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10 Uplifting Stories To Get You Through The Week (8/11/19)

by Radu Alexander
fact checked by Jamie Frater

A new week is on the way, and we want to help you start it off on a happy note. That’s why this list has some of the most positive stories that happened over the last few days. If you would like to read about bizarre and outlandish occurrences, too, check out the offbeat list right here.

This week, we explore a few inspiring tales of a daredevil on a hoverboard, a prodigious young hiker, a cyclist breaking down barriers, and an actor ready to help those in need. There are also a few heartwarming relationships, such as the friendship between a boy and a garbage man and the love between a baby stork and its adopted family.

10 Made For Each Other

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For a while, it looked like Scooter the dog would never find a happy home because he only had three legs. Now, however, the pooch has a new best friend after being adopted by a military veteran who also lost a leg.

Last week, Joshua Ferguson went into the Humane Society in Dickson, Tennessee, and left with a three-legged Scooter. He says that the dog is always happy and makes it “impossible to not smile around him.”

Ferguson lost his leg while riding in a truck that drove over an improvised explosive device. It is unclear how the dog was injured. But fishermen found him in a wooded area with the leg mangled, and it had to be amputated.

The fact that the two besties share their condition helps Ferguson remember that “it’s still a beautiful day” despite the hardships.[1]

9 No Longer Britain’s Worst Team

Photo credit: BBC

Everybody loves a good underdog story, and perhaps, there is no bigger underdog in the sporting world than Fort William FC, a club dubbed “Britain’s worst football team.” After a win drought of 840 days, the team finally managed to score a sweet victory after defeating Nairn County 5–2 last Wednesday in the North of Scotland Cup.

Last season had been particularly abysmal for Fort William. Competing in the Highland League, it finished in last place with no wins and a -224 goal difference. Its entire board resigned, and the team had to fill its ranks with several teenagers.[2]

The club’s performance was so bad that BBC Scotland filmed a documentary about it. Coincidentally, it started airing last week, the same time that Fort William finally won a match.

The response to the victory has been very enthusiastic, with manager Russell McMorran calling the week “nothing short of phenomenal.” Even so, he plans to keep his guys grounded, making sure that they don’t get too comfortable.

8 A Boy And His Garbage Man

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A sanitation worker rewarded his number one fan for his dedication and friendship with a toy garbage truck of his very own.

Aaron Mitchell works for American Waste Control as a trashman in Jenks, Oklahoma. On his route lives three-year-old Myles Henrichs who loves to watch the men and their big truck collect the garbage each week. Every Thursday morning when Aaron and his colleagues arrive, Myles is there ready to greet them. Sometimes, he has snacks or refreshments.[3]

Over the course of several months, their bond has grown tighter, from a wave and a smile to a hug each time they meet. During their last encounter, Mitchell had a surprise for young Myles to thank him for his dedication—a toy recycling truck.

The two besties took a photo together which was posted on the official Facebook page of the City of Jenks. The accompanying message thanked both of them for going to great lengths to forge this unusual friendship.

7 Hovering Across The Channel

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A French daredevil and inventor became the first person to cross the English Channel on a hoverboard.

Franky Zapata first wowed crowds with his Flyboard Air on Bastille Day as he took off and soared over a military parade in Paris. Afterward, he set his sights on crossing the channel using the hoverboard he designed.

He first attempted the feat in July but failed after getting knocked off the board during a refueling stop. On August 4, he was successful, completing the 35-kilometer (22 mi) journey in just 22 minutes.

Zapata’s hoverboard consists of a platform which gets lift through five small jet engines that are powered by kerosene from the rider’s backpack. According to the daredevil, his device achieved speeds of 160–170 kilometers per hour (100–105 mph) during his crossing.[4]

The only problem? He needed to refuel at the halfway point, which simply involved changing his backpack. This proved to be Zapata’s undoing the first time around. But this time, he used a bigger boat and platform to ensure a smoother landing.

6 Screen Villain Turns Real-Life Hero

Actor Danny Trejo saves baby trapped in car l ABC News

He usually plays a bad guy on-screen, but Danny Trejo showed that he is all heart in real life. The 75-year-old actor was a witness to an auto accident and jumped to the rescue of a baby trapped in an overturned car.

Two vehicles crashed in Los Angeles, causing one of them to roll over. In the back was a baby confined upside down to the car seat. Trejo crawled through a broken window and, with the help of another bystander named Monica Jackson, was able to free the toddler and get the youngster out of the car safely. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, three people were taken to the hospital, but none of them had serious injuries.

In an interview after the rescue, Trejo offered a few words of inspiration, saying that everything good in his life “happened as a direct result of helping someone else.” He ended with a PSA for other parents, reminding them to use child car seats because it was the only thing that saved that baby’s life.[5]

5 Redemption For Ketchup Thief

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Feeling remorse after swiping a condiment bottle from a New Jersey restaurant, a ketchup thief returned to the scene of the crime and left a note and two new ketchup bottles as an apology.

Maria DiLeo probably did not even notice a few weeks back that her establishment, Perkins Restaurant, ended the day with a deficit of one ketchup bottle. That’s because one of her patrons stole it to be “risky,” but it did not work out too well.

In an apology note delivered last week, the pilferer admitted to suffering bad karma since the “heinous” act. A string of misfortunes has followed the tomatoey villain, including a car collision.[6]

The thief couldn’t handle the guilt anymore, admitting to being “as square as they come” and saying that this was the worst thing the repentant perp had ever done. Seeking redemption, the thief not only apologized but also left two new bottles of ketchup alongside the note to make up for the one that was stolen.

DiLeo posted a picture of the note online and announced to the unidentified poacher that he or she had been forgiven. Showing that good deeds bring “good ketchup karma,” Heinz offered to cover the reformed criminal’s car repair bills if the person contacted the company. Heinz also promised to keep the identity of the thief a secret.

4 Look What The Stork Brought In

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Once abandoned by its bird family, a baby stork is now enjoying the sweet life in Poland and being spoiled by its new adoptive human parents.

Jan and Alicia Czesnick found the bird earlier this year while it was still a chick. They believe that the stork parents rejected it because it was the weakest of the flock. However, the Czesnicks decided to take the baby in.

Since then, it’s been nothing but easy living for the stork. It spends the day taking bird baths or lounging around with its new parents. When it’s dinnertime, the bird feasts on meals of chicken and fish. The Czesnicks believe that the stork will fly the coop next spring, so they want to make the time they have together as memorable and enjoyable as possible.

There is only one thing that the two humans simply cannot agree on: what to name their adopted fledgling. Alicia prefers “Friday” after the day when they rescued the bird, while Jan wants to call it “Krzysztof Piatek” after one of his favorite football stars who plays for AC Milan.[7]

3 First Woman To Win The TCR

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Twenty-four-year-old German cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger has become the first woman to win the Transcontinental Race (TCR), an ultradistance cycling event billed as one of the toughest races in the world.

The TCR is an individual time trial across Europe with no stages. That means that the clock never stops from start to finish, so riders must decide how much time they are willing to sacrifice resting.

It is also completely self-supported. Cyclists are not allowed to draft or receive any kind of help from other racers or from acquaintances. They even have to handle their own repairs and accommodations.

The route varies each year. The initial race was only 3,200 kilometers (1,990 mi) long from London to Istanbul. This year’s event was 4,000 kilometers (2,490 mi), starting in Bulgaria and ending in France. There are checkpoints that the cyclists must pass through, but other than that, they are free to come up with their own routes.

The first event in 2013 only had 30 participants. Since then, hundreds of riders have gathered to take part in the TCR each year, although two-thirds of them never make it to the finish line.

This time, Kolbinger managed to best over 260 other cyclists with a time of 10 days, two hours, and 48 minutes. She spent 15–17 hours biking each day and averaged about four hours of sleep each night, often by the side of the road in a sleeping bag. Her determination was rewarded as Kolbinger finished over 10 hours ahead of the person in second place.[8]

2 On The Road Again

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A grandmother and her grandson have embarked on an ambitious sightseeing journey, and they plan to visit all 61 US national parks.

When she turned 85 years old, Joy Ryan began lamenting all the things she had never experienced. She had spent most of her life in Duncan Falls, Ohio, occasionally traveling to Okatibbee Lake in Florida. Joy had never seen the ocean—or a mountain for that matter—except on television. She had never seen “sand dunes, a cactus, a major river, or pueblo ruins.”[9]

This all changed in 2015 when her grandson Brad decided to take her on an impromptu three-day trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During that time, they encountered plenty of other visitors who expressed regrets that they had never done more with their grandparents when they were still around.

This inspired Brad to keep touring the country with Joy, but they lacked the money to do so. Fortunately, a fundraiser titled “Grandma Joy’s Road Trip” proved successful. They took off on a month-long trip that saw them visit 21 US national parks.

Now Joy is 89 years old. She has seen the ocean and mountains and all kinds of wildlife. Together, the duo has visited 29 national parks and plans to see all 61. Up next are Hawaii and Alaska.

1 The Youngest Member Of The 46-ers Club

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At just four years old, Maebh Nesbitt from Queensbury, New York, became the youngest person ever to climb all the peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.

She completed the challenge in about a year, finishing in July just two days shy of her fifth birthday. Maebh got her love of hiking from her mom, Siobhan Carney-Nesbitt, who dreamed of the two of them hiking together ever since she got pregnant.[10]

Both Siobhan and her husband, Lee, are part of the 46-ers club, meaning that they climbed all 46 peaks of the Adirondacks. Maebh wanted a club sticker like her parents had, and that is what set her on her quest to conquer the mountains. When she reached her final peak, her mom said that Maebh was “beaming” and stayed that way all the way down.

The previous record was set in 1999 by two five-year-old twins.

Read more uplifting stories you might have missed from August 4, 2019, and July 28, 2019.

fact checked by Jamie Frater