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

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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Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

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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.