A Hum by Verizon fan explains how it helps make his life a bit less stressful.
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Hum by Verizon

For anyone diagnosed with a serious illness, support from friends and family is crucial. For Alan Cohen, extra support came from a surprising place: his car.

Alan was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer in April 2017. "It was a shock," he says. "I don't drink. I don't smoke. I eat very healthy."

Image via Alan Cohen, used with permission.


Despite having done everything right, he suddenly found himself dealing with doctor's visits, prescription pickups, and the daily stress and anxiety of having a serious disease — all in addition to the appointments and commitments of his regular life.

"You fight it every day," says Alan. "Every day is a fight to live."

Alan's particular treatment is, luckily, 95% effective in curing his type of cancer. But that doesn't mean his days don't include struggle. He's still a dad, a medical professional, and a person with tons of things to juggle in addition to keeping up with his medical treatment. He has to remember to take his medications and make time for bloodwork in addition to everything on his already-full plate.

Image via iStock.

For Alan, a bit of relief came in the form of Hum by Verizon, which keeps him connected to his car.

Alan is already dealing with enough stress — he doesn't have time for the strain of unexpected car troubles, such as his car not starting or a flat tire. Hum has features that remind him to keep his car well-maintained — he sets reminders for things like oil changes and tire rotations — helping prevent him from winding up stranded on his way to important doctor appointments.

"It told me my battery was low, and I hadn't realized that," he says. "Of course, I was on my way to work, and that's when it popped up. But I made it back home and had my battery changed the next day. It helped prevent me from running late to other appointments and whatnot. That helped a lot."

Image by Verizon.

Alan has enjoyed his Hum so much, he even reached out directly to Verizon to let them know:

"Just got the Hum and it's worth every penny. I'm hard of hearing so the Bluetooth is awesome, works really well. I like you can press for help and the police and fire dept. can locate you. Haven't needed to use that as of yet. I feel very comfortable using it and I like the car health reports it sends me."

We've all had days where it seems like everything that can go wrong, will.

When you're already dealing with something serious and long-lasting, every minor inconvenience can feel like the universe is really piling it on. Even though car troubles aren't the greatest of Alan's concerns, knowing they won't crop up to make a difficult day worse grants him a little bit of valuable peace of mind.

More seriously, his car's connectivity also eliminates his concern that he'll have a health issue while he's alone and unable to get help.

"I feel really, really confident that if anything happens, I'll be able to use the Hum's emergency button," he says.

Rather than being continually fearful of being by himself, Alan is able to continue his life feeling independent and secure.

It's easy for smaller stresses to take a backseat when we're dealing with something huge — but it's the avoidable worries that are the easiest to prevent.

Hum is another example of how innovations can help people free up the time and energy they need to deal with life's bigger challenges, by handing the smaller ones over to technology.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.