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He's too poor to afford a doctor but not poor enough for government help. That's where they come in.

Life can be hard. But there are good people in this world, working tirelessly to make things better.

What happens when you're too poor to afford health care, but not poor enough for government help?

The answer to that question, of course, is that you might not get any health care or medication. 60-year-old Paul Schirb knows this firsthand.


To qualify for Medicaid, a person typically needs to live at or slightly above the poverty line.

In the state of Arizona, where Paul lives, a two-person household is considered at poverty level if they earn less than $15,930 per year. Arizona has expanded Medicaid coverage so a family living at or below 138% of the poverty line can qualify. Still, that means the upper income limit is $21,983 for a two-person family. Despite being unemployed, Paul and his wife exceed that limit because of Social Security income.

With how expensive doctors and medications are, how in the world is someone with such limited income supposed to get the health care and medications they need? Especially if they have any health conditions that require extensive treatment (but don't qualify them as disabled)? Those things can easily cost thousands of dollars a year.

The truth is that it can be nearly — or, in Paul's case, completely — impossible.

Enter: doctors with a passion for helping people.



Mission of Mercy
is a nonprofit that provides free health care, dental care, and prescriptions to people in need. That's right: free.

Because of the Mission of Mercy and volunteers like Dr. Ira Ehrlich, Paul gets his prescriptions and can see doctors.

Ehrlich is a retired Ivy League-educated cardiologist who has chosen to forgo a leisurely golfing retirement and instead dedicate his time and heart to people like Paul — the people who need him the most.

"I receive zero monetary compensation, but I receive a great deal of compensation in terms of the good feeling that I get being there, the ability to come home feeling: 'I've done something nice for somebody. I've made a difference.' That is compensation."
— Dr. Ira Ehrlich

It might be easy to see a story like this and say, "Oh, that's nice!" and move on, but take a minute to think about the impact. For Paul and thousands of others caught in the strings of a faulty system, Mission of Love and other organizations like it are providing a safety net. And saving lives.

If you need a quick reminder that there are a lot of really good people in this world who are doing their part to make it better, you can watch this short video of Dr. Ehrlich in action.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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