The Bob O’Connor Spirit of Pittsburgh 2018 Award Winners
Mike Gallagher is a beloved Irish Folk musician who was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Through rigorous chemotherapy treatments and now immunotherapy, Mike is improving but not able to work. Mike and his family are focused on winning his battle with cancer, so that Pittsburgh can continue to hear his beautiful music.
Jacob Buchheit suffered his first seizure and stroke at 9 months old and now lives with liver toxicity and seizure disorders. After surviving hypothermia, he’s had to regain the ability to walk twice, but today he is not able to walk on his own. He was nominated by Variety, the Children’s Charity, who took notice of his continuing resilience.
Nadine Nowlin was in a major car accident in 2012 and suffered spinal injuries that required months of recovery time. She was unable to work and subsequently lost her job, her home, and was forced to move into a women’s shelter. Through recovery, medical appointments, homelessness, and upheaval, Nadine has volunteered with the Veterans Leadership program so others can be inspired by her positive influence.
Nia Holyfield had become paralyzed and only able to move her eyes. She had to work countless hours in therapy, relearning how to eat and walk. With hard work, Nia is independent in taking public transportation to medical appointments, school, volunteering, work, and social activities.
Constance Mulbah moved to the United States as a refugee from Liberia in 2004, due to a civil war. Her and her siblings were placed in the foster care system, which only drove Constance to become stronger for the sake of her family. She’s worked with the Peace Corps as a Preventative Health volunteer and is pursuing a career in public health.