The Impossible

$500 SpaFinder Gift Card Giveaway: Overcoming the Odds – What Gives You Courage?

The Impossible
I’m thrilled to participate in a sweepstakes sponsored by Investigation Discovery’s new series Surviving Evil, which premieres Wednesday, August 28 at 10/9c only on Investigation Discovery. 

Life is hard. We all know that, right? When you’re going through a rough patch, all you have to do is look around and see someone in more dire circumstances than you.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs during the past ten years, starting in 2003 with my husband’s liver transplant, followed by his two years of chemo for Hepatitis C treatment, and ongoing health issues since then.

Right now, he’s on the list for a kidney transplant, thanks to a botched aortic aneurysm repair in 2009. During the procedures, the surgeon placed the stent in the wrong place and closed off the arteries to both of his kidneys. One kidney is completely gone and the other is operating anywhere from 20 to 30 percent, depending on the day.

We’ve also lost a ton of people during the past decade – my dad, aunt and cousin; my husband’s dad, sister and grandma; and numerous friends. Back to that “life is hard!” thing.

But you know what? You keep getting up, doing what you need to do, and moving forward in whatever way you can. During the past ten years, I’ve somehow managed to build a nice little business that includes this site you’re reading –  Reel Life With Jane – and my syndicated family movie & TV reviews.

In fact, the work has kind of kept me sane and allowed me to focus on something other than my struggles. Well, and there’s the fact that I’m now the sole breadwinner in the family – that’s also very motivating!

There are plenty of cinematic stories of resilience and courage, too. Three that spring to mind:

1. “The Impossible”: The true story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Naomi Watts’ character survives against incredible odds after she and her son are swept into the storm. Read my review here.

2. “127 Hours”: James Franco plays real-life mountain-climber Aron Ralston. While descending down a rock wall in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, he becomes trapped by a large boulder and ends up cutting off his own arm. Dang!

3. “Open Water”: Based loosely on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, this movie depicts the harrowing trials of a married couple stranded in the middle of the ocean when their scuba diving group accidentally leaves them behind. Panic, dehydration, swarming jellyfish, and circling sharks are just a few of their challenges.

Everyone struggles with something, no matter how rich or poor, young or old you are. No matter where you live in the world or who your family and friends are.

Who or what gives you the courage to face your fears and challenges in life? Answer below, and each comment will automatically be entered to win a $500 SpaFinder gift card! 

And I’m not just asking for the sweepstakes below (though you’ll be in the running!) – I really want to know how you get through the tough times. We can all help each other.  

This sweepstakes is sponsored by Investigation Discovery’s new series Surviving Evil, premiering Wednesday, August 28 at 10/9c. Told in their own words, victims reveal how they fought their attackers and survived against amazing odds.

Learn more at and empower yourself with five life-saving tips at


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by email. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/14/13 – 8/28/13.

For more true stories of courage and survival, check out Investigation Discovery’s new series, “Surviving Evil,” airing Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 at 10/9c. The series offers empowering, true-life stories in which the victims of violence fight back against their attackers and survive, against the odds.

And be sure to visit the Investigation Discovery: Surviving Evil brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ true stories of courage and survival and find more chances to win!


34 responses to “$500 SpaFinder Gift Card Giveaway: Overcoming the Odds – What Gives You Courage?”

  1. […] Reel Life With Jane$500 SpaFinder Gift Card Giveaway: Overcoming the Odds – What Gives You …Reel Life With JaneI'm thrilled to participate in a sweepstakes sponsored by Investigation Discovery's new series Surviving Evil, which premieres Wednesday, August 28 at 10/9c only on Investigation Discovery. Life is hard. We all know that, right? When you're going …See all stories on this topic […]

  2. rachel Avatar

    My faith does. Without God, I wouldn’t survive.

  3. wanderingeducators Avatar

    Easy – the love and support of my family and friends. Without that, I’d be in a really, really tough place.

  4. amber Avatar

    My connection to God, through prayer and meditation, gets me through tough times

  5. Kerry Avatar

    My family gives me the strength I need!

  6. devonz Avatar

    Woo hoo Enter me !

  7. devonz Avatar

    I get through the tough times by taking a deep breathe and knowing everything is going be okay in time

  8. Daniel M Avatar
    Daniel M

    just say to yourself man up nancy, do it!

  9. Amy Tong Avatar

    I totally agree, life is hard. But as you said, it’s up to us to make the most out of it. Glad you build up your strength and business along the ups and downs in life.

    My kids and my family are the ones who give me the courage to face my fears and challenges in life! They are my everything. 🙂

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  10. Anna Pry Avatar
    Anna Pry

    remembering that facing hardship now will make my future better helps me

  11. Ashley C Avatar
    Ashley C

    I wouldn’t be able to make it through the tough times or the tough days if it wasn’t for my supportive husband, parents, and friends. My faith is also what keeps me going!


  12. Erica Best Avatar
    Erica Best

    i deal with my dad death in 07 it was hard and he was sick most of my life i miss him every day

  13. Lori Constein Avatar
    Lori Constein

    My kids always make me want to be the best I can be and never quit. I also look to my Grandmother she was an incredible woman who raised eight children on her own. I have my own story of facing evil and am just glad I had family to help me and that I and my children survived.

  14. Rebecca Graham Avatar
    Rebecca Graham

    My family gives me strength.

  15. Christine Avatar

    Family, friends, my kids, my faith….these give me strength during hard times. It helps me not to feel alone.

  16. Alexandra Avatar

    My children, my husband. Whenever I’m in a bad way, he will remind me of those who love me, one by one, now including my grandkids. It’s like a litany that gives me strength and makes me feel better.

  17. Roxanne Avatar

    Love. Love is everything. Having a really great husband and two amazing dogs help so much. Our last 5 years or so have been nonstop worry / illness / death in the family on many fronts. It isn’t easy, but what’s that old proverb … get knocked down 7 times, stand up 8.

  18. Sheryl Avatar

    The courage I have comes from within, and all the past experiences where I had to “sink or swim.” Knowing that I can, indeed, swim keeps me buoyant and confident that I will have the strength and courage to face just about any obstacles that come into my path.

  19. Rachel Dickinson Avatar
    Rachel Dickinson

    I honestly don’t know where courage comes from. Most days I think it’s Darwinian — the genetic code that wills the body to survive in the face of adversity. Then there are the days when I’m not even sure that’s enough. I guess knowing that people are depending on me for support and love keeps me going.

  20. Kerri Avatar

    We’ve had some rough years, too, and I have to agree that my courage comes from within. If I cannot reach down and pull it out on any given day, I meditate or take long walks with my dogs to calm my inner soul and that usually gives me what I need to find my courage again.

  21. alisa bowman Avatar

    I wake everyday and remind myself how fortunate I am to still be here and that I have it pretty dang good. I think of people in the world whose kids are dying of hunger or who face the threat of war every day.
    I also try to accept that I am not exempt from loss, aging, sickness and, eventually, the big D. These are constants in all of our lives, and that collective suffering it’s what bonds us all together. That’s what allows me to face hard times: the knowledge that there is no other choice. You either do your best or you give up. Giving up only makes misery worse, so the first option is the only option.

  22. Amanda Sakovitz Avatar
    Amanda Sakovitz

    My brother has always encouraged me to face challenges. He really inspires me.

  23. Thomas Murphy Avatar
    Thomas Murphy

    My mom gives me courage to face my fears.

  24. Mari Avatar

    My mother, who is a breast cancer survivor, gives me courage and strength to overcome any obstacle!
    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  25. Christian P Avatar

    God Gives Me Strength! My Family motivates me……….. Great Post Thank You 😉

  26. Mark Penny Avatar

    Great post Jane, Life is hard – you got that right. My heart goes out to all you sufferers. Put your faith in the Lord and all will be well ultimately.

  27. Popcorn Avatar

    My family definitely gives me strength and faith

  28. Greg Avatar

    What gives me courage is motivation from someone I really lookup to in a state of which they have been through a similar situation that I’ve been through and over come it, I also gain courage from reading inspirational article like yours to push myself to new heights and beyond my limitation.

  29. Dees Avatar

    Hi Jane,

    Really touched to read this story.
    Sometimes life really takes you for a patchy ride.
    Determination is the key to clear the bumpy nature of life.
    Wishing all the best.

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