Archive for the ‘Love’ Category
Watch this story: Earthquake victims find healing and compassion in Springfield
Thousands of miles from the rubble that now overwhelms the nation of Haiti, six children are laughing, growing, and healing at Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield.
They left behind their families, their comfort zones, and their native languages to get care at the specialty hospital. For the past several weeks, they received around-the-clock, one-on-one attention from a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and volunteers.
The care has helped them to heal not just physically, but emotionally as well. Now, four of the six children are ready to be discharged. Before they can return to Haiti, they will enter the local medical foster care system and continue treatment at Shriners as outpatients.
When they leave the hospital they will be missed, but the impression they made on the hospital and its staff will never be forgotten.
An Ohio high school softball coach threw a curve at the rival team’s coach when he dropped to one knee on the diamond and asked for her hand in marriage.
Glen Este High School varsity coach Tim Gregory and Milford High School coach Christy Foster had been dating more than two years before Wednesday’s proposal.
Gregory says “softball is really what brought us together.” Foster, of course, said yes to the proposal and called it perfect.
The ensuing game wasn’t, though. Gregory’s team won 1 to 0.
Read more: Ohio coach proposes to rival on field
We have all heard of food banks and the impact they make on our community, but how about a pantry for pets?
It is the idea of Newberry’s Star Chappell, who within the last year learned about the special gift of owning
“He’s truly changed my life, I mean he opened up my heart. I just never had to care for something that needed me that much,” said Chappell of her cat Trainor.
Last year Chappell was going through a very difficult time in her life when she found an abandoned and very sick outside her restaurant.
She took him to a vet, where he needed a blood transfusion and lots of tender loving care.
The cat’s name is Trainor and he’s all better now.
For as much as the animal needed a friend, Chappell did too.
Watch this story: Midlands Woman Opening Up Food Bank for Pets
A woman whose three-year-old son was abducted and taken to live in Hungary has been reunited with him 27 years later after finding his name on Facebook.
Avril Grube last saw Gavin when his father took him on an outing to Blackpool Zoo. That was in 1982.
Instead of going to the zoo, however, Joseph Paros took the boy to Budapest in defiance of a court order.
Despite appeals via the Hungarian Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Budapest, and an appeal to Margaret Thatcher, then the Prime Minister, Mrs Grube heard nothing more of her son.
Then last October, her sister, Beryl Wilson, typed the name Gavin Paros into Google and found a link to someone of that name on the social networking site Facebook.
A frustrating wait followed. With more than 200 million users, there was a possibility that the Facebook member merely shared the name with Mrs Grube’s son.
It was several weeks before Mr Paros, now a 30-year-old father of three, checked his Facebook page and found the message from his aunt. Mother and son were reunited at 4am on Thursday after her husband Jeff picked him up from Gatwick and drove him to their home in Poole, Dorset. Mrs Grube, 61, who is partially disabled after a stroke, said: “I couldn’t sleep, I just sat waiting for him to arrive. Even though it has been nearly 30 years, when I first saw him I recognised him. He has my eyes.
“I was so overcome and just said ‘my beautiful son’ over and over again. He was very quiet and overwhelmed. We just hugged each other. It is the happiest day of my life, there are almost no words to describe it.”
The pair managed to communicate, although Mr Paros has forgotten all the English he knew as a boy and Mrs Grube does not speak Hungarian.
Mrs Grube, who has three other children, has yet to meet her daughter-in-law, Sylvia, and three grandchildren Anastasia, 10, Thomas, 7, and Angelina, 6. She hopes they will decide to move to Britain.
Mrs Wilson, 59, had spent the best part of three decades helping her sister trace her son. Because Hungary was a Communist state in 1982 on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain it made the task of tracing a three-year-old boy virtually impossible for a single mother in Liverpool. Appeals for help through official channels fell on deaf ears.
Mrs Wilson, who still lives in Liverpool, said: “Gavin’s father had visitation rights and said he was going to the zoo. Naturally, my sister was devastated. We didn’t have people around us to tell us where to go or who to speak to. We tried our MP and wrote to Margaret Thatcher but nobody was interested or wanted to help.
“Avril endured many sleepless nights, not knowing if Gavin was alive or dead. She didn’t cope very well and had a terrible time. She has a big heart and loves her children very much. As a result her own health has suffered.”
While Mrs Wilson was trying to trace Mr Paros through the internet, he had been trying to find his English family after the death of his father in 2006. Mrs Wilson said: “I tried online electoral rolls to check if Gavin had moved back to Britain, and I tried Friends Reunited, but didn’t get anywhere.
“Then one day last October I put his name into Facebook and found him. I e-mailed him but it took a while for him to respond and when he did he gave me his phone numbers.
“I called my sister when I heard back from Gavin and told her to sit down as I had some news. All I heard after that was screaming.”
“Titanic” stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have pledged to help the last survivor of the sinking of the ocean liner.
The stars say they have thrown their support behind a fund that would subsidize Millvina Dean’s nursing home fees.
Dean was 2 months old when the Titanic sank beneath the waves on the night of April 14, 1912. She has been living at a nursing home in the English city of Southampton since she broke her hip about three years ago but has struggled to pay the fees.
In October she sold several Titanic mementoes to raise cash.
DiCaprio and Winslet said in a statement that they hoped Dean could rest easier knowing that her future was secure. The Millvina Fund was launched Monday in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Read more: Kate And Leo help last Titanic survivor
Over the past year, Leson Dunkley and her family have had a tough time. She was diagnosed with breast cancer around the time when her own mother died of the same affliction. But, Saturday they had a moment that may live in history.
“I think it’s beautiful. I think it makes it a more important record to break,” said Alys Hansen, one of Dunkley’s four children.
A total of 690 people turned up at New Vista High School Saturday to form the world’s largest bicycle bell ensemble of all time. They were divided in groups based on the sounds of their bells and played several songs including, “You are my sunshine,” and “She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain.”
Each participant paid an entry fee which went directly to help Dunkley and her four children ages 10 to 19. Hansen says medical expenses have been mounting and they were in danger of losing their home.
Dunkley is going through her third round of chemotherapy. She is a teacher at the Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies. Last year, one month after she found out about her own breast cancer, her mother passed away.
Hansen says the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming.
“There are so many beautiful, loving people and that are so willing to give,” said Hansen.
The previous world record was 503 bicycle bell ringers, set by a small town in Germany. ‘The Guinness Book of World Records’ requires that the ensemble must play a recognizable song for at least five minutes. The effort in Boulder is the unofficial record till it is confirmed by Guinness.
“I think it’s an exciting incentive,” said Hansen. “It’s one of those things when I was a kid, you read the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ and you never imagine you get to be a part of one. And, then here it is and I’m in the middle of it.”
The event raised a total of $18,298 for the family including a $2,500 grant from a local non-profit group called The Beanstalk Foundation.
“We love our mom so very much and we are so glad that this has happened, so grateful” said Hansen. “I don’t know how to articulate that any more than we are grateful.”
Read more and watch this story: Bike bell ringers break world record for charity
About 12 years ago, Bill and Susan Armbrecht decided to call it quits on trying to have a child.
“We used to avoid going to church on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because it was too painful,” Bill Armbrecht recalled.
On Sunday, Susan Armbrecht will celebrate her first Mother’s Day. Their daughter, Allie Grace, was born Sept. 28.
“I believe that we wouldn’t have this child if it wasn’t for our faith,” he said. “I truly believe that this baby is a gift from God, the desire of our hearts.”
The Armbrechts had tried for years to conceive. Recalling the fertility treatments, she said, “Bill had to chase me around the house to give me shots.”
They considered adoption, but the cost proved prohibitive.
“The doctors couldn’t tell us why we couldn’t have children, and we couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t have children,” she said.
One day early last year, she felt a little strange and decided that her symptoms must be menopause-related.
Wanting to rule out pregnancy, she used one of the tests sometimes given to female patients at the Alabama Orthopedic Clinic, where she served as a technician in pain management.
Surprised and unsure when she saw the result, she asked a nurse to interpret it. The nurse said that she was pregnant.
On the way home that day she purchased a greeting card, put the test results in it and placed it in the kitchen where her husband could find it.
“Is this for real?” he asked.
As the months advanced, the Armbrechts read everything they could about pregnancy in older women. That information caused some concern, but they decided against medical tests such as amniocentesis — used to identify potential birth defects and other problems.
Instead, the Armbrechts relied on their faith.
Susan Armbrecht said that she experienced a smooth pregnancy, with no morning sickness and little weight gain.
Allie Grace arrived three weeks early, a situation her father jokingly blames on the excitement of the Alabama-Georgia football game played the previous day.
“She heard all the yelling and screaming and said that she wasn’t going to miss the rest of the season,” said Bill Armbrecht, a Crimson Tide fan and owner of The Brick Pit, a local barbecue restaurant.
Sitting in the living room of their west Mobile home recently, they played with Allie Grace and joked about being simultaneously amazed and sleepy.
Bill Armbrecht said he hopes their experience will encourage other couples who still want children, but fear parenthood is beyond their reach.
Allie Grace’s parents now playfully compete about their daughter’s future: Mom wants her to be a ballet dancer and a cheerleader. Dad wants her to become the first female field goal kicker on scholarship at Alabama.
“What fascinates me the most is that every day I’m holding this little girl, it’s like holding an angel,” he said. “Those blue eyes look up at me and I feel like I’m holding an angel.”
“She wakes up at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and she’s smiling,” Susan Armbrecht said. “You can’t be mad at a baby that’s smiling at you. She’s a good baby. I said if God was going to give me one this late in life, he’s going to give me a good one.”
Here’s one from one of my friends, Joey Sovine.
Ten-year-old Katie Stagliano dreams to end childhood hunger across the world.
The 4th grader from Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville was recently featured in NBC Nightly News “Making a difference” segment.
Her dream began in her backyard where a 3rd grade project turned into a 40 pound cabbage.
“We decided that my cabbage was too special to be eaten so I contacted the organization fields to family. They are an organization that brings extra crops from farmer’s fields and other places to people in need and they told us that Family Crisis Ministries’ soup kitchen would greatly appreciate it,” explained Katie.
The 40 pound cabbage went on to feed over 275 people and triggered a dream that is spreading throughout her school.
With help from environmental science teacher Michael Newman, a garden has been constructed on the school’s property where Katie’s classmates help to grow food for the homeless.
Katie has now helped to feed over 800 people and hopes to inspire more people to grow food for those less fortunate.
Watch this story: Summerville kid dreams to end childhood hunger
Fran & Marlo Cowan (married 62 years) playing impromptu recital together in the atrium of the Mayo Clinic. He’ll be 90 in February.
Tinker Bell has been reunited with her owners after a 70-mph gust of wind picked up the six-pound Chihuahua and tossed her out of sight. Dorothy and Lavern Utley credit a pet psychic for guiding them on Monday to a wooded area nearly a mile from where 8-month-old Tinker Bell had been last seen. The brown long-haired dog was dirty and hungry but otherwise OK.
The Utleys, of Rochester, had set up an outdoor display Saturday at a flea market in Waterford Township, 25 miles northwest of Detroit. Tinker Bell was standing on their platform trailer when she was swept away.
Dorothy Utley tells The Detroit News that her cherished pet “just went wild” upon seeing her.
Read more: Blown-away Chihuahua reunited with owners