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Why this 1-year-old's private plane ride from a hospital was a special one.

'It’s really special to be a part of someone’s fight to survive.'

Meet Lakelynn.

She's a smiley 1-year-old who got to ride in a private plane after having surgery in Ohio.


She flew with her family from Cincinnati Children's Hospital to where she lives in New York state for a grand total of ... $0.

Yep, that's right. Lakelynn's family didn't have to shell out a penny for a service that would make a major dent in most wallets.


Lakelynn's ride was courtesy of Wings Flights of Hope, a nonprofit that gets patients from point A to point B when they need it most.

Wings provides free air transportation for patients and their families to and from medical centers so that distance never prevents someone from receiving the best care possible.

The New York-based nonprofit makes over 500 flights each year.

“There’s no better purpose to get into your plane [than to] take someone to a place where they can get better," pilot Joe DeMarco, founder of the group, says.

DeMarco, on the left, with Lakelynn and her father, Larry.

The volunteer pilots at Wings fill a critical void: They save lives by saving time.

For many patients in dire circumstances, time is not on their side.

“If we don’t take them, they’re not getting their organs — they’re not getting their heart, they’re not getting their lungs."

Wings is hugely important for those in need of transplants because there's such a small window of opportunity for a patient to receive care, the nonprofit's website explains. Patients who live in rural areas, for example, might be a great distance away from a major airport.

DeMarco said he can get patients to their destinations much faster than if a family were to fly commercial, and that can truly be a life-or-death situation.

“If we don’t take them, they’re not getting their organs — they’re not getting their heart, they’re not getting their lungs," he says, noting the service is also vital for patients who can't fly commercial due to their weakened immunity or they can't drive on their own because of doctor's orders.

Wings does whatever it can to make life easier for families in need.

Other flight services that do similar work can charge several thousands of dollars per ride, according to DeMarco, but Wings makes sure families are always taken care of, any place, any time — even for pre-op and post-op appointments.

“It’s really special to be a part of someone’s fight to survive.”

To families like Lakelynn's, Wings has made a world of difference.

Getting from point A to point B is not always easy. But fortunately, folks in need have DeMarco and his team of selfless pilots to make a tough journey much more manageable.

Check out Upworthy's Original video on Wings Flights of Hope below:

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson in 2006.

A startling number of professional athletes face financial hardships after they retire. The big reason is that even though they make a lot of money, the average sports career is relatively short: 3.3 years in the NFL; 4.6 years in the NBA; and 5.6 years in MLB. During that time, athletes often dole out money to friends and family members who helped them along the way and can fall victim to living lavish, unsustainable lifestyles.

After the athlete retires they are likely to earn a lot less money, and if they don’t adjust their spending, they’re in for some serious trouble.

In a candid interview with NFL Hall of Famer and TV personality Shannon Sharpe, Chad Ochocinco (legally Chad Johnson) revealed that he saved 80 to 83% of the $48 million he made in the NFL by faking his lavish lifestyle because it made no sense to him.

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Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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Family

American mom living in Germany lists postpartum support and women are gobsmacked

“Every video you make gets me closer to actually moving to Germany.”

U.S. mom living in Germany shares postpartum support she received.

Having a baby is not an easy feat no matter which way they come out. The pregnant person is either laboring for hours and then pushing for what feels like even more hours, or they're getting cut from hip to hip to bring about their bundle of joy. (Unless you're one of those lucky—or rather not-so-lucky—folks who get to labor for hours only to still end up in surgery.)

Giving birth is hard and healing afterward can feel dang near impossible, especially given that most states in the U.S. only offer six weeks of maternity leave and it's typically unpaid. But did you know that not everyone has that experience?

A mom who had her first child in the U.S. before meeting her current husband and relocating to Germany is shedding light on postpartum care in her new country. The stark contrast is beyond shocking to women living in the U.S. and she's got a few considering crossing the ocean for a better quality of life.

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Meghan Elinor chimes in on the Starbucks tipping debate.

Tipping culture is rapidly changing in America, so understandably a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when they buy a coffee and the debit card reader asks for a tip. It used to be that people only tipped bartenders, drivers, servers and hairdressers.

Now people are being asked to tip just about any time they encounter a point-of-sale system. There is a big difference between tipping a server who lugged around hot plates of food for an hour-long meal and someone who simply handed you an ice cream cone.

"We're living in an era of inflation, but on top of that, we've got tipping everywhere—tipflation. I take it a step further and call it a tipping invasion. Because that's really what I think it is," etiquette expert Thomas Farley (aka Mister Manners) told CBS 8.

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Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

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