tv NBC Bay Area News Special NBC October 7, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PDT
>> tonight, bay area proud. he was there during one of man's greatest moments. the lappeding on the moon. but this man reveal what is it's also like to be there during one of man's darkest hours. she found it right on craigslist. her purpose in life. that was it. that's what i could do. what this young mother saw that helped countless babies with what she has to give. >> it was a progress noise nose sis that might have pushed her over the edge, but instead, she
rush pushed right back. 50. >> i said let's get married. >> a bay area ground sell that sent this bay area bride down the isle in style. >> good evening. we produce you to a remarkable bride. now it cease true, almost every bride says her wedding day is one of the best in her life. but hthis bride is different. her wedding day is up with of the few wedding days left in her life. there was an outpouring of support to give her a beautiful wedding day spread around the world on social media. tonight, her fight, her wedding day and her thoughts about it all after the last of the guested had said goodbye.
>> time can be a tricky thing. it doesn't move at a steady face. something jen knows all too well. the few days left until her weddiwed can't go fast enough. what is likely to happen a few months after that well, jen and jeff met six years ago. she was a hairdresser, h ea yoga instructor. jen, making people beautiful on the outside, jeff on their insides. a friend thought these two opposites would attract. >> she's like, you know, he kind of took all my weirdness in stride, so i think he would be really good for you. >> there was talk of a wedding. in fact, the couple shopped for rings just last december. just about the time it turned out that jen developed a cough she couldn't shake. >> and i went to the doctor's a couple of times and they diagnosed it as pneumonia.
it'm 35, they didn't think this is something else. >> in january, came the diagnosis -- hung cancer. stage 4 -- lung cancer stanl 4. >> four to six weeks i'm treated. and four to six months. so when i heard that, i said let's get married. because i wanted to focus on life. >> okay, great, perfect. >> jeff and jen gave themselves two weeks to plan a simpler wedding and barbecue reception in jen's parents backyard. that was the plan at least until a friend posted a request for help on a facebook group for wedding planners. a posting erica read and couldn't forget. >> this was an opportunity that i saw to do something extraordinary for somebody else. so why not?
>> i never thought about the bamboo but i think it would go perfectly. >> erica, a social worker turned wedding planner thought perhaps she would help a little bit on the wedding day. but then stumbled upon's jen's pintrest account and picture after picture of what she imagined her dream wedding would look like. one that time and money now made impossible. >> so what we're going to do with that is -- >> well, impossible until erica decided to get jen everything on that page. a job that would normally take month, she did in two weeks, corralling goods and services for more than 60 vendors worth more than $50,000. all of it donated for free. >> it was my goal to have them not pay a dime. i thought to myself, these people have already suffered enough. and why not be able to give them a gift, you know? a wonderful gift.
that both of them will never fegt. >> i think it's amazing, the general ros city in that are hearts. and that they're so touched by by our story. people have feelings. >> soo the plan was set for the last saturday in july. jen and jeff saying their vows under the redwood trees of a nearby park. a marching band leading them back to jen's parents house, transformed into something magical. >> oh, so cute. >> where jen would likely wish time could stand still. >> thank you for coming here to celebrate the marriage -- >> but time doesn't. which is why video is so great. jen and jeff able two weeks later to relive what truly was their dream wedding.
unsure to this day -- >> i now pronounce you husband and wife. >> if it wasn't all a dream. >> it was magical. it was the magic moment that we were going for. >> and erica, able to look back and realize that yes, she did pull all this off. >> i thought it was amazing. truly, truly one of the best weddings i've ever done, if not the best. >> reporter: but the wedding it turns out was just part of it. after our original story on jen and jeff aired, it was viewed, shared, posted and tweeted thousands of times. people from all over the world began sending words, not just of encouragement, but praise. >> i don't know. i felt like i was in an alternate world. leak i'm just jen bullock. and here all these people want to hear what i have to say. >> the highlight for jen was when legendary actor chuck norris wrote a lengthy blog post
trumpeting jen's durj and strength. qualities others had long seen in her, but she had not seen in herself. >> all the people coming out and saying, like, i've always thought, you know, i knew you were unique, i knew you were special. like you're the strongest person i've ever known. and i didn't know that. >> the events of these past few weeks have clearly changed jeff and jen's lives, but it turns out they weren't the only ones. erica who started the whole thing just trying to help two people and ended up touching sosome lives says the way she lives her own is forever changed. >> fake it day by day, minute by minute and savoring every single moment. i don't think i've ever lived my life that way. and i'm starting to learn how to do that. after meeting jen and jeff. >> a fund has been set up on
give forward.com to help cover jen's medical expenses. so far, strangers have donated more than $56,000 to the campaign. and while jen and jeff didn't have plans for a big honeymoon, people have donated stays for them in half moon bay, caramel and even a place in tahoe. >> for me, it's great. i never felt normal before. i never felt not different. >> he finally feels at home. and home for him is lawrence berkeley lab. one of the biggest projects, working with scientists twice or three times his age. >> and she found it on trags list, what she calls her calling in life. what this young mom saw is that put her on a path to help hundreds of mothers. stay with us.
on the grounds of lawrence berkeley national laboratory, underneath the dome of building number 6 is where you'll find the advanced light source where electrons are pushed to such a speed they create a beam of light 1 billion times brighter than the sun. and it is where, at the end of b line 7.3.3, this fast bright light encounters something else fast and bright. >> they're not the same width. >> you would have to be to be where he is at his age.
>> i'm 19. >> around his hometown, he's known as the kid who graduated with a degree in physics from southern university around the anyo many of his peers hadn't finished high school. it was nothing new for olite. he's been advanced from a very young age. >> that started when i was about 34 years old. >> when polite's father decided to home school him until age 5. problem was, dad did too good a job. >> by the time i was 5, i was already reading and doing math on a fourth grade level. >> polite nen retired from being a teacher to teach his for the next nine years. while politte says being one of a kind in college wasn't too bad, being one of the gang in berkeley is much, much better.
>> for me, it's great. i never felt normal before. i never felt not different. >> politte says his success story is about a father passing on the dedication of hard work. >> it's also a story he's getting tired of telling. >> i'm ready to move past that. politte stewart, you see, no longer want people to view him as smart for his age. he's ready to be seen as smart, period. >> if you're wondering what it tack took, home school was seven days a week, 365 days a year. there's plenty of history around us, the kind of history that comes with someone like al coom
around the residences in palo alto. this young man, not just a witness to, but a participant in the 3020th semplry's darkest hour and its greatest accomplishment. >> many of my models give it. >> he says it's his hob by of model making that's kept his hands and mind agile well into his eighth decade of life. which is good for al, but good for the rest of us as well. he was born in germany in the 1930s. hitler was in power and he was jewish. >> a lot of people saw the writing on the wall more clearly than my family did because they
lived in bigger cities. >> the night of broken glass when germans vandalized jewish homes, businesses and places of worship is a clear memory for them. >> it happened in 1938. gosh, time flies. >> al's family was able to escape. one year later. >> when we left germany, we were literally the last jews to get out of town. everybody who stayed never made it at all. they were sent to concentration camps. >> but al's brushes with history were not done. he came to america a decade later showing an interest and aptitude in science, eventually taking a job with grum monday hair craft and landing a spot on the beingest project around. apollo 11, the mission that landed the fist humans on the moon. >> i was part of the propulsion
group and we realized what a tremendous challenge this was. because at the time in the early 60s, we knew practically nothing about space. >> al was now part of its singular achievement. >> then the two vehicles separated while they're orbiting the moon. >> al was on the team responsible for the rocket propulsion for apollo 11's lunar lander, the vehicle that ultimately got neil armstrong and buzz aldridge to the moon. but more importantly, if al, got them off of it as well. >> i'm almost blue in the face holding my breath for the moment actually it lift off. >> al admit he is never quite put together his special place in history, h iz connection to the high and the low. his message to the rest of us -- never forget either. >> the darkest day in 20th century of should be and must be preserved.
>> al actually has one more message to the rest of us. that's to reinvest in the space program and get americans excited about exploration the way they were in the '60s and '70s. >> once you get out there and explore areas that you think you know, you really don't understand what's out there. >> how this man got off the beaten track right outside his front door and how he's showing all of us about the world we live in. and the white house's 3,000 mile and a nation away, but the work of this bay area woman captured the first lady's attention anyway. what she's doing that got her a white house nod.
>> i'm extremely flattered, but we're also feeling like maybe we've been invited to the wrong party. >> what michelle says she's really good at educating training and getting jobs for young teenagers. it teaches kids with marketable skills to get them on a good path. in facting they've done it about 30,000 times so far. and while michelle loves her nod of the approval from the white house, she says she is most proud of building healthy teens which she says can help build a healthy city. >> ask any new mom or dad about the stresses that come with the first year of baby's life and get ready for a long conversation.
but more. but for some, the stresses of parndhood start with simply feeding and clothing their babies. some mothers need help with this. thank goodness for them this lisa klein has a computer and a heart. a. >> spend just a few minutes wandering through the online bazaar that is craigslist and you'll be amazed at the variety of what you can find o. in fact, search long enough and you just might end up finding a purpose in life. at least, that's what lisa found in the days fol pleauing hurricane katrina. touched like so many of us were by the devastation she saw on the evening news, lisa zernled for a way to help, searched craiglist new orleans. one powing in particular from a church turned emergency shelter caught her eye. >> it said we need absolutely everything. we need blankets, sleeping bags,
medicine, baby clothes. that was it. that's what i could do. so lisa asked for donations from her circle of friends. and i received 400 pounds of baby clothes in two days. and the next day i woke up and there was more baby clothes on my porch. and the next day, more baby clothes. >> from that single posting, it turns out was born a singular mission. to provide used baby clothing for children whose mothers are unable to provide it themselves. >> in a strange way, i feel like i was put on the earth to do this on a grand scale. >> loved twice is the national she gave her nonprofit. on this day, 20 volunteers from a nearby aaa office have come to help lisa sort some 500 pounds of baby clothes. each box they fill contains enough clothing for a boy or girl's first year of life.
>> i could not do this on many i own. that's one of the reasons it's successful. who does not want to help a homeless baby? >> lisa and her volunteers have created some 8,000 boxes. the boxes are then delivered to social workers across the bay area who in turn gift them to mothers in need. they are women lisa never sees but sometimes hears from. >> my husband lost his job as a janitor. >> these letters let lisa know what they were able to do with the money they didn't have to use for clothes. >> i can't imagine that. so to know these babies that were born into a world they did not choose, i think that's why it's been so successful. people want to help. >> still ahead, it's easy to see why living in the bay area is a beautiful thing. one man decided he really needed to see it. the adventure he laid out for himself is next. ♪
♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good for me around ♪ ♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit tired ♪ ♪ of craving something that i can't have ♪ ♪ turn around barbara ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ ♪ try new fiber one cinnamon coffee cake.
>> if the payoff is natural beauty and spectacular. the oegs, muir woods, wine country, yosemite, all a car ride away. but what if you don't have a car? >> life is much more interesting wh enyou veer off the beaten path. and i definitely have discovered that out op the trail. >> the san francisco man set himself a challenge for the month of june -- walk the entire bay trail. that's a path that circumstance navigates san francisco bay and it's hundreds of miles long. well, curt, not only wanted to walk nit a month, h ewanted to sleep in his own bed every night and never use his car. that means every day he took public transportation to where he left the trail the day before and returned home the same way
every night. curt says the public transportation part was surprisingly easy. what also surprised him was seeing the bay from a whole new way, even after living here for 20 years. i think that unless you get out there and explore areas that you think you know, that you haven't been to, you really don't understand what's out there. >> curt not only completed the journey but blogged about it every day. >> you can find a link to his blog and the story about him on our web page, bay area proud.com. we hope you have enjoyed this past half-hour of the good stuff. this isn't the only thing you can find us. you can always catch new bay area proud stories tuesdays and thursdays in our 5:00 p.m. newscast right here on nbc bay area. and we're also online. you can watch some or all of the more than 100 "bay area proud" story wes eve collected on our website. you'll also find a link there to
♪ everyone we help on "george to the rescue" is deserving but we've never had anyone like the man we're surprising today. corporal sherman watson is a marine who served three tours in iraq, he's been shot once, blown up twice and awarded three purple hearts. now he's back home in compton, california, living with his wife and two daughters and like all of us could use a hand around the house. i'm honored to give him the help he needs. >> my name is sherman watson. >> i'm kyra watson. welcome to our home in compton, california. >> you know, you hear a lot of people say marines made a man out of him. we
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