When Cassandra J. Perry was 13, a physical disability prevented her from going to school.

She had a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which means that her joints are unstable, her connective tissue is weak, she’s more prone to injuries, and she has chronic pain.

When she began living alone as an adult after splitting up with her spouse, she worried about how she’d be able to grocery shop.

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When  Josh Kaplan was a kid, he had a pretty hard time fitting in.

“I had a terrible stutter,” he says. “I really struggled to make friends.”

Finally, Kaplan opened up to his parents about the difficulty he was having with classmates at school.

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Welcome to Day 6 of Upworthy's 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! If this is your first visit, here's the gist: Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we're sharing stories specifically designed to bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of laughter? Check back tomorrow (or click the links at the bottom) for another installment!

Almost everyone loves fireworks — except pets, who generally aren't fans. But, assuming you're not a dog on the internet, I'm willing to bet you're probably in the "YES! FIREWORKS ARE AWESOME!" camp. What if I told you there was a way to love them even more?

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Can you fathom the wizarding world of Harry Potter without Hermione Granger?

It's a thought that's horrified plenty of people online this week.

Gaining steam under the #WithoutHermione hashtag on Twitter, Potter fans discussed all the bone-chilling ways the series would have been different without its leading witch.

The consensus? The books would have been an awful, incomplete tale that left the magical world a complete mess.

Fans are pondering the unnerving premise thanks to an acceptance letter from Hogwarts' Professor McGonagall that went viral on Sept. 1.

"We are pleased to inform you that you have been added to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Waitlist," McGonagall begins. "Unfortunately, we are not able to allow you to come to Hogwarts at this time."

Image via The HP Alliance.

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