Sunday, March 31, 2013
Inspiration: Katelyn Norman, Tennessee Teen Dying From Cancer, Gets Amazing Dream Prom From Her Community
Disco balls hung from the ceiling, balloons and other decorations covered the room and teens in suits and dresses milled about. There was a blue cake with the night's theme, "Katie in the sky with diamonds" iced in white.
At the center of it all was crown-wearing Katelyn Norman, 14, who was presented with a "Prom Queen" sash from her white suit-wearing date.
It would be just like every other prom except that this one took place in a hospital room and the prom queen wore an oxygen mask as she lay in a bed.
For one magical night, Katelyn's hospital room was transformed into the bucket list prom she had wished for, even if it wasn't the prom that was going on in another part of town.
Katelyn is dying from osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer. After fighting the cancer for two years, she was told last week that it has spread and there's not much more doctors can do. She was sent home to spend her last days.
She made a bucket list that included a prom, a last slow dance, learning to drive a car, seeing Italy and a day with each sibling.
A fundraising page to help pay for Katelyn's wish list has produced an outpouring of affection and generosity towards the teen. The page has raised more than $62,000 since Tuesday morning.
Katelyn's prom was planned for Tuesday night in LaFollette, Tenn., but during the day Katelyn was having difficulty breathing and had to be taken to the hospital. Doctors told her she couldn't go to her special prom, but she didn't want that to stop others for going.
"Katelyn wanted the prom to go on. That's her. That's Katie bug," Sharon Shepherd told ABCNews.com today.
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A Texas man who received the first full face transplant in the country at Brigham and Women’s Hospital was married Saturday in the church where he was injured, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Dallas Wiens, 27, married Jamie Nash, a woman he met in a support group for burn victims, The Associated Press reported.
Wiens’ grandfather, Del Peterson, planned to read a toast at the reception from Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, the surgeon who led his operation, hospital spokeswoman Erin McDonough said.
A 2008 accident left Wiens without facial features, save for part of his chin. He was standing in a cherry picker, painting the second floor of Ridglea Baptist Church in Fort Worth, when the picker touched a high voltage power line.
Doctors in Texas removed the nerves, muscles, and tissue in his face, covering the area with skin and muscles from his back. Wiens was blind and without lips, a nose, or teeth.
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Carl Mays, speaker and author in his own words.
My wife Jean really likes to read or view “good news stories,” and quite frequently shares them with me – like she did this morning.
Jean told about how a golfer in Florida saw a pelican on the course and noticed a fish hook embedded in the bird. So, with some difficulty, the golfer removed the hook and set the bird free to go its way. However, the pelican’s “way” turned out to be that of following the golfer who removed the hook and decreased the pain.
Jean saw the story on television, which showed the pelican following the golfer around – and even riding with him in a golf cart. This was one appreciative bird!
I wrote about the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh in a recent column, and quoted from a letter he sent to his brother Theo about the value of relationships: “Like everyone else, I have need of relationships, of friendship or affection or trusting companionship, and am not like a lamp post...” In the pelican story, the golfer reached out to the injured bird; Theo reached out to Vincent when many others would not.
When Jean shared the pelican story, she began by saying, “I have two good news stories.” Her second story was about a husband and wife who visited a humane shelter to adopt a dog. They narrowed their choice to two, who just happened to be in adjoining cages, before finally deciding on a yellow lab.
The couple’s fond attachment to the lab grew quickly, but a few days later when the husband took out the trash the lab shot through the open door and bolted away. The lab was found 10 miles away – at the humane shelter – licking the face of his next-door soul mate. The couple ended up with two dogs.
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Saturday, March 30, 2013
On March 21, police caught Batman on Route 29 in Silver Spring, Md., outside Washington D.C. He was pulled over because his license plate had no numbers, only the Batman symbol.
"It's a black Lamborghini and a driver dressed as Batman," the police officer said over the radio. "You can send me Robin if you wish."
The dashcam video quickly went viral, and the media search to identify the man behind the mask intensified.
The Washington Post was the first to discover the Cape Crusader's identity and unmasked him in a front-page story. It turned out he was not Bruce Wayne but Lenny B. Robinson, a 48-year-old father of three.
Robinson discovered Batman about 12 years ago when his son, Brandon, became obsessed with the superhero. He was drawn to the comic book icon because of what Batman couldn't do.
"He's a superhero, but he doesn't have any superpowers," Robinson told ABC News. "We all can be Batman."
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My old pal Earl never buys a lottery ticket for anyone else.
"What if they won?" he asks,
Good point. Wonder if one of Joe Cahill's friends is asking himself the same question.
On March 19, the retired Brockton resident claimed a $1 million prize in the 20X The Cash instant game. He received the $5 ticket as a birthday gift and did not realize it was a winner until his daughter pointed it out.
Cahill selected the cash option and received a one-time, lump sum payment of $435,000 after taxes. The retiree plans to buy two new cars with the winnings.
He beat odds of 4.2 million to 1.
Brockton Shell at 620 Belmont St. in Brockton will receive a $10,000 commission on the sale of the ticket.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Huge whales decide to come up and take a look around at some strangers in their territory that happen to be in a rather small 15' boat...
A couple of fishermen on a small boat off the coast of Dana Point, Calif., had a (very) close encounter with several enormous gray whales.
One whale surfaced just a few feet away from the 15-foot boat, spraying water and waving its tale in the ocean breeze. According to ABC-6, one of the 50-foot whales actually rubbed up against the boat's engine.
While the encounter is amazing to watch, the World Wildlife Fund explains that gray whales are known for being friendly. "They have an unusual tendency to approach whale-watching boats and even let whale-watchers touch them and scratch their tongues," the WWF says.
"Vail Veterans": The words "I can't" do not have room in the vocabularies of these United States wounded war Veterans
On these Colorado ski slopes, wounded veterans are not only learning a sport they once thought was out of reach, they’re also gaining confidence to rebuild their lives.
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The "Partridge Family's" David Cassidy is auctioning off costumes to Alzheimer's Charity after his mother's passing.
Back in the 1970s, legions of screaming teenage fans would have loved to rip the clothes off of "Partridge Family" heartthrob David Cassidy. But come May 18, they'll be glad they didn't, because Cassidy will be auctioning off some of his beloved 1970s'-era stage costumes and some personal items in the hope of raising money for the Alzheimer's Association of America. He and Julien's Auctions executive director Martin Nolan joined TODAY's Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales Thursday to talk about the outfits -- and Cassidy's personal connection to the charity.
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Workers pool money and win lottery and share their winnings - even with the new girl who wasn't in their pool.
PLANTATION, FL (KCTV) -This is a story of family, friendship and incredibly generous spirits. As the Powerball jackpot began to grow and grow last week, the co-workers at a Florida real estate agency excitedly began to discuss an office pool to help them buy a pile of tickets.
Jennifer Maldonado had just joined Keller Williams Partner Realty on March 8. The mother of a 4-year-old autistic boy had been unemployed and didn't have her first paycheck yet. She told the Today Show that she didn't feel like she could afford the $20 pool price, and passed up.
Some of her co-workers offered to loan her the money, but she didn't want to impose. She said she would join the next pool.
Then the texts began to fly on Sunday among the 12 co-workers. They headed to the office where they had an impromptu celebration. They had won $1 million!
They matched all five numbers but missed the Powerball number.
Maldonado, 31, recalled that she thought it was a prank on the new girl.
"I really thought they were pranking me, I was the new girl. I was the only one who didn't put into the pool," she said.
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Thursday, March 28, 2013
(CNN) -- Marriage, any good therapist will tell you, is a balancing act.
For Angela and Willie Gillis, the act is easy. They've been best friends for more than 10 years, married for three. Their individual strengths balance the other's weaknesses.
They credit this sense of balance with helping them lose a combined 500 pounds.
"Everyone needs that one person to help them through, to talk to and someone who will hold them accountable. That person has been my husband," Angela writes on her blog, WeBeatFat.com.
A few days before their first wedding anniversary, Willie woke up and told his wife, "I'm tired of being big." He had just gotten back from visiting his newborn goddaughter and was scared he might not live long enough to see her grow up.
"For years I had been reading up on 'This is how you lose weight -- nutrition, exercise,'" he says. "I wanted to see if I could do it."
That was January 2011. He weighed 492 pounds.
His wife didn't have to think long about joining him in his quest.
Rhonda Stone always knew she was not the rightful owner of a Purple Heart Medal she bought at auction - 34 years later she was finally able to return it...
As Ronda Stone sees it, she wasn't the owner of a Purple Heart medal she bought at a storage auction in Woodburn, Ore., 34 years ago. She was just holding onto it.
"I've always known it was my job to get it back to whoever it belonged to," the Canby, Ore., woman, 66, said. "I just waited and knew there would be a time I could, hopefully, find the family."
The medal, which is given to service members wounded or killed in combat, was engraved with the name Lowell L. Reynolds.
In the years before the Internet, finding Reynolds or surviving relatives of the World War II vet was an uphill battle for Stone. She tried flipping through the phonebook, but was daunted by the number of people with the same last name. She tried calling veteran's groups but had no luck, before she tucked the medal away in a drawer.
A 2006 fire decimated her home and her belongings but, somehow, the Purple Heart was unscathed.
"The smoke and fire and water didn't get it. I knew it was meant to survive," she said.
When Stone logged onto Facebook last week, she saw an advertisement offering to reunite Purple Hearts with their owners. She got in touch with U.S. Army Capt. Zachariah Fike of Purple Hearts Reunited.
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Random Act: Stranger leaves note on car for U.S. soldier deployed in Afghanistan ... 'I Thought It Was Absolutely Unbelievable and It Brought Tears to My Eyes.'
A U.S. soldier deployed in Afghanistan was thrilled to the point of tears by $40 and a note of support for his girlfriend back home, he told ABCNews.com in a phone call from Afghanistan.
Army Spc. Albert DeSimone said what overwhelmed him was knowing that a stranger was "there for her" while he was away at war.
DeSimone's girlfriend Samantha Ford was leaving a Dunkin' Donuts Sunday in Arlington, Mass., when she saw a white envelope tucked under the windshield wiper on her car. She has a bumper sticker that reads, "1/2 of my heart is in Afghanistan."
Written on the outside of the envelope was a note that read, "I noticed the sticker on the back of your car. Take your hero out to dinner when he comes home. Thank you both for serving. Him deployed and you for waiting."
It was signed, "United States Veteran, God Bless." There were two $20 bills inside the envelope.
"I thought it was absolutely unbelievable and it brought tears to my eyes because it just made me feel good that people back home were there to be there for her, which has made her feel really good," DeSimone said.
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Phillip Berenz was born with Cerebral Palsy - so he decides to do a little climb for charity - all the way to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro - "Everyone has the ability to do something healthy or to help someone, you just have to make up your mind to do it"
(Elizabeth Comeau - Boston Globe)
During the course of documenting my own fitness journey, many people have asked me how I stay motivated. The answer -- other than my own crazy sheer will -- is quite simple: People like Phillip Berenz keep me going.
I've filed this guy away under the category labeled "people who don't believe in the word can't" -- one of my favorite categories of people.
I connected with Berenz, 28, in a serendipitous way through this blog when another reader told me I should interview him about what's he's accomplished.
What exactly has he accomplished? For starters, Berenz, who has cerebral palsy, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro -- for charity.
Berenz has an unassuming nature that's inspiring on its own as he tells his courageous story.
"Everyone has the ability to do something healthy or to help someone, you just have to make up your mind to do it," Berenz said earlier this week.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Pete Peterson, ex-POW, teaching Vietnam to swim: "I return here not to re-live what was probably the most unhappy day of my life, but to signify to the entire world that reconciliation is not only possible but absolutely the way to reach out..."my life was preserved to do something constructive,"
More than 30 years after being stripped, bound and paraded through countless Vietnamese villages, Pete Peterson returned to the country as America's ambassador. While there, he shook the hands of his captors - and began a mission to save the lives of young swimmers.
Douglas "Pete" Peterson could have got out of flying bombing missions in Vietnam.
When his number came up - in May 1966 - he had already served in the US Air Force for 10 years, both on home soil and in Germany. Since his wife was pregnant with their third child, he would have been eligible for a deferment - but he didn't apply.
"I was a professional soldier and I did what I had to do and she was a professional military wife and she did what she had to do," he recalls. "But I obviously regret that now."
The job Peterson had to do was fly F-4C Phantom II fighter planes. Taking off in Thailand, almost always at night, and flying right across Laos and into North Vietnam, he bombed enemy transportation routes. He was what was known as a Night Owl fighter pilot.
A rotation lasted 100 missions. Four months into his tour, Peterson had already flown 66 missions - it was starting to look like he might be home in time for Christmas.
Then on 10 September, Capt Peterson and co-pilot Lt Bernard "Bunny" Talley took off to attack a bridge and ferry complex close to Hanoi.
"Unfortunately the weather was worse than forecast and we ended up getting into the clouds. We couldn't see the missile coming," he says.
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An Indiana woman has been reunited with a diamond she lost nearly five years ago - and it had been lodged in her office printer the entire time.
Christi Hansen panicked when the half-carat marquis diamond from her beloved engagement ring disappeared one day while she was working at Evansville business Brake Supply in 2008.
'I looked down and noticed that my diamond was gone out of the top of it,' said Hansen, who married the love of her life 13 years earlier in February 1995.
She searched frantically for the jewel, which had been sitting on top of the ring with channel-set baguettes on all four sides, and her colleagues joined in but to no avail.
'We basically tore my whole desk apart, on our hands and knees going through the floor. I even went through all the bathrooms,' Hansen told NBC News.
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ARNOLD, Mo (WHDH) -- A woman was having a seizure behind the wheel and her car was rolling through an intersection when two people realized what was happening and didn't hesitate to jump into action.
Good Samaritans, Kristin Martin and Zachery Green jumped out of their car in a busy intersection to yell for help.
"I told my girlfriend- I said we've got to help this lady you know we have to. So I just slammed it into park and went with my instincts,” said Green.
"And that's when her foot must of hit the gas and took off so I'm running after her as fast as I can and I’m just screaming at the top of my lungs for somebody to stop and call 911,” said Martin.
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