Since Ashlynn Marracino’s dad died of a brain aneurysm in 2010, the 16-year-old has had a tradition of writing him a letter on his birthday, January 6. This year, she wrote the letter on a star-shaped a balloon, tell him, “You have missed so much and I miss you. And I love you, miss you like crazy!” She updated her dad on what she’s been up and apologized for missing his last phone call before pleading with him to send her a sign: “I don’t like how I never had you in my life. It’s not fair. Show me a sign please. Anything to let me know you’re there. I miss you so much and I want you back.” She sent the balloon up into the sky, where it floated 436 miles before landing the following day in a restaurant parking lot in Auburn, California. When a customer handed the balloon to restaurant owner Lisa Swisley, she knew she was looking at something special. “I noticed there was writing on it and I got very teary-eyed,” she told ABC News. She felt it had come to her for a reason. Keep reading »
This year, add another Christmas card to your list and make one little girl’s last holiday season a bright one. Addie Fausett of Fountain Green, Utah, suffers from an undiagnosed illness that causes cerebral atrophy, which affects her speech and motor skills, according to CNN. At age three, Addie stopped growing, and now, at 6, she weighs only 23 pounds. According to doctors, Addie is only expected to live one more year, likely making this Christmas her last.
After receiving such a devastating prognosis, Addie’s family decided to ask for donations of Christmas cards to give their little girl a lifetime of love and joy from strangers across the world. Keep reading »
Judy Muhe, a 76-year-old from Palmdale, Florida, suffered a hard fall at home alone with her two dogs. She has Parkinson’s disease and was unable to get up on her own, so she drifted in and out of consciousness on her kitchen floor for two horrifying days. The dogs, Higgins and Dodger, were her saving grace. The two swooped in, laying beside Muhe to keep her warm and to comfort her until a friend arrived and found her on the floor. Muhe told “ABC News” her dogs are “angels on four legs” and “my guardians … I have no doubt they would do it again.” [ABC]
Shannon Hall, a 24-year-old from central Wisconsin, was set to marry on October 4 when she tragically lost her life two weeks ago in a car accident. She’s survived by five brothers and four sisters, and all of her sisters were to be bridesmaids in her wedding. Before her passing, they’d signed up for the Udder Mudder charity mud race, and Shannon had urged the ladies to do the race in formal dresses. Since they’ll no longer be wearing their bridesmaids dresses next month, the women decided they’d be the perfect attire for the race. On Saturday, 27 people who knew and loved Shannon teamed up to make it through the obstacle course. Shannon’s fiance, Justin Cyzan, was in the accident with Shannon and is still recovering from his injuries, but he was able to photograph the event. For a few hours, the grieving family had a reason to smile and laugh again — and to make Shannon proud. [ABC]
On July 25, several thousand TD Bank locations in Canada gave a surprise $20 bill to every customer as part of their #TDThanksYou campaign. Four very special branches set up an Automated Thanking Machine, a talking ATM that gave special customers gifts of gratitude for the extraordinary kindness they’d been showing in their lives. These customers were pre-chosen by branch employees and told they’d been called into the store to test a brand new ATM, and were shocked when they received vacation tickets, cash bonuses, and even a chance to throw the first pitch at a baseball game. I tend to think of banks as emotionless money suckers, but this video is pretty redeeming. [BuzzFeed]
Remember last November when San Francisco transformed into Gotham City so a little boy with leukemia could be Batkid for a day? And how nobody could stop crying a million tears about how touching it was? Batkid made such an impact that he’ll be getting his own documentary. “Batkid Begins” takes a look at what went into making five-year-old Miles Scott’s dream come true and why it struck a chord with so many people. The film will be released in select theaters on November 15 and quite possibly restore your faith in humanity. [US Weekly]