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Bravegang Community

Inspiring. Supportive. Brave.

The BraveGang is a community for individuals to feel comfortable sharing unique brave stories with each other. Our community inspires, supports, and overcomes. Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes and deserves to be celebrated at every level. Being yourself is brave, loving yourself is beautiful.

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#Bravegang Team

Inspiring. Determined. Brave.

The #BraveGang Team are community members that demonstrate ultimate bravery in their lives. Their stories are inspiring and demonstrate determination. These individuals have overcome fear and beautifully channel their best self! 

Megan Carlson

Megan is an inspiring Front Line worker in the Paramedic Field as well as a successful retired NCAA Swimmer. Megan has never let her unique appearance get in the way of her ambitious life goals. 

Instagram: @megzzzy_

Born without her seventh cranial nerve on the right side of her face, Megan has lived with facial paralysis and underwent extensive facial surgeries from a young age. 

She has always wanted to give back to the community that helped her from day one. Megan is now living her brave dream by serving in medical field.

 

*Megan is Molly Carlson's older sister*

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Thomas Vanderbrook

As a competitive swimmer, Thomas struggled for years with his sexuality and felt like he was drowning in and out of the pool. Finding the bravery to open up to those around him about being bisexual showed him a new path.

Instagram: thomas_vanderbrook

Thomas Vanderbrook is an inspiring athlete known for his bravery to be himself. He is a current Indiana University swimmer enjoying every moment of his sport since the day he found the courage to share his true self. 

He has overcome self-doubt, body-dysmorphia, and various mental health challenges to be the bright, inspiring soul that he is today. 

"My Brave story:

At 10 years old, I’ve been diagnosed with a bone cancer in my hips. After 4 months of chemotherapy, I had to take the most important decision in my life yet; keep my right leg and not being able to feel it and walk or amputated it.

So, I decided to amputated it because that was the best option and my only way to survive (chemotherapy didn’t work on me). Couples months after my remission, I started to play para hockey (sledge hockey). That sport become so important to me in the last years. It helped me to gain confidence, learn how to love and accept my disability.

I, also, met people who are just like me and has beautiful life (children, wife/husband, house, professional career…) that showed me that I can do or have anything that I want because I am a normal person just like everyone.

My amputation brought me to represent my country with the Women’s national para hockey team and with the men’s national development team. Im proud of who I am now and what I accomplished" - Raphaëlle Tousignant 

Raphaëlle Tousignant

A Team Canada Para Hockey Player that demonstrates bravery on and off the ice. Raphaëlle is a cancer surviver and inspires others to love themselves and to not feel limited by their disability. 

Insta: 
@raphaelletousignant
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Caeli McKay

"I am a Team Canada 10 Meter Platform Diver on track to compete in the 2021 Olympic Games. My bravest moment was this year when I finally asked for help when I needed it most. I suffer from anxiety and various eating disorders. I work hard everyday to do the best I can and inspire others to feel safe and loved when they need help too!" 

Instagram @caemckay

Montreal, QC
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Lyndsay

"I am brave as I have accepted support from professionals that can help me with anxiety and depression that I never thought I would be able to! I'm improving with the support, a long way to go but I'm never giving up!" 

Newcastle, UK
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Tabitha Miller

"I'm a single mom of an autistic son. I have raised him alone since 2011 when my ex husband left while I was deployed. Just finished my masters degree two weeks ago while working 50 to 70 hours a week.

Tiktok: tabbi_n_crew

"I enlisted in the Navy at 22, my first deployment was on the USS Cole in 2000. During the deployment while making a fuel stop in Yemen, the ship sustained a terrorist attack that killed 17 Sailors and wounded 39 more. This event happened very early in my career and for a very long time there was guilt, grief, and trauma that I did not face. I went on to have a very successful 20 year Naval career.

Towards the end of it I was diagnosed with PTSD attributed to the bombing. It was no secret to me that I had it but I was willing to take the scary steps to face it in order to make a back through with my PTSD. I have been in active therapy for over a year and I can say that as terrible as 2020 has been, I have had the biggest breakthroughs in facing my PTSD. I retired from Naval Service in 2017.

Since that time I have gotten my Bachelors degree. I went on to get my Masters Degree, while working 50 to 70 hours a week, and maintained a 4.0 throughout my program. My greatest achievement in life is being the mom to my son who was diagnosed with autism when he was a little younger. I thank God that I was able to get the help I needed to be a good role model and be present for him.

The last tour of my Naval career was as a boot camp drill instructor, it was there that I strived to make a difference in young people’s lives by showing them that all things are attainable with determination, passion, compassion and work ethic. Thank you for thinking of me. I’m just a normal person that has always done what I have to do to be someone that people could look up to.