Mom has beautiful photo series taken of newborn twins she knew didn't have much time left.
(Brentlinger family/ABC11)

This story originally appeared on GOOD.

Sometimes an unforgettable memory is worth the heartbreak that comes with it.

Lyndsay and Matthew Brentlinger had been trying to become pregnant for several years and finally had what they thought was a breakthrough success. A local ABC affiliate reports that on December 17, Lyndsay gave birth to twins.


But she and Matthew knew their time was likely to be short with newborns William and Reagan.

“He just had a bunch of abnormalities,” Lyndsay told the station about William’s health. “The left side of his heart was not functioning.”

(Brentlinger family/ABC11)

During the middle of her pregnancy, doctors told Lyndsay that her that the son would be stillborn.

Unfortunately, complications with multiple pregnancies are not uncommon, something her doctors were acutely aware of.

“With twins you have frequent ultrasounds,” she said. “They said we just see something abnormal with the heart and sent me to maternal fetal medicine.”

(Brentlinger family/ABC11)

However, William not only survived his birth but lived for 11 days. Knowing their window would be short, the Brentlinger’s contacted photographer Lindsey Brown to take a set of photos with their twins.

“They were the happiest 11 days of my life,” Matthew said.

Despite having a booked schedule, Brown made room when the couple told her about the urgency of their situation. And the result is quickly going viral, giving other people a better understanding of how precious life can be. It’s also been a healing tool for the Brentlinger family even as they process the larger pain of losing their child.

“I cried the first time I looked at them. I still cry sometimes,”  Lyndsay told the station. “They are beautiful and he is beautiful. In some of them, you can see he is wide awake with his big beautiful eyes. It's something we will definitely cherish.”

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.