Mom makes red hats for newborns to help raise awareness of what happened to her baby.

32 years ago, Sue Hipple gave birth to her third child, Timothy. It seemed that everything was exactly as it should be.

"A quick, easy delivery — half an hour and he was there!" Sue told Upworthy.

While he was smaller than her other two children had been when they were born and his lips were a little blue, the doctors assured Sue and her husband that Timothy was just fine.


Photo provided by Sue Hipple, used with permission.

It wasn't until the next morning — which just so happened to be Father's Day — that another doctor realized something was amiss.

Timothy was immediately flown to another hospital with more resources and specialists. There, a pediatric cardiologist listened to Timothy's heart.

"He didn't think Timothy would still be alive by the time my husband got there," Sue said.

But Timothy did make it through the day. And by the time he was 10 days old, his tiny body had undergone two heart surgeries for what doctors had believed was a single heart defect.

It turned out, however, that Timothy had four separate heart defects.

"The nurses called him a little fighter," Sue said. So for his one-month birthday, Sue knitted itty-bitty boxing gloves and made trunks for little Timothy.

"I always tell people babies have an amazing will to live," she said.

The little fighter, wearing his boxing gloves and trunks. Photo shared by Sue Hipple, used with permission.

Timothy's will was strong. He was transferred to a third hospital, where he continued to fight as doctors did their best. Unfortunately, Timothy passed away at 9.5 weeks old during a major open-heart surgery.

Sue reflects on her time with Timothy fondly, despite how difficult it must have been:

"He was an amazing little kid. He had a personality and we got to know him and there were all the ups and downs encapsulated in that summer that you have in raising any child — a little more dramatic, though. We had a lot of joy and laughter, as well as tears and sorrow, and we grew a lot in our faith. [We] learned a lot about unconditional love and putting people ahead of things. It shaped our family."

33 years later, Sue looks back on Timothy's brief time on Earth with a full heart.

She points out how far medical science has come in that time: "Today, things are so advanced, maybe he would have lived."

Sue and Timothy just three days after he was born. Photo provided by Sue Hipple, used with permission.

She also knows how much Timothy's life meant. "Even in our sorrow and sadness 33 years ago, we can look back now and see that his life mattered," Sue said. "He has effected change, and his legacy still continues."

To honor Timothy's memory, Sue joined an initiative by the American Heart Association to knit red caps for newborn babies.

The Little Hearts, Big Hats project is a way to spread awareness about congenital heart defects, which are the most common type of birth defect in the United States. Last February, babies born in hospitals around the country were given tiny red caps, all knitted by volunteers like Sue Hipple.

Photo provided by the American Heart Association, used with permission.

"Last year, volunteers from all 50 states and six countries ... knitted more than 15,000 hats for Chicago’s Little Hats, Big Hearts project," Corey Rangle, director of communications for the American Heart Association, told Upworthy. The hats were distributed to hospitals in three different states.

Photo provided by the American Heart Association, used with permission.

The response was incredibly positive. This year, there are even more volunteers, and the hats will be delivered to over 260 hospitals in 33 states (and counting).

Sue joined the project again this year. She even customizes her hats with a special heart and tag to memorialize Timothy.

Photo provided by Sue Hipple, used with permission.

Sue's plan is to knit 33 hats in honor of Timothy — he would have been 33 this year.

Not only are these hats raising awareness (and funds) for congenital heart defects, but they're spreading a lot of smiles because ... cute, squishy newborns in tiny red hats!

All photos of painfully cute babies in red hats provided by the American Heart Association, used with permission.

While I could look at these adorable babies all day, it's important to remember why they're wearing those cute red hats.

Sadly, congenital heart defects continue to affect babies at a high rate — over 35,000 American babies born each year will have one.

And, second only to the federal government, the American Heart Association is the largest funder of pediatric heart research. If you'd like to help, you can check out the Little Hats, Big Hearts page.

Unfortunately, Timothy's story didn't have a happy ending. But because of awareness, research, and fundraising, many more babies born with heart defects today have a chance at a healthy life!

Pexels / Julia M Cameron
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In the last 20 years, the internet has become almost as essential as water or air. Every day, many of us wake up and check it for the news, sports, work, and social media. We log on from our phones, our computers, even our watches. It's a luxury so often taken for granted. With the COVID-19 pandemic, as many now work from home and children are going to school online, home access is a more critical service than ever before.

On the flip side, some 3.6 billion people live without affordable access to the internet. This digital divide — which has only widened over the past 20 years — has worsened wealth inequality within countries, divided developed and developing economies and intensified the global gender gap. It has allowed new billionaires to rise, and contributed to keeping billions of others in poverty.

In the US, lack of internet access at home prevents nearly one in five teens from finishing their homework. One third of households with school-age children and income below $30,000 don't have internet in their homes, with Black and Hispanic households particularly affected.

The United Nations is working to highlight the costs of the digital divide and to rapidly close it. In September 2019, for example, the UN's International Telecommunication Union and UNICEF launched Giga, an initiative aimed at connecting every school and every child to the internet by 2030.

Closing digital inequity gaps also remains a top priority for the UN Secretary-General. His office recently released a new Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The UN Foundation has been supporting both this work, and the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, which made a series of recommendations to ensure all people are connected, respected, and protected in the digital age. Civil society, technologists and communications companies, such as Verizon, played a critical role in informing those consultations. In addition, the UN Foundation houses the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), which advances digital inclusion through streamlining technology, unlocking markets and accelerating digitally enabled services as it works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down...in the most delightful way.

There are certain songs from kids' movies that most of us can sing along to, but we often don't know how they originated. Now we have a timely insight into one such song—"A Spoonful of Sugar" from "Mary Poppins."

It's common for parents to try all kinds of tricks to get kids to take medications they don't want to take, but the inspiration for "A Spoonful of Sugar" was much more specific. Jeffrey Sherman, the son and nephew of the Sherman Brothers—the musical duo responsible not just for "Mary Poppins," but a host of Disney films including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," as well as the song "It's a Small World After All"—told the story of how "A Spoonful of Sugar" came about on Facebook.

He wrote:

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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Blackface has a long and shameful history in this country. We think—we hope—after numerous call-outs and emotional explanations, Americans get the message: blackface is not okay. But that isn't the case, as many were re-made painfully aware, when Dr. Regina N. Bradley, a professor and critically acclaimed writer, shared the shocking auditory version of her new essay, "Da Art of Speculatin'", on Twitter.

Due to outrageous oversight, Fireside—a progressively minded short-story magazine who claim, in their About page, to resist "the global rise of fascism and far-right populism"—hired a young, white male voice actor to read and record Bradley's essay—an essay that identifies its writer, in its very first line, as a "southern Black woman who stands in the long shadow of the Civil Rights Movement."

According to the Washington Post, Rineer spoke in an accent that listeners interpreted as something that would appear in minstrel show, an American form of entertainment developed in the early 19th century, in which white people lampooned Black people, often portraying them as dim-witted and buffoonish, with stock characters including the dandy, the slave, and the 'mammy.' It's incredibly, incredibly offensive. So it's no wonder that, upon hearing the clip, a horrified Bradley fired off an outraged tweet, asking Fireside and Rineer if they honestly thought this is what she sounded like.



How could something so offensive have been approved, one wonders, especially in a year defined by reckoning with racial injustice? For the answer, look to Pablo Defendini, the publisher and editor for Fireside, who claimed, "nothing insidious in his decision… he just didn't listen to the recording before posting it."

"The blame for this rests squarely with me, as the person who hires out and manages the audio production process at Fireside," Defendini said in a statement. "In the interest of remaining a lean operation, I've been hiring one narrator to record the audio for a whole issue's worth of Fireside Quarterly, and I don't normally break out specific stories or essays for narrating by particular individuals."

"My personal neglect allowed racist violence to be perpetrated on a Black author, which makes me not just complicit in anti-Black racism, but racist as well."

As for Rineer, he regrets not breaking a contract rule and contacting Bradley directly about her work. His gut instinct told him not to proceed—that he was the wrong person for the job. Still, upon expressing his doubts to Fireside, he was ignored, and so proceeded with the recording—he'd already signed the contract.

"I made the mistake of reading Dr. Bradley's work and assuming an accent that was not representative of her voice," he said. "I had tried to find a different narrator who would be a suitable representative in my network and via public forums, to no avail, in the week-long time frame I had."

As for Bradley, Defendini's apology isn't cutting it. "Not listening" isn't an excuse—it's deepening the wound. Black Women have been "not listened" to since the dawn of this nation's founding.

"I am angry," she wrote. "Seething from centuries of silenced Black women angry."