Young boxer finds strength in tragedy

Produced by Casey Magnus and Zarif Alibhai

Nine months ago, in March 2014, Devin Reti lost his mother Donna in a fight with cancer. Now, Devin is fighting back the only way he knows how - by boxing.

"She really, really realized I had the talent," says Devin. "She believed in me more than anybody . . . In her last moments, she said, 'Devin, you can go to school any time. You can work any time, but pursue your dream so you have no regrets'".

He says he knows his mother is watching over him and that he gets his strength in the ring from her. Fighting is his way of winning the battle she couldn't and honoring her last wishes to fight for his dream.

"The way I feel closest to my mom is when I fight," says Devin. "Before I fight I'm always thinking of her and before I enter that ring, ever since she got diagnosed and she told me to go for it, I've been thinking of her and she gives me that extra push, to push in that last round."

Devin's father Doug knows that many boxers don't make a big pay cheque, but he's proud of him for following his dream.

"I love my son regardless of what he does, and so does his Mom," says Doug Reti. "We've always known of his talent, even when he doubted it. I'm proud to call him my son. I just ask he keep his hands up and head moving."

At 21, Devin is already a national champion and Golden Gloves winner, but for him, there is still a long way to go in making his mother proud.

"I want to go as far as I can," says Devin. "I'm not in it just to say I've done it. I hope to fight on TV and go for a world title"

After finding out his mother was terminally ill, Devin left school to take care of her, but got her blessing to pursue his dream as well, which is to be a professional boxer.

"It gave me something to fight for," says Devin. "Someone to fight for. Someone beyond myself to fight for."

His motivation seems to be paying off. Devin won his first professional fight on Nov. 29, 2014.

Alana Burrows: Therapy and empowerment through photography

Calgary photographer attributes her escape from depression to her art

Produced byZana El-Youssef & Kari Pedersen

Alana Burrows discovered her love for photography while attending high school in Calgary. The 21-year-old freelance photographer says her passion behind the lens has since afforded her an artistic release and a way to overcome depression.

"I had days where I couldn't seem to do anything to get me out of my funk. Photography has helped me let out my feelings without having to talk about them," says Burrows.

Picking up her first professional camera two-and-a-half years ago, Burrows says she realized that she could use photography to express the joy she feels in empowering other women by taking their pictures.

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Rookie baker is making delicious creations while solidifying her own business in the Calgary area

Naomi Graaf's creative desserts will leave you with a sweet tooth

Produced by Andrea Roberts

BakingProfileNaomi Graaf has always loved baking, but it was some encouragement from her husband to point her in the right direction, after which, she jumped on YouTube, absorbing all she could from the plethora of baking and decorating tutorials.

"My husband said that anyone could make cakes and make them really neat looking but you've got to make sure they taste good," said Graaf.

Graaf would bake in the privacy of her own home until a friend asked her to bake for an event. It was then she found her passion.

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Blackfoot runner bounces back from the dark side

Rilee Good Eagle overcomes incredible loss by finding a silver lining in long distance running

 

Produced by Kelsey Solway

The November air cuts at the skin within minutes of contact. It's the coldest day of the month in the snow-covered reserve of Siksika Nation. It is a rare sight to see anyone outside for long.

Despite the weather, Rilee Good Eagle, wearing a suit of spandex and winter running gear, pushes himself to keep running.

Raised on the Siksika Nation, Good Eagle is one of the Blackfoot Confederacy's rising stars. At the North American Indigenous Games this past summer, he won three of Team Alberta's 21 medals and the first gold of the Games in the 3000-metre race.

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