
Life Stories

LIFE STORIES: The life of an 'average country boy'

John Weilandich has been lucky to walk away with his life on more than one occasion. The St. Louis native-turned-rural Palmyra farmer was drafted into Vietnam shortly after he graduated from college. He spent a year in Vietnam and was wounded in the leg by shrapnel. Now 71, Weilandich's first check-up since his time in the Army was two years ago. His doctor heard a heart murmur, and an ultrasound revealed he needed surgery to have a heart valve replaced.