People are tearing up over this powerful letter a dying dad sent his daughter.

Tennessean Bailey Sellers lost her father about five years ago, when she was just 16. Before he passed away, however, he arranged for a very special delivery to come her way every year on her birthday: a bouquet of flowers and a heartfelt letter.

Sellers' flowers arrived, as expected, on Nov. 24, 2017.

Photo courtesy of Bailey Sellers, used with permission.‌


Predictably, it came with a heart-wrenching letter — but this year, the note from her dad packed an especially meaningful punch.

Sellers' father arranged for his letters and flowers to arrive only through her 21st birthday. So this birthday, she received his final gifts.

Photo courtesy of Bailey Sellers, used with permission.‌

"Bailey, this is my last love letter to you until we meet again," her dad began the note, which Sellers shared on Twitter.

His letter continued (emphasis added):

"I do not want you to shed another tear for me my baby girl for I am in a better place. You are and will always be the most precious jewel I was given. It is your 21st birthday, and I want you to always respect your momma and stay true to yourself. Be happy and live life to the fullest. I will still be with you through every milestone, just look around and there I will be. I love you boo boo and happy birthday!!! Daddy"

Along with the flowers and letter, Sellers also shared an old photo of her and her dad from a trip to the beach.

Photo courtesy of Bailey Sellers, used with permission.‌

In the few days since Sellers shared the photos, her post has amassed over 1.5 million likes and over 360,000 retweets.

Its powerful message struck a chord with many people — especially those who've lost a parent as well.

Sellers' dad's letter may be pulling at heartstrings extra hard considering the time of year. The holidays can be tough, after all. Many of us have complicated or strained relationships with family and friends, and — compounded with the stresses of presents, parties, and lots of baking — the true gift of the holidays can get lost in the shuffle.

But Sellers' story shows why it's so important we cherish the ones we have in the short time that we have them.

"Every year I looked forward to my birthday because I felt like [my dad] was still here with me but this is the last year I get them so it's so heart breaking," Sellers wrote in a follow-up tweet in the thread.

"Makes sense, Bailey," a supportive user responded to her. "But I hope you can also see the message he likely intended by stopping [his letters]. He believes in you. He believes that you are capable of wondrous things. He believes YOU are ready to be without the flowers even if you don't know it yet." ❤️

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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