JOHNSTOWN, PA – Johnstown Magazine has been publishing a “Beautiful People” edition for over 15 years. The intention has always been to focus on people in the community who are beautiful inside and out. To qualify to be featured, each person selected must exhibit characteristics of inner beauty, not necessarily physical attractiveness.
The July 2022 edition of the monthly magazine – a publication of The Tribune-Democrat – features the 2022 “Beautiful People” as named by readers and members of the public.
The magazines are available at newsstands in the region and delivered to subscribers’ homes.
Johnstown boxer and heart surgery recipient Austin Matthew Deitke has been chosen to feature on the cover of a hard-hitting portrait by staff photographer Thomas Slusser.
“Aspire to Inspire” is what Brock Kull, Deitke’s boxing trainer at Kastle Boxing preaches. This turn of phrase caused Austin to undergo countless surgeries after it was discovered that he was born with a congenital heart problem in his aortic valve.
“He’s overcome so many obstacles in his life, but still rises above it,” his mother, Jennifer Deitke, told Johnstown Magazine in the new issue. “He went through things that most people will never experience in their lifetime.
“He watched his father undergo open-heart surgery knowing that one day he would have to undergo it himself. This caused him a lot of anxiety and he tried to overcome his fears by doing extreme exercises. His biggest dream was to be a US Marine. Open-heart surgery ended that dream.
When Dietke was 18, he underwent open-heart surgery to correct the problem he had had since birth. The operation left a large scar on Austin’s chest. It’s something the 2021 Richland High School graduate uses to motivate himself and other youngsters.
“The scar on his chest is nothing to be ashamed of,” says Jennifer Deitke. “He uses it to inspire other kids who have opened their hearts. He’s always on social media to inspire others to do better.
Austin Deitke also speaks to groups about her healthy living mission and how she’s been a vital part of his journey. Deeply determined to prove that his body can continue to function, Austin walked nearly 100 miles last year to raise money for breast cancer research in his aunt’s honor.
“I tell kids never to give up on their dreams,” he says in his story.
This year’s ‘Beautiful People’ highlights 12 people from our community – all of whom have been nominated for their deeds and actions and their ‘beauty’ by readers and other active members of the community.