Garth Callaghan has been leaving sweet notes in his daughter Emma’s lunchbox ever since she was a little girl. Written on napkins, Callaghan draws his wisdom from his own life and sources as varied as the bible and “Star Wars.” The notes began as a way to give Emma a few words of inspiration and advice alongside her PB&J, but two years ago they took on a much more poignant meaning when Garth was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors gave him an 8% chance of surviving the next 5 years. Despite the grim prognosis, Garth wanted to ensure that Emma would have one new napkin note in her lunchbox every day until her high school graduation, so he set out to write them — 826 of them, to be exact. He also started a Facebook page, Napkin Notes, to share his messages and encourage other parents to write their own lunchbox notes and “create a daily connection with your child,” one that’s much sweeter — and infinitely more meaningful — than a Hostess cupcake. Keep reading »
Sixty-one years is a long time to be married. To celebrate their diamond-anniversary-plus-one, the grandkids of Donald and Dorothy Lutz staged an adorable photoshoot inspired by the opening scene of the world’s saddest/most uplifting movie, “Up.” Keep reading »
When Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter World Tour stopped in Las Vegas earlier this month, there was a very special fan in attendance. Taylon is a terminally ill young girl with an inoperable brain tumor. ”Her dying wish was to dance with Beyoncé,” said Ivy McGregor, of Philanthropy Program Partnerships, in a video posted to Beyoncé’s YouTube channel Christmas Eve. Naturally, Bey made it happen, dancing with the teary girl as she sang the Destiny’s Child song “Survivor.” Watch above, but get the Kleenex ready. [NY Daily News]
There is one nightmare that every New Yorker is terrified of experiencing: falling (or getting pushed) onto the subway tracks. For Cecil Williams, 61, that nightmare became a reality on Tuesday when he fainted while standing on the 125th street platform and fell down onto the tracks.
But, see, Cecil Williams is blind. So right after he fell, his service dog, Orlando, jumped right down on the tracks with him. A bystander told The New York Post, ”[Orlando] was kissing him, trying to get him to move.” Keep reading »
On April 15 of last year, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and almost 300 were injured. One of those injured was James Costello of Malden, Massachusetts, who was photographed with serious burns and his clothes torn following the blast. Three of Costello’s friends lost their legs and others suffered burns and shrapnel injuries.
Costello spent several weeks at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he underwent surgeries to get pig skin grafts on most of his right arm and right leg. He was then transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where one of his nurses was a woman named Krista D’Agostino.
Now, these two are engaged. Keep reading »
Was there a lot of covert onion-chopping going on at the office or was 2013 particularly packed with heartstring-pulling stories? After reviewing our archives, I’m going to go with the latter. From tearful dog reunions to tales of heartbreaking loss to kids showing kindness and compassion far beyond their years, here are the stories that had us unabashedly sobbing at our desks this year: Keep reading »
Angelo and Jennifer Merendino were married only five short months when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Angelo decided to catalog his wife’s treatment through his photographs, which he posted on a blog titled My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer. The images are beautiful, startling and heartbreaking, especially as they reveal Jennifer’s detereorating health. Unfortunately, Jennifer succumbed to the disease in December 2011, but her inspiration lives on in Angelo, who has started The Love You Share, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide financial assistance to women in need while they are receiving treatment for breast cancer, with 50 percent of the profits from his book The Battle We Didn’t Choose going to the cause. Check out a few more of Angelo’s incredible photographs after the jump and then peruse his blog for more about he and Jennifer’s wonderful love story. But bring the Kleenex, because it’s a multi-hanky read. [My Wife's Fight With Breast Cancer via Viral Nova] Keep reading »
Harold and Ruth Knapke were childhood friends who started a romantic correspondence while Harold, known as “Doc,” served in the army during World War II. The wartime flirtation turned into a real-life relationship when Doc returned (as Ruth put it, “I let him chase me until I caught him!”), and the couple were soon married. During their 65-year marriage, they raised 6 children together, tended to their Ohio farm, and remained hopelessly devoted to each other. Earlier this month, days before their 66-year anniversary, Doc died in the nursing home room they shared. Eleven hours later, so did Ruth. Doc and Ruth had both been ailing, but the couple’s children believe Doc went first “as a final act of love.” “We believe he wanted to accompany her out of this life and into the next one, and he did,” their daughter explained. “It is really just a love story,” said another daughter. “They were so committed and loyal and dedicated, they weren’t going to go anywhere without the other one.” [Dayton Daily News]
Meet Henry. He’s a resident of this Brooklyn nursing home where new music therapy is being used to help break senior patients out of their shells. Henry experienced several strokes and was in a near wordless, silent state. But when nurses gave him an iPod filled with music from his youth, Henry came back to life. The change in him was both physical and mental — and as neuroscientist Oliver Sacks notes, “He’s reacquired his identity for a while through the power of music.” It’s really a must watch. [Buzzfeed]