Georgia Football Team Helps 5-Year-Old With Rare Brain Disorder Obtain Dream

A five-year-old boy from Georgia was told by doctors that he would never be able to play football because of a very rare brain disorder.

Ben Holloway was diagnosed with brain dural arteriovenous fistual (BDAF) last year.

“Last spring, my wife was telling me that Ben’s eye looked like it was bulging, and though I didn’t think much of it, she was very persistent,” his dad, Joshua Holloway, told ABCNews. “We brought him to a pediatrician after a few days, and he knew something was wrong.”

The doctors immediately rushed Ben to the ER where a CT scan confirmed the BDAF diagnosis.  BDAF is a condition where there is an abnormal connection between blood vessels inside and outside the the brain’s fibrous covering, or dura.

“You can have side effects and devastating problems such as bleeding in the brain, which can lead to stroke, and other problems such as swelling in eyes that can cause vision loss,” Dr. Nicholas Bambakidis said. “In children, these fistulas seem to form spontaneously, whereas adults usually acquire them from trauma such as gunshot wounds.”

Ben had to undergo surgeries to deal with the problems associated with BDAF including an abnormal tangle of blood vessels that brought excess blood the size of a golf ball into his head.  Doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of a stroke and even 20 percent chance of dying during surgery.

A week before a third surgery, the players and coaches of Murray County High School heard about Ben, his love of football and how doctors said he could never play the game.

And they decided to prove the doctors wrong.

Ben was invited to a scrimmage game where he was surprised with his own uniform and equipment including shoulder pads and a helmet.  He was told to suit up and be ready when his number was called.

In the first half of the game, the offense called on Ben to be the running back in a “shotgun draw.”  The quarterback took the snap and handed it to Ben who then ran it in for a touchdown with the entire team cheering him on.

Video of the event has gone viral.

“He was like a kid at Christmas time,” Joshua Holloway said. “It was like Christmas morning for him — it really was.”

“We still watch the video every night,” he added.

Ben had a third surgery the following week that was so successful he may not have to undergo a fourth surgery.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family’s unexpected medical costs.

Oregon Community Rallies to Renovate Elderly Couple’s Home after Teens’ Taunts

Last month, two teenagers taunted a 75-year-old man over the condition of his house.

“Look at this crappy house, they just need to burn it down,” one of the teens said among the degrading comments thrown at the home of Leonard Bullock.

Bullock was sitting on the porch of his home at the time and heard every word.

So did Josh Cyganik, a worker for Union Pacific Railroad who starts his workday across the street from Bullock’s home.

“I saw him put his head down and it was clear he was upset,” Cyganik told “I thought about saying something to the boys, but sometimes anger is better left unsaid and I took a different course of action that ended up paying off more so than if I yelled at them.”

Cyganik spoke to a local hardware store, Tum-A-Lum Lumber, who agreed to donate the paint necessary to make the renovations to Bullock’s home.  The good samaritan then went on Facebook to ask his friends to help him during a workday on July 18th to make a difference in Bullock’s life.

It ended up much more than just a new coat of paint.

A family brought Bullock a new set of patio furniture so he could sit outside his home in comfort.  Starbucks brought six gallons of water and iced tea for the workers.

And then a lumber company showed up unannounced, unloaded new lumber and built Bullock a brand new porch.

“The house is real nice now,” Bullock told ABC News. “It makes me feel good to look at it, especially after what [the teenagers] said.”

“They’re great people. You never know about someone unless you get to know their struggles,” Cyganik told the Union Pacific blog. “Yeah, it was a random act of kindness, but to me it’s more about respect. I was raised to respect the people who came before you, to help others out who don’t have much. Leonard can now sit on his front porch for the rest of his years while feeling good about his home.”

Baltimore Boy Gets World’s First Double Hand Transplant

An 8-year-old Baltimore boy who lost his hands and feet to infection when he was 2 will now know what it’s like to be able to pet a dog, throw a football or climb on the swing set at school.

Zion Harvey was given the world’s first double hand transplant at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

A team of 40 doctors, nurses and reconstruction specalists were guided by Dr. L. Scott Levin, the chair of orthopedic surgery at Penn Medicine (the medical school for the University of Pennsylvania).

“We know what we have to do today,” Dr. L. Scott Levin told his troops before the 10-hour operation began. “I know everybody assembled here has a commitment to this patient and making this a reality for this little boy. We can have complications. We can fail. We can have trouble. But we’re not planning on it.”

Zion had already survived a kidney transplant and mastered using prosthetic legs.

“It was Zion’s decision,” thie boy’s mother Pattie Ray told the Baltimore Sun. “If he wanted them we were going to get them. If he didn’t we weren’t.”

Zion informed his mother that because he now had hands, he wants a puppy and wants to play football.

Officer Buys Diapers, Shoes for Mom of 6 Caught Shoplifting

When Sarah Robinson of Kansas City, Kanasa was caught shoplifting at a Walmart store after running out of diapers for her 2-year-old daughter, she feared going to jail and the loss of her family.

“My heart just dropped. I didn’t know what to say or do. It was horrible. I thought I was going to jail,” said Robinson.

Instead, she ran into an angel wearing a badge.

Officer Mark Engravalle of the Roeland Park Police Department arrived at the Walmart after answering the shoplifting call.  As he spoke to Robinson, the officer noticed that some of her children were not wearing shoes.  It led him to ask about her situation rather than what she was doing inside the store.

“He noticed [what she stole] were necessities like diapers, shoes for the kids, some clothing,” John Demoss, Roeland Park public information officer, told ABC News. “He asked her what the situation was, and she broke down crying.”

Officer Engravalle had to do his job but instead of arresting and taking Robinson to the station, he gave her a citation for misdemeanor threat.  Then he walked back into the Walmart.  He bought diapers, baby wipes and clothes for the children.

“The officer had two children of his own, and he thought of his two kids,” Demoss said. “He thought it was the right thing to do.”

“He couldn’t have been nicer to my girls,” Robinson said. “And then I got a call the next day saying they wanted to help us further and help us get a place to live.”

Two local radio stations then stepped up to raise items for the family.  One station collected over $6,000 in items for the family.

Cleveland Browns Sign Youngest Player in NFL History

The average age of an NFL player took a huge dip on Tuesday when the Cleveland Browns signed 9-year-old Dylan Sutcliffe to a one-day contract.

“We’re excited to add another quality player to our roster as we prepare for the 2015 season,” said General Manager Ray Farmer. “When we first connected with Dylan, it was clear he was a competitor who had all of the right attributes to be a contributor to our team.”

“Dylan is definitely a young man who has all of the ‘Play Like a Brown’ traits, particularly through his passion, toughness and relentlessness.” said Head Coach Mike Pettine. “We look forward to seeing him bring that energy to practice this afternoon.”

Dylan was receiving a gift from the Make-A-Wish foundation.  Dylan has ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), a immunodeficiency disease that impacts a number of different organs.  His brother Sean also has the disease.

“Day-to-day, they just require a lot more attention,” said Dylan’s father, Derek. “Helping them eat, helping them get dressed, helping them go to the bathroom. Anytime they have to get up out of a chair and walk somewhere.”

The team brought Dylan to their practice complex in a limo, gave him a tour of the facility and a locker with his own #7 jersey.  No player on the team this season wears #7 so he’ll be a unique member of the club.

Dylan’s favorite player is defensive lineman Phil Taylor, who took Dylan under his wing during practice.  At the end of the day, Taylor lifted Dylan from his wheelchair and held him in the air while the team gathered around and did the Browns cheer.

Man’s Blood Saves Two Million Babies

An Australian man is being called “the Man with the Golden Arm” for saving two million newborns because of donating his plasma.

James Harrison has a rare blood type that contains life-saving antibodies.  Doctors believe that Harrison somehow developed the antibody during an operation at age 14 where he had a lung removed.

Now, Harrison’s blood is used to create the vaccine Anti-D.  The vaccine is used to treat pregnant women with a blood disease that can lead to complications.  Harrison has donated every week for the last 60 years, over 1,000 times.

“In Australia, up until about 1967, there were literally thousands of babies dying each year. Doctors didn’t know why, and it was awful,” Jemma Falkenmire, of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, told CNN. “Women were having numerous miscarriages, and babies were being born with brain damage.”

The condition is called Rhesus disease and happens when a woman has rhesus-negative blood and her baby has rhesus-positive blood.  The mother can produce antibodies that begin to attack the baby.  The Anti-D vaccine prevents the antibodies that attack the baby from developing.

“It makes you feel good yourself that you’ve saved a life there, and you’ve saved many more— and that’s great,” Harrison, who added he does not see himself as a hero, told CNN.

The Australian Red Cross says that 17 percent of Australian women are risk for the disease and they hope another donor can be found before Harrison reaches 81, the age limit for blood donation in the country.

Jewish Woman Gets Doctorate Denied By Nazis

102-year-old Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport is now a doctor.

Eight decades after she should have earned that honor.

In 1938, she was denied the change to defend her doctoral thesis by the Nazis.  Her crime?  She was part-Jewish.  Now, the University of Hamburg has given the neonatologist a doctorate after she passed an oral exam.

“After almost 80 years, it was possible to restore some extent of justice,” Burkhard Goeke, the medical director of the university’s hospital, said in his speech. “We cannot undo injustices that have been committed, but our insights into the past shape our perspective for the future.”

Syllm-Rapaport said that she did it for more than herself, but for all those who suffered injustice at the hands of the Nazis.

“For me personally, the degree didn’t mean anything, but to support the great goal of coming to terms with history — I wanted to be part of that,” Syllm-Rapoport told German public television station NDR.

Uwe Koch-Gromus, the university’s dean of the medical faculty, was asked about her oral exam on the subject of diptheria, the subject of her original doctoral thesis.

“She was brilliant, and not only for her age,” he said.   “We were impressed with her intellectual alertness, and left speechless by her expertise — also with regard to modern medicine.”

Taking her grades into account, she was graduated magna cum laude.

Texas Cop Attends Graduation For Teen Who Lost His Parents

A Texas police officer went the extra mile when he attended the graduation of a senior who recently lost his parents.

Only a few days before Kazzie Portie’s high school graduation, officer Eric Ellison delivered bad news to the 18-year-old: Portie’s parents had been killed in a car accident. Without his parents to attend his upcoming graduation, Portie wasn’t sure if he would walk on stage. However, Ellison stepped in and encouraged the young man.

“I said, ‘You’re going to walk!’ Your mom and dad will have front-row seats looking down from heaven, and I’ll stand in their place. I’ve got your back,” Ellison told BuzzFeed News.

Portie not only received his diploma on Friday, but he also received a hug from Officer Ellison in front of a standing ovation from the audience.

“Seeing Officer Ellison there to congratulate me meant the world to me,” Portie stated to BuzzFeed News. “It was so nice to see that he actually showed a genuine care for me and my family’s situation instead of just being another ‘case.'”

Portie intends on attending college.

New England Teens Invite Friends With Special Needs To Prom

What was once a night of dresses, tuxes, partying, and popularity has now been redefined as a night to reach out and include everyone in the festivities.

Matty Marcone, a student in Canton, Massachusetts, has special needs and several medical issues. He never dreamed that he was going to be asked to prom, but his friend and classmate, Kaitlin McCarthy, changed that.

Kaitlin invited Matty to Prom after he claimed he was going to buy Disney World for her.

“I said, if he’s going to buy Disney World for me, I should bring him to the prom,” said Kaitlin.

With the help of the hockey team, special education teachers, and school nurses, Matty was able to attend prom with Kaitlin and other friends. Matty and Kaitlin were voted Prom King and Prom Queen.

While Matty was invited to prom by Kaitlin, another special needs teen in New York was about to get asked to prom as well.

Michael Pagano has autism and had been rejected by several girls he had asked to prom. However, senior and friend, Sarah Kardonsky, had a plan to invite Michael to the prom.

Michael is a New York Jets fan, which led Sarah to asking the Jets players via Instagram to help her make a video prom invitation. Nine Jets players total sent videos to Sarah asking Michael if he would go to the dance with her.

And while this invitation to prom led to national publicity, including a spot on a popular daytime television show, Sarah was more concerned that her friend was happy.

“People who worry so much about what dress to wear or who to go with, that’s not what prom is about. Prom is about having a good time. You should just be surrounded by people who make you happy.”

Thousands Gather At Lincoln Memorial For Easter Sunrise Service

A celebration of the risen Lord stood boldly in the nation’s capital Sunday as over 7,000 Christians gathered at the Lincoln Memorial at sunrise.

The service, organized by Capital Church in nearby Vienna, Virginia, began at 6:30 a.m. and latest an hour and a half.  Worship was lead by Newsboys lead singer Michael Tait plus a choir, orchestra and band.

“Washington, D.C. is arguably the one most influential cities in the world and I do believe it is important in the heart of the most influential city of the world to declare on Easter morning our faith in the risen Lord,” Capital Church Pastor Amos Dodge told The Christian Post. “I think it is important to reclaim some of our own spiritual heritage and we do that from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and declare our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.”

Dodge’s sermon focused on the fact that Christianity is the only religion in the world where their God is not dead.

“Christianity is unique in that we know that Muhammad may have said some wonderful things and done some wonderful things, but he is in a tomb. Confucius was noted for wise sayings but nobody has heard from him in a long, long time,” Dodge declared. “When you compare the claims of Jesus Christ to all the religions in the world, no other religion has a risen savior, the one who came back from the dead.”

“You can trust a man who died for you,” Dodge continued. “Jesus died for us and then came back from the grave.”

The Easter Sunrise Service at the Lincoln Memorial began in 1979.  Pastor Dodge had been walking past the Lincoln reflecting pool during a spring day and God gave him the vision of the service.  The first service had 150 people in attendance.

This year, the service welcomed Christians from all 50 states.