+
Best friends given a 2% chance to live past childhood just graduated high school together

Two young men who weren't supposed to live past age seven have just graduated from high school, and their story of perseverance and friendship is one that will fill even the hardest heart with hope.

When Odin Frost was born, his Apgar score was so low he had to be on a ventilator to breathe and he spent two weeks in the NICU. Born prematurely, his mother had preeclampsia that caused stress during his birth, he had bleeding on his brain, and a club foot as well. For his first few years of life, he was in and out of hospitals as doctors attempted to treat him. Odin's parents were told that he was so behind in physical and mental development that he may never catch up. They prepared for him to need a wheelchair full-time as he got older.

At age 3, Odin was accepted into a school that works with special needs kids in his hometown of Tyler, Texas. There he would receive a diagnosis of severe autism with speech and mobility impairment—and also where he would meet his best friend, Jordan Granberry.


Jordan, too, had a complicated birth. His brain was deprived of oxygen for too long, resulting in permanent brain damage. As a newborn, he was flown to the same hospital that would treat Odin a few weeks later. Like Odin, Jordan spent his first few years of life in and of hospitals, and also meeting with specialists. He was given a life expectancy of seven years, and his parents were told that if he lived longer he would live in a vegetative state. He didn't receive a proper diagnosis until age 10.

Both boys had hypotonia, meaning muscle tone doesn't grow the way it's supposed to. Doctors didn't expect either of them to ever walk or talk. That's one reason why watching them walk across the stage and graduate from high school this week felt like a miracle to their parents.

Odin's dad, Tim Frost, shared the best friends' story with Upworthy, from their families' special friendship, to what it meant to see them walk across the stage to receive their diplomas this week.

The boys met as preschoolers, Frost says, when "Jordan initiated Odin into his friend zone by biting his ear, and Odin retaliated by pinching his leg. After that they were inseparable in the classroom."

"Even though both boys are mostly non-verbal, they have a connection to each other that you can just feel when they are in the same room," says Frost. Pre-pandemic, Odin and Jordan would see each other every day since their classrooms were just across the hall from one another. Odin would often bring music to school to share with his friend. "Both boys enjoy long car rides listening to music as loud as possible," says Frost, "and pinching each other, of course."

"They also both like to pick at their mom and dad and most likely have a secret language that they laugh and joke about doing so in," he adds.

Frost says that he and his wife have been close to Jordan's parents for the past 15 years, as the couples raised their kids together. Jordan's mom has been a hairdresser for 25 years and is "the only one quick and brave enough" to cut Odin's hair.

Walking his son across the graduation stage was meaningful for Frost in more ways than one. He himself had dropped out of school and was homeless at age 13. He'd never gotten to make that walk to receive a diploma himself, and doing it with his son Odin felt "momentous."

Jordan's walk was momentous as well, since he had just started walking for the first time at the end of 2019.

"Yesterday they got to graduate together under a very weird a anxious time we are in," says Frost, "and honestly, watching and being a part of it gave me so much hope. Seeing and knowing what these two have been through and then getting to experience a high school graduation for both boys with so little expectations put on their lives was one of the most beautiful things I've ever got to witness."

Frost hopes that sharing Odin and Jordan's story helps the boys be seen. "And not seen in a way of wonder or for people to feel bad for them," says Frost. "I want them to be seen for the miraculous humans that they are."

"Just because someone can't speak back to you doesn't mean they can't understand you," Frost adds. "Just because something doesn't look like 'the normal' doesn't t make it any less than. Both of the boys have more personality, drive, wit, humor, and joy in them to fill anyone's heart with joy. The determination to live and live fully that both of these amazing humans have should inspire and feed hope to anyone who may be looking for it."

Frost says that the family has received a flood of positivity from his sharing the boys' photo and a bit of their story on social media, which has been heartening.

"They are the joy bringers," he says.

Indeed, they are. Congratulations on your graduation, Odin and Jordan. We wish you the best and brightest future possible.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Grab your boost of serotonin here.

Polina Tankilevitch/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Holy moly—it's fall, y'all!

As pumpkin spice swoops in and we start unpacking our cozy sweaters and cute boots, we can practically taste the seasonal change in the air. Fall is filled with so many small joys—the fresh, crisp smell of apples, the beauty of the leaves as they shift from greens to yellows, oranges and reds, the way the world gets wrapped in a warm glow even as the air grows cooler.

Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

Keep ReadingShow less
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less
via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less