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He Died Too Young. So All His Friends Got Together To Make Sure Future Generations Of Kids Don't.

Back in May 2013, my life changed forever. A fan wrote to let me know that a teenage musician named Zach Sobiech, who I had written about earlier in the year, had just passed away from a rare cancer. Zach had written a song called "Clouds" about coming to terms with his imminent death. Cancer is personal to me, you see, as I've lost many people, including my father, to it. My mom has hers under control. My son will inevitably have to do something to make sure he doesn't get it. It hit too close to home.The day Zach passed, I went online to see if I could find any more videos about him to honor his memory, and I discovered an amazing short documentary about his brief but beautiful life. I spent a whole day crying, having flashbacks to my father's passing, and made sure it could reach as many people as possible. It was the biggest hit we ever had. 20 million people have seen it. People emailed me from all over the globe to talk about how his story affected their lives. Parents tweeted me about their lost children. Upworthy readers helped raise $450,000 for the Children's Cancer Fund. "Clouds" became the first song by an independent artist to reach the top of the iTunes music charts. And I got to know a wonderful team of people who actually knew and loved him. I'm sad I never got the opportunity to meet him. But 5,000 people who did know him got together to create a giant choir in the middle of the Mall of America. Then they sang his song, which debuted a year ago. The couple in the middle are his wonderful and supportive and brave parents. And I, once again, have become a weepy mess.

He Died Too Young. So All His Friends Got Together To Make Sure Future Generations Of Kids Don't.

Here's the thing about rare cancers like osteosarcoma, which Zach died from. Because it's so rare, research studies often are chronically underfunded and receive much less in donations. The Children's Cancer Research Fund, which you should totally Like on Facebook, needs every opportunity it can get to really crack this disease. Is there any way you could do me a favor and donate to their research fund in Zach's name? It's totally up to you, but I'd owe you a billion.

And maybe you could share this? Then I'd owe you a trillion.


BONUS: You can also buy this song on iTunes! The song is available world wide and Rock the Cause Records is donating 100% of the net to Zach's Osteocarcoma Fund.

UPDATE: You guys are amazing. We've raised over $5,000 already. If you want to contribute still, click here.

via USO

Army Capt. Justin Meredith used the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program to read to his son and family while deployed in the Middle East.

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One of the biggest challenges deployed service members face is the feeling of being separated from their families, especially when they have children. It's also very stressful for children to be away from parents who are deployed for long periods of time.

For the past four years, the USO has brought deployed service members and their families closer through a wonderful program that allows them to read together. The Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program gives deployed service members the ability to choose a book, read it on camera, then send both the recording and book to their child.

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Jimmy Fallon #MyFamilyIsWeird.

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is when we get the pleasure of spending way more time than we’re used to with our families. For those of us who’ve moved away from our immediate families, the holidays are a great time to reacquaint ourselves with old traditions and to realize that some of them may be a little strange.

Every family seems to have its own brand of weirdness. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who says that their family is completely normal.

On November 18, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon gave everyone a reason to celebrate their unique families by asking them to share their favorite stories under #MyFamilyIsWeird. The responses were everything from odd holiday traditions to family members that may have a screw (or two!) loose.

Here are 17 of the funniest responses.

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Representative Nancy Mace on Fox News and CNN

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) is the subject of an embarrassing viral video where she downplays the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine on Fox News and then, an hour later, touts their importance on CNN.

On Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Mace made some misleading and dangerous statements about why “natural immunity” is better than immunity provided by vaccines.

“One thing the CDC and no policy maker at the federal level has done so far is take into account what natural immunity has done,” Mace said. “That may be what we’re seeing in Florida today. In some studies that I have read, natural immunity gives you 27 times more protection against future COVID infection than vaccination. We need to take all of the science into account and not selectively choosing what science to follow when we are making policy decisions.”

This may sound scientific, but Mace leaves out the part where to get “natural immunity,” you have to survive the virus first. The goal, for most people during a pandemic, is not to get sick in the first place.

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Cayce LaCorte explains why virginity doesn't exist.

The concept of virginity is a very loaded issue in American culture. If a woman loses hers when she's too young she can be slut-shamed. If a man remains a virgin for too long, he can be bullied for not being manly enough.

There is also a whole slew of religious mind games associated with virginity that can give people some serious psychological problems associated with sex.

Losing one's virginity has also been blown up way beyond proportion. It's often believed that it's a magical experience—it's usually not. Or that after having sex for the first time people can really start to enjoy living life—not the case.

What if we just dropped all of the stigmas surrounding virginity and instead, replaced them with healthy attitudes toward sex and relationships?

Writer Cayce LaCorte is going viral on TikTok for the simple way she's taught her five daughters to think about virginity. They don't have to. LaCorte shared her parenting ideas on TikTok in response to mom-influencer Nevada Shareef's question: "Name something about the way you raised your kids that people think is weird but you think is healthy."

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