In May 2013, Tim Cacioppo, an Omaha father of four, was diagnosed with ALS, a fatal neurological disease. This crushing diagnosis wouldn’t leave Tim much time to fulfill what he considered his most important role in life – being a dad. Even as the disease slowly robs his body of muscle strength and movement and muffles his speech, he is determined to keep things as normal as possible for his family.
The Ravens are Omaha, Nebraska’s chapter of the Armored Combat League, an international association of teams that compete in full-contact fighting wearing steel armor and wielding steel weapons.
When he signed on to have twins with his 56-year-old wife, Mike McLaughlin didn’t expect to be nearly 70 and raising them by himself. But that’s what happened after wife Lisa died within a few days of giving birth.
Duane Wiskus, 67, grew up in Carroll, Iowa, and served in Vietnam as a crew chief for EC-47 surveillance aircraft aircraft flying electronic eavesdropping missions out of Nha Trang in 1968-69, where he recalls helicopters spraying Agent Orange around the perimeter of his base as well as in the jungles of Vietnam. His son, Clint contracted infantile muscular dystrophy and died at 20-months-old — which he said he blames on his wartime exposure to Agent Orange. In recent years, he has had multiple heart attacks and deals with diabetes.
Sam Fried, of Omaha, who escaped from Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp more than seven decades ago shares his story while still showing a prisoner identification number which still remains on his left arm: A-5053.