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 Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."