Positive News This Week
Here are several positive stories to take you into the weekend from the CNN Good Stuff newsletter. It’s great to see the intention to look for the “good stuff” from more and more sources like CNN, the Good News Network, MSN News, Reasons To Be Cheerful and others to share and amplify positive vibes. We hope our small effort here in #backyardbend is helping too. Enjoy the weekend!
From CNN’s ‘Good Stuff’ by AJ Willingham You can connect with the newsletter HERE.
When things get hard, it’s tempting to say, “Life sucks.” But I’ve been trying out a different phrase. Life, after all, is good in my estimation. Well, it always has the potential to be good. It’s just hard sometimes. So whenever I get down, instead, I try to think, “Life is good. It’s just hard right now.” It reminds me that, even through trials, the short, bizarre, difficult, wonderful time we have together on this Earth is an irreplaceable gift.
Tia Wimbush and Susan Ellis have been coworkers for years at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, but they had no idea they were facing the same struggle. Both of their husbands were suffering from kidney disease and in desperate need of transplants, and one conversation in the work bathroom changed everything. Wimbush casually asked Ellis what her husband’s blood type was. Miraculously, they discovered they were each a match to the other’s husband. On March 19, the four friends underwent successful surgeries. One of the transplant doctors said, in all their working years, they had never seen two pairs pull off a double kidney switch like this. Now, the couples say they’re more than friends — they’re family. “I’m forever changed. I’m hopeful for humanity and I hope other people will take that away from this story,” Wimbush says. “You can be somebody else’s hope, it could be you to show someone a glimpse of what humanity really means.”
Baby, baby, baby, baby!
One hundred babies. Two shifts. Ninety-one hours. Yep, that’s definitely a baby boom! Andrews Women’s Hospital made delivery history in late June when two of its teams completed what the hospital called a “rare and exceptional” influx of births. The marathon delivery sessions beat the hospital’s record from 2018, when staff delivered 48 babies in 41 hours, the hospital said. “Atlas” and “Daniel” were popular names for the boys of the group, the hospital said, while six of the baby girls were named “Gianna.” Another fun stat: Of the 6,000 babies the hospital delivered in 2020, there were 100 sets of twins and two sets of triplets.
Life goes on, in endless song
The husband of a woman who died in the helicopter crash that also killed Kobe Bryant and seven others delivered a moving tribute to her on a recent episode of “America’s Got Talent.” Matt Mauser sang Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds,” and recalled what he said was a “dreamy life” with Christina Mauser, a coach at the basketball legend’s Mamba Sports Academy. “She was just this very humble, powerful, beautiful human being,” he said. The pair were married for 15 years and had three children. The four judges, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofía Vergara gave him a standing ovation after his performance and voted him through to the next round.
Hats off to….
Zaila Avant-garde, the winner of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. They’re going to need to invent a new word for “multitalented,” because this 14-year-old has levels upon levels! In addition to being a spelling champ, Zaila is a great basketball player, and was the Guinness World Records titleholder for most bounce juggles in one minute. She hopes to one day play basketball at Harvard before a career at NASA or as a coach in the NBA. Oh, and she’s the first African American to win the Bee. Her winning word? “Murraya,” a type of tree.
You gotta see this
Residents of Plover, a village in Wisconsin, had a hearty laugh recently when a painting project on their water tower went awry, resulting in a new name: PLVOER. Listen, mistakes happen … even when they’re several feet tall and plastered where everyone can see! Luckily, good-natured Ploverians took the mistake in stride, posting memes and jokes online. In fact, some people were sad to see the massive typo go when painters patched it up. I spoke to Dan Mahoney, the Village of Plvoer Plover’s administrator, and he said it was nice to see people putting a positive spin on it. “Everybody had a good a time, and we at the Village of Plover loved seeing everyone’s ingenuity and creativity,” he said.
Heroes among us
Danielle Gletow is the founder of One Simple Wish, an organization that helps donors grant wishes from foster kids, foster parents and young adults who have aged out of the system. It’s emotional work, and one night last month, Gletow was feeling the full weight of it. Her friend had just passed away from ALS, and she was overwhelmed with anxiety over whether she could support all of the people counting on her. In fact, she had made a special birthday wish days earlier, asking the public for donations on One Simple Wish’s page. Little did she know that at the same time, a Reddit user was writing a post on the message board site that would change everything. The Redditor, who goes by dartdoug, answered the question “What is something you’ve done purely out of the goodness of your heart but have not told anyone?” by mentioning the One Simple Wish site. Within hours, the Reddit community had donated sneakers, books, toys, electronics and more, fulfilling dozens of wishes. By last count, donations after the post have totaled more than $185,000. It was pure coincidence, and Gletow was blown away.
This post is getting long, but Gletow’s words about the young people the site serves deserves to be read: “I want them to feel valued and seen and not for what they’ve been through, not for their trauma, but just for who they are,” she said. ” For their sense of humor. For their intelligence. For their quirkiness. For their interest in writing or art. I want all of them to have some sense of wonder and hope and childhood. And this is what Reddit did.”
Plastic waste is a huge environmental problem, but researchers in Austria may have found a new solution in the stomachs of cows. Scientists found that common plastic can be broken down when exposed rumen, the matter found in the largest part of a cow’s stomach. (And yes, it’s related to the word “ruminate,” which comes from a Latin word meaning “to chew over.”) The rumen broke down certain polymers, and scientists are hoping by replicating the enzymes responsible for the process, they can degrade some of the millions of metric tons of non-biodegradable plastic clogging up oceans, waterways and other parts of the environment.