Vincent Award

Vincent Award #71: Sgt. Trey Troney

Image from Twitter

Image from Twitter

This week's Vincent Award goes to Sgt. Trey Troney who was driving along the interstate in Texas on his way to visit family for Christmas when we witnessed a car accident. He pulled over and went to that car that had just crashed and found the dirver of the vehicle unresponsive and slumped over the steering wheel. After two other motorists helped to pry open the doo, Trey used his New Orleans Saints hoodie to stop the driver's head from bleeding but then noticed that the driver's left lung was not expanding and contracting. The driver had a collapsed lung. Trey found a ballpoint pen and used it to puncture the driver's left lung and releive the pressure. Paramedics arrived and took the driver to a hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery.

We hear about a lot of angry and not so nice people out there and we see them all the time out driving on the roads. But deep down we all also know that there are just as many (in fact many, many more) kind-hearted souls out there on the road with us as well. Sgt. Trey Troney is a reminder that kind strangers are out there ready to help when needed. Thank you Trey.

Be sure to read the full story over at the Good News Network...

Vincent Award #70: Justin McNeil

Vince Villano on the left and Justin McNeil on the right (Image from news.starbucks.com)

Vince Villano on the left and Justin McNeil on the right (Image from news.starbucks.com)

This week's Vincent Award goes to Justin McNeil. Justin's wife Nicole works as a barista at a Starbucks in DuPont, Washington and in January of 2017 she noticed one of her customers seemed very depressed. After asking the customer what was wrong she found out Vince Villano had recently been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (an incurable genetic condition). Vince needed a kidney transplant or he faced a permanant need for dialysis. Nicole eventually mentioned this to her husband and her husband immediately said

“I’ve got a kidney, you know, we could do this. I think I’m willing to do that.”

Justin was tested for compatibility and soon after Justin and Vince Vilano connected and became friends. Eventually Justin was found to be a compatible donor and the transplant surgery was conducted and was sucessful.

All of this happened because one person asked another if he was ok. From there this simple act of compassion for another human being spiraled into another selfless act that saved one person from a lifetime of suffering and connected two people who would have otherwise never met.

Congratulations to Justin McNeil for stepping up and literally giving a part of yourself to another person. If this isn't "holding nothing back" I don't know what is. Your example shows us how we should strive to act when we hear of others in need.

Please check out the full story over at the Good News Network and at news.starbucks.com...

Vincent Award #69: Peter Shankman and Curtis Jenkins

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It's been a while since I have given out a Vincent Award and what better time to “give” one out than Christmas. Speaking of giving, for Vincent Award #69 we have two winners who showed an amazing amount of generosity that ended up having an enormous impact on their communities.

Peter Shankman travels around the country for a living giving speeches so he racks up a lot of frequent flyer miles. Since he travels so much for business the last thing he wants to do with his free time is travel some more. So what to do with all those miles? Well, for the fifth year in a row now Peter Shankman has hosted a contest on Imgur where other Imgur users vote on who should get miles that Peter wants to donate to those in need. Those in need submit their request to be a potential recipient. But his deed didn’t stop there. Before long others began donating their miles as well and the contest grew. This year over 300,000 miles were donated which allowed 5 families to spend Christmas together when they would not have otherwise had the chance to do so.

Read the full article about Peter Shankman over at The Washington Post...

Curtis Jenkins works as a bus driver in Dallas, Texas and he wanted to do something special for all the elementary school kids who ride his bus. So he started saving money from every paycheck so that he could give everything child on his bus route what they wanted for Christmas. Curtis says that “seeing those faces on the kids was more than anything I could ever do with the money.”

Read the full news article about Curtis Jenkins over at the Good News Network...

Congratulations Peter Shankman and Curtis Jenkins for showing us all what you can accomplish when you hold nothing back!

Vincent Award #68: Ben Lecomte

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In 1988 Ben Lecomte swam his way into the history books to become the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Last week he started another swim, except this time he is going to cross the Pacific Ocean. He is also doing this for a cause...to help save our oceans. Ben and his team are partnering with 27 research institutions to collect over 1000 samples of water and specimens along the path of his swim.

“The mission of my historic swim is to bring to light the current state of our oceans...The research we collect during ‘The Swim’ will ultimately help us better protect our oceans and I’m excited to partner with Seeker and Discovery to bring this expedition and our findings to the world.”

This is a 5,500 mile swim from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco and he will be doing it by swimming 8 hours ever day and then sleep on a boat during the night. He will be wearing a special suit which will protext him from the frigid waters and his boat will be using technology to help repel the sharks, but this is still a very dangerous swim.

Seeker and Discovery are partnering to cover this epic swim by both live-streaming his progress on thelongswim.com and by creating a documentary about it called "The Swim" which will be released in 2019.

Congratulations Ben Lecomte for becoming the next Vincent Award recipient. The Vincent Award was, after all, named after Vincent's famous swim in Gattaca so it only seemed fitting. Good luck Ben...

Read more about Ben's swim by reading the article over at the Good News Network and be sure to visit thelongswim.com for daily updates on his progress.

Vincent Award #67: Justin Gallegos

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Vincent Award #67 goes to Justin Gallegos because on April 29, 2018 he crossed the finish line of the Eugene Half Marathon in Eugene, Oregon. But lots of people run a half marathon so what makes Justin's run so special? Justin has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects muscle coordination and body movement. Cerebral palsy makes walking (much less running) nearly impossible so a half marathon is down right incredible.

Gallegos had to rewire his body to run. He dragged his feet a lot, which caused him to fall. So he had to learn an entirely different way to move his body, forcing himself to pick up his feet and lift his knees more. Over time, he was able to strengthen his muscles, improve his coordination and fix his gait to the point where he no longer needed those kneepads.

Congratulations Justin and thank you for inspiring us all to keep pushing just a litte bit harder.

Read Justin's full story over at CNN.com...

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