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.
Retired Nebraska horse jockeys share stories about putting their life on the line for their love of horse racing. Horse jockey, Jayme LaRocca, a Fremont, Nebraska native, is permanently disabled after a horse racing accident in 1982. Horse jockey, John Lively, who won 10 riding titles at the now closed AkSarBen racetrack and won the Preakness in 1976 recalls the thrill of winning.
Dmitrii “Dima” Shaposhnikov, 13, of Omaha, Nebraska, excels at the piano despite being completely blind. Shaposhnikov, who moved from Russia to Nebraska with his family in 2013, reads his school work and sheet music in braille, and speaks several languages.
After 22 years, Dixie Quicks Public House in Council Bluffs, Iowa closed its doors in January. Owner Rob Gilmer decided to close the restaurant and the RNG Gallery after his husband, René Orduña, died in November 2016, two months after being diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer.
Watch as Gilmer and longtime friends and customers describe Orduña’s impact and the legacy he left.
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.
Sarah Gissel, 2, donates her bone marrow to her older sister Vanessa, 11, in hopes of curing her of sickle cell anemia with a transplant at the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on July 17, 2013.
Barber, Fred J. Piccolo, of Omaha, the owner of Piccolo’s Barber Shop reflects on cutting hair for 59 years located on S. 10th Street in Omaha, Neb. The barber shop was founded by Fred’s father, Joseph Piccolo in 1934 and Fred has been cutting hair since there since 1957.
“On September 23, 2000, our lives came crashing together and we became one,” said Jerry Mudd. “He is a part of me forever.” Jerry Mudd, 66, of Louisville, Ky., received a new heart from 18-year-old organ donor Jon Clark of Bowling Green, Ky.
Jon Clark was driving home late one night when he ran off the road, overcorrected, and flipped his truck several times. Jon died about 24-hours later, and his seven life-saving organs were donated to seven different people.