Our Heart Speaks is a resource for individuals living with chronic medical conditions and new disabilities.

People from around the world share their stories of rehabilitation and healing through personal narrative, poetry, photography, video, artwork, and music.

We look forward to hearing from you, whatever journey led you to us.
There are many ways to get involved!

Featured Stories

Janine Shepherd on stage

A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person

Janine Shepherd was rendered a partial paraplegic in cycling accident and is now able to walk; she is also a pilot and aerobatics instructor, as well as a motivational speaker and author.

James Langevin in the oval office with Obama

Story of Congressman Jim Langevin

Congressman Jim Langevin is the first quadriplegic to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has represented Rhode Island with distinction, including as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Picture of Kati Lepisto

The Power of Faith

Kati Lepistö’s career was cut short after a brain stem stroke in 1995. Kati was 20-years-old at that time, Kati lost the power of movement and the power of speech completely. With no chance of recovery, Kati struggled through depression till she accepted her situation.

2010-10-25 004 Alison, Russian River, Jenner Inn, Jenner CA copy

A Story About Stories

An inspiring story from Alison Shapiro of recovery from a stroke and gaining back her artistic facility.

Ksenia Bezuglova studio shot

The Defiant Power of the Human Spirit

“Every day is beautiful the way it is, bringing new experiences. Also, I’ve learnt to value what I have. Of course, sometimes I have a feeling of injustice about what is happening…”

A message from the founder of Our Heart Speaks

  • Research has begun to unveil what many of us have known to be true: that both telling and hearing stories of overcoming hardship can positively impact your health. Please join our community by reading and sharing these stories, and telling your story. This intro video below will give you an overview of the project. Another good introduction to this project can be had through an interview I had on the Hand in Hand Show.–Dr. Keith Rafal: Founder of Our Heart Speaks

Do you know someone with an inspiring story of recovery and resilience?

Please get in touch and connect us.


disability-advocacy-overcoming-obstacles-man-with-prosthetic-leg

Share your story

Whether it is a grand story of many years experience, or a small anecdote, we’d love to hear your story of healing or recovery.

If you want to submit a draft for feedback, the Our Heart Speaks editorial team would be happy to see what you are working on!

Woman with arms raised

Listen, read, or watch

All the videos on the site are transcribed for the visually impaired, and we strive to make the site and stories as accessible as possible.

Please browse our stories and send us and our creators feedback.

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Support the project and help it grow

We are a young project and we can use advice, volunteers, and donations to grow and expand the project.

Contact us to volunteer, or donate online.