While responding to a house fire on January 10, 1986, Phillip Welch sustained second and third degree burns over 65% of his body. He spent months in the hospital, contemplating his survival and the trajectory of his life. Since he could no longer work, he decided to embrace woodworking, another hobby of his since childhood.
His workshop is his “domain,” where he finds “peace of mind.” “I come in here and everything is hunky dory,” he says. Even though he was only given a 20% chance to live after the accident, Phillip has found a way to thrive.
Camila Chang, 11, was diagnosed with autism when she was two and a half years old and goes to her "sensory room" in her home to immerse herself in music. Inspired by her daughter and the lack of services for kids with autism in Southwest Florida, Camila's mother Marcela Guimoye started a nonprofit called EndlessBrain to provide music opportunities for children with special needs.
Thousands gathered at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, Florida on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 for a candlelight vigil in honor of the 17 victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
SAME RACE, NEW CYCLE
On April 20, 2017, Edie Perkins was hit by a car as she was cycling in LA and paralyzed from the chest down. Perkins, who had competed in marathons for the past 15 years, never doubted that she would race again. Within a week, she was making plans in her head to get into adaptive sports. Four months after the wreck, Perkins was released from the hospital and had a time, date and place circled on her calendar – 7 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, Naples, Florida. In her first race back since the accident, Perkins embarked on a new athletic career: competitive handcycling.
THE ART OF THE TEASE
The women of the Glam! Bam! Burlesque! troupe use the historic art form to channel their inner sensuality and feel empowered.
GATORS AMONG US PART I — The Hunt: 2 of 1.3 million
On a cool October evening, hunters Jim Rinckey and Mark “Doc” Markisen set out to capture one of Florida’s most mysterious and iconic animals: the alligator. This year, more than 6,000 hunters received the coveted permits to harvest two alligators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which oversees the annual public hunt. While the waters of Lake Trafford may be teeming with hundreds of the estimated 1.3 million alligators roaming the state, the two men have their work cut out for them.
GATORS AMONG US PART II — From Marsh to Market
For the past 28 years, Brian Wood has worked to establish his family- run empire: the All American Gator company. They provide a start to finish operation by buying the alligators from hunters, processing the meat, preparing the skins and then selling or manufacturing it all for their customers. Although the two- and-a-half month public alligator hunting season is a constant race against time, this family wouldn’t miss it for anything.
GATORS AMONG US PART III — Gatorman: A Family Legacy
As manager at Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours, Carl Nicholson’s day is filled with alligators, both wild and tamed. However, they’re also in his blood. His father, a licensed alligator handler known as Gatorman Mike, started the alligator shows that Carl soon took over and that still continue at Wooten’s today. Mike passed away earlier this year after a six-month battle with esophageal cancer. Despite the daily reminders of his loss, Carl wants to carry on his dad’s mission to educate visitors about the Everglades and alligators.
A LIFE ON THE ICE
Walking outdoors is the single most common physical activity in the general population. Yet, what if you were unable to walk? Michael Fenster, 16, was born without a tailbone — a condition called sacral agenesis — leaving him with partial paralysis in his legs. For the past 15 years, Michael and his family have participated in an adaptive sport that allows Michael to be his true self — sled hockey. With Michael playing, his father coaching, his mother serving as the general manager and his sister as the water girl, their family "lives, eats and breathes" hockey.
IN HER OWN HANDS
Sarah Fick harbors a fierce love for Appalachian Ohio, the region where she was born and raised. As she grew older and became aware of the challenges facing it, Fick decided to build a home and lifestyle that would reflect her values of environmentalism and self-sufficiency and contribute to ensuring a healthy future for the region. Her home is where she takes her stand. // The film is part of Home: From the Ground Up © 2015, which was produced as a part of Soul of Athens 2015, an online collaborative multimedia project.