A woman gives her partner the best surprise ever: a new shot at life.

'It's so funny how things work out.'

When Lori Intericchio and Alana Duran matched on the dating app Tinder in August 2015, little did they know what was about to unfold in two short months of dating.

They were about to have matching scars.

Happy Lori and Alana. All images by Lori Intericchio, used with permission.


Alana, who had been diagnosed with lupus at the age of 12, was living on dialysis and had been searching for a kidney for the past four years.

Her family wasn't a donor match, according to Fox 5, so she put herself on the waiting list. And there she patiently waited for years. 

Lori soon learned about Alana's predicament. She knew her girlfriend wasn't living her best possible life without the care she needed. By their third or fourth date, she decided to look into the situation for herself.

It turned out the two women had even more in common than they realized. Lori was a kidney-transplant match for Alana.

"By the time I learned that I was a match a couple of weeks later I had already done a ton of research and that really took away any fear," Lori told TODAY.

She decided she was going to go for it (!), but not without telling Alana in the greatest way ever.

Lori’s surprise video announcing their donor match melted hearts worldwide on Facebook.

First you see Alana rummaging through a box of some of her favorite little things. You know, glitter pens, Star Wars Band-Aids, junk food. She then slowly starts to make her way to the bottom.

She got pencils!

She's greeted with a familiar card of the Tinder screen when they matched just weeks before, and Alana looks a bit confused. But then the wording hits her.

Accept kidney or stay on waitinglist?!

The exact moment Alana found out.

"Who knew that when we both swiped right on Tinder that day, that we would be more than just girlfriends but that she would be my kidney donor!" Alana captioned

In February 2016, Alana and Lori both underwent successful surgeries. Alana now has the kidney she needed and a new shot at life.

And Lori's used the opportunity to give a much-needed wake-up call on the ridiculous stigma and restrictions placed on certain donors. 

"I love the outpouring of love and support that Alana and I have been receiving," she said, "but it pains me to know that if we were a couple of gay men, my kidney would be considered at risk."

"While I might be able to donate a kidney to her, I wouldn't be able to donate blood or tissue. I feel strongly that our federal government should be able to look past a person's sexual orientation in deciding whether or not they are suitable to give the gift of life."

The reality is that someone gets added to the donor waiting list every 10 minutes.

And an average of 22 people will die each day waiting for transplants that never happen because of the shortage of donated organs, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

The number of people on the waiting list only continues to grow. It's up to every single one of us to help fix the gap by registering and by putting pressure on the government to make tissue, blood, and organ donations more inclusive. (They've started making some strides on that.)

The internet is capable of connecting us in remarkable ways. We can build relationships, play games, register to become organ donors, and sometimes even find our perfect match.

For Alana, that perfect match turned out to be her girlfriend Lori, who she would have never met if it hadn't been for technology (and maybe a little luck). 

What an amazing world we live in.

More
True
Facebook

Someday, future Americans will look back on this era of school shootings in bafflement and disbelief—not only over the fact that it happened, but over how long it took us to enact significant legislation to try to stop it.

Five people die from vaping, and the government talks about banning vaping devices. Hundreds of American children have been shot to death in their classrooms, sometimes a dozen or so at a time, and the government has done practically nothing. It's unconscionable.

Keep Reading Show less
Education & Information
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes
Truth

Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

truth
True
LUSH

Handmade cosmetics company Lush is putting its money where its mouth is and taking a bold step for climate change action.

On September 20 in the U.S. and September 27 in Canada, Lush will shut the doors of its 250 shops, e-commerce sites, manufacturing facilities, and headquarters for a day, in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike taking place around the world. Lush is encouraging its 5000+ employees "to join this critical movement and take a stand until global leaders are forced to face the climate crisis and enact change."

Keep Reading Show less
Planet