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Uplifting

One Man’s Incredible Tactic to Find Kidney Donor for Wife Has Unbelievable Results

Within a few hours, my picture of this man…had gone viral.

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When Raymond and Mylen Thompson first met online in 2000, it was the beginning of a seemingly ordinary love story. Nothing too epic, just bonding over their shared appreciation for pro wrestling in an AOL chat room.

Not long after, the sweet couple married and had a daughter named Rachel. Together they lived, happy and healthy, in Brooklyn.

Until one day, Raymond recalls, their simple life was derailed and he got the most terrifying phone call of his life. “[Mylen] called me at work and said, ‘Babe, you need to come home right now.’ She said, ‘I can’t feel my right side. It’s numb,’” he told CNN editor Lilit Marcus.

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As it turned out, Mylen developed a serious kidney disease and now, Raymond shared, “she goes to a [dialysis] center for three hours, three days a week. There’s a machine that filters your blood. It takes a lot out of you.”

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Inspired by stories of people who weren’t afraid to make their need for an organ donation known, Raymond set out on a mission to find Mylen a kidney by wearing a sign on his back.

Then, in late December, Raymond happened to be wearing his sign, which reads, “IN NEED OF A KIDNEY FOR MY WIFE B+” along with his phone number, at his local Target store when he was noticed by someone with an international platform.

While at Target, Raymond caught the eye of CNN editor Lilit Marcus. Marcus snapped a quick photo of him and shared it via Twitter, saying “[couldn’t] stop thinking about it.”

“Within a few hours, my picture of this man…had gone viral. Celebrities such as Zach Braff, Martina Navratilova and Evan Rachel Wood shared it,” Marcus wrote in an article for CNN about Raymond. “Actress Sarah Hyland, who recently revealed she had a second kidney transplant, shared the image, too.”

“One thing Raymond wants to clear up,” Marcus explained, “is that his family won’t be setting up a GoFundMe for medical expenses — between his work’s insurance and Medicare, they’re covered. It’s just the kidney they need.”

“I had a few people walk up to me and try to give me money,” Raymond shared. “I refuse that every single time.”

Amazingly, Marcus’ effort to put Raymond’s message out to the world has resulted in thousands of contacts from people as far as Pakistan and Australia looking to donate a kidney to Mylen. Now, the Thompsons are beginning to respond to each phone call and, having been flooded with offers, their prospects are looking quite good.

“I appreciate everyone who reaches out. It means a lot to us to get the message out there,” Raymond said, noting that even if going viral achieves the goal of finding a kidney for Mylen, that’s only half the battle. “Sign up to be organ donors. There are so many people that actually need organs, especially kidneys. You have two and can live a healthy life with just one. Just sign up.”

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Uplifting

Craft Beer Customers Leave Unopened Can of Pale Ale on Bar for Fallen Soldiers

The gesture did not go unnoticed.

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craft beer

There really isn’t anything more American than craft beer. Before the experiment called “prohibition”, America was home to well over 2,500 breweries, with a vast majority of these businesses being family-operated and neighborhood-focused.  The banning of alcohol in the early 20th century brought this number down to around a half dozen or so companies, nearly all of whom converted their factories to produce medicine or dairy products in order to survive. Now, thanks to the resurgence of craft beer, Americans have their choice of nearly 4,000 smaller breweries to buy their swill from. And this doesn’t include brands like Coors, Miller, or Budweiser, who have all been gobbled up by giant, foreign conglomerates, making them no longer American-owned companies. In Atlanta, Georgia, the undisputed king of craft beer is Sweetwater – a brand usually focused on recreation and leisure. As visitors experience the brewery’s newly renovated taproom over Memorial Day Weekend, something special and spontaneous happened. To that, we simply say “cheers”.

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Uplifting

Total Strangers Gather to Celebrate Life of Korean War Vet on Memorial Day Weekend

America has not forgotten those who sacrificed it all for our freedom.

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veteran

Amid the barbecues and Budweisers, it can be difficult to temper our Memorial Day celebrations with the true reason for the remembrance. Those of us with a three day weekend are likely gassing up the boat, gathering our grill supplies, and lathering on the sunscreen in anticipation of Memorial Day – a holiday that is far too often relegated to the realm of “hey it’s summer”-style shenanigans. We mustn’t ever forget why we have the day off, however. Memorial Day is truly a day of solemn reflection on those we’ve lost in the line of American military duty – a fact that is all too often overshadowed by these celebrations. But not for the fine people of Ohio, who showed the world what compassion is all about this weekend. A public call for mourners to attend the Ohio funeral of an unaccompanied 90-year-old Korean War veteran Saturday resulted in an overwhelming response. “It being Memorial Day weekend it was the right thing to do to come up and honor his life,” Suzanne Koehne told Fox 19. She attended the funeral in Cincinnati after driving nearly 100 miles to get there from Louisville, Kentucky. The turnout was incredible. An estimated 400 strangers, like Koehne, showed up to pay final respects to Army veteran Hezekiah Perkins whose only family, a daughter, couldn’t make it because of poor health, Fox 19 and other media reported. The gesture is just another reminder of the inherent greatness of the American public, and their reverence for those who sacrificed it all for our freedoms.

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