10 Amazing People You Need To Know Right Now

There are some interesting and remarkable people out there right now, making a difference in the world. Here are a few you should get to know.

1. Larry Swilling, the 74-year-old man who walked 54 miles to find a kidney donor for his wife.

Swilling walked the roads of Anderson County in South Carolina with a sandwich board that read “NEED KIDNEY 4 WIFE” until miraculously, the Medical University of South Carolina found him a donor.

2. Jack Andraka, the 16-year-old kid who is developing a life-saving cancer test.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images for Smithsonian Magazine

The aspiring scientist and researcher from Maryland made headlines with a new method of detecting pancreatic cancer.

3. Gary Nichols Jr. and his 29-year-old daughter Kelly, who are harvesting a pesky lionfish population for food.

The Miami Herald, Cammy Clark / AP

The presence of lionfish in waters from the Florida Keys to North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras has threatened a breakdown of the coral reef ecosystem. Until now.

4. Derek “Shotgun” Brown, the ex-gang member who is now an anti-gang activist in Chicago.

M. Spencer Green / AP

This former chief in the notorious Vice Lords street gang has channeled his experience into helping others avoid a dangerous path. It’s a remarkable story.

5. Brian Cassella, a photographer who has been photographing abandoned schools in Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune / Via instagram.com

Over 50 schools were shuttered last year, and Cassella has been documenting them for Chicago Tribute in a series of haunting photos. Follow Brian on Twitter and Instagram.

6. “The Dream 9,” a group of immigration reform activists.

Samantha Sais / AP

The nine activists reentered the US from Mexico in a very unconventional protest to draw attention to the thousands deported under the Obama administration’s immigration policy.

7. The four people behind the production, editing, and publication of “Letter From Birmingham Jail” — Clarence Jones, Wyatt Tee Walker, Willie Pearl Mackey King, and Andrew Young.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

The story about the famous letter is out. Andrew Young (pictured above) was just one of four people who helped transcribe Dr. King’s famous letter from Birmingham Jail, and helped shape the moral blueprint of the Civil Rights movement.

8. Amanda Boxtel, a paraplegic who recently took her first steps in nearly 20 years.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Boxtel was the first to purchase E-legs from Ekso Bionics, a company developing exoskeletons to help paralyzed people walk again.

9. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Peter Barnes / Reuters

His stance on gay marriage, encapsulated in this four-minute discussion, will wow you.

10. Kali Hardig, who survived a rare brain infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba.

Danny Johnston / AP

After a brain-eating amoeba was found in a water supply of a Louisiana parish, 12-year-old Kali Hardig was hospitalized and hooked up to a ventilator after being infected. Doctors are saying a huge factor towards her full recovery is due to an experimental treatment, which included a medication usually used for breast cancer patients.

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