+
upworthy
Heroes

How a system of ropes and pulleys may change the lives of babies with Down syndrome.

When Grace Morgan smiles, everyone smiles.

Image via Upworthy/YouTube.


How could you not? She's almost 1, and her enthusiasm, curiosity, and zest for life are contagious.

And thanks to an innovative research project, Grace will get to interact with and explore her world like never before.

Grace was born with Down syndrome in April 2015.

Her parents, Liz and Matt Morgan, learned about her diagnosis after she was born. Their initial surprise quickly turned to worry and concerns about Grace's future. Physicians at the Down syndrome clinic at their local children's hospital told the Morgans they could expect Grace to do everything a typical child would, it would just take her twice as long.

But that response didn't fly with the Morgans.

"Why would we just accept the fact that they say 'Everything takes twice as long?'" Liz told Upworthy.

Image via Upworthy/YouTube.

Then the Morgans heard about a research project that could improve Grace's mobility — a huge deal for kids like her.

The man behind the study, Dr. Cole Galloway , is a physical therapy professor at the University of Delaware and founder of GoBabyGo. The program combines engineering, tech, and rehabilitation tools to provide real-world mobility and confidence to kids with disabilities. Galloway was looking for a baby younger than 9 months with Down syndrome and a family with enough time to supervise daily use of an innovative device. The Morgans were selected from a pool of applicants.

Galloway and his team recently set up a mobility harness system in the Morgan's home.

The 10-foot-by-10-foot rig is common in children's hospitals and clinics, but this is one of the first times a system like this is being used in a home environment.

Image via Upworthy/YouTube.

The harness, which is attached to a canopy and pulley system, allows Grace to remain upright, jump, bounce, and interact with her world in a way similar to that of her peers.

Since she's free to roam on the system, she can sway and twirl.

All GIFs via Upworthy/YouTube.

She can play with her parents and big brother.

And even charm the family dog.

For the Morgans and other families, mobility devices like this are life-changing.

The ability to move independently is more than just getting from one place to another. Children learn about their environment and develop cognitively and socially through locomotion. And for older children, the ability to get around and interact with peers is how friendships are formed.

The difference for Grace is "huge," Liz told Upworthy. Without the harness, Grace's world is limited to the toys or people directly in front of her.

But with the device, there's no stopping her.

"What a harness can do is just give a chance for Gracie to never experience anything less than her own independence," Galloway told Upworthy. "Her own self-guided life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Adding, "But it's the pursuit of happiness."

Looks like Grace and her family have plenty to smile about.

See Grace take on the world in this heartwarming Upworthy Original.


A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

Keep ReadingShow less
Modern Families

‘Hard pill to swallow’: Mom shares why some adult children don’t talk to their parents

"How your kids treat you when they are no longer in need of food and shelter, is a direct reflection of how you made them feel when they needed you to survive."

Parent and child deal with the pain of estrangement.

Even though humans are biologically hard-wired to form strong attachments to our parents, in many cases, these relationships become estranged as the children age. A recent poll found that nearly 1 in 4 adults are estranged from their families.

Six percent are estranged from their mothers and 26% have no contact with their fathers. It’s believed that these days, more children are comfortable distancing themselves from their parents because it’s good for their mental health.

“I think it relates to this new desire to have healthy relationships,” Rin Reczek, a sociology professor at the Ohio State University, said, according to The Hill. “There might be some cultural shifts around people being allowed to choose who is in your family. And that can include not choosing to have the person who raised you be in your family.”

Keep ReadingShow less

It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Loretta Lynn's granddaughter wows 'American Idol' judges with raw original song

Emmy Russell's original song "Skinny," featuring lyrics about body image and eating disorders, nearly brought everyone to tears.

America Idol/Youtube, Promotional image of Loretta Lynn/Wikipedia

Emmy Russell (left) and her grandmother Loretta Lynn (right)

Emmy Russell, granddaughter of country music icon Loretta Lynn, proved that she was an artist in her own right during a recent episode of “American Idol.”

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Nashville auditioned in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan during the show's Feb. 25 episode, during which she opened up about wanting to not live in her grandmother’s shadow.

"She's one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she's just Grandma," she said, adding "I think I am a little timid, and I think it is because I want to own my voice. That's why I want to challenge myself and come out here."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Jimmy Fallon asked his viewers if they've ever been caught red-handed. Here are 15 of the best responses.

You can’t lie about it, you can’t take it back, all you can do is pray for forgiveness.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images


There is nothing worse than being caught in the act when you're up to no good. You can't lie about it, you can't take it back, all you can do is pray for forgiveness.

"Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon asked his viewers if they had ever been caught red-handed and their responses on Twitter were hilarious.

Here are 15 of the funniest and/or most embarrassing Tweets.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Her mother doesn't get why she's depressed. So she explains the best way she knows how.

Sabrina Benaim eloquently describes what it's like to be depressed.

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother."

Sabrina Benaim's “Explaining My Depression to My Mother" is pretty powerful on its own.

But, in it, her mother exhibits some of the most common misconceptions about depression, and I'd like to point out three of them here.
Keep ReadingShow less