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Mar 31, 2021 Read in Browser

Karuna News

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes, often forming through chance encounters and blossoming in ways we would never have predicted. Over the past year of pandemic, it's become strikingly clear how small, simple gestures of care can make a world of difference. This week, our feature stories highlight unexpected forms of kinship that make the world go round -- and the understated ways in which we transform each other's lives.

SPORTS

Dedicated Dad Pushed Son In Wheelchair In 1,000+ Races Over 40 Years

Dedicated Dad Pushed Son In Wheelchair In 1,000+ Races Over 40 Years

Michael Dwyer | AP Photo, File

Dick Hoyt, a father who inspired thousands of runners, families and athletes was a familiar face in the Boston Marathon for three decades. Camera crews would spot him and his son, Rick, out in the crowd, Dick pushing Rick's wheelchair, as the duo became an iconic symbol of paternal love and sportsmanship. On March 16, Dick passed away quietly in his sleep at the age of 80. In 1977, Rick, who is quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy, told his father he wanted to participate in a benefit run for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed. "Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not disabled," Rick had told his father after that first race. They would go on to run over 1,000 races together, including triathlons, and even a 45-day, 3,735-mile (6,010 km) run and bike across the US. In 2013, a statue of Dick and Rick was put up near the Boston Marathon starting line. "I know it's cliché, but I want people to know that I thought my father was a hero," said one of Dick's sons, "not just because he pushed Rick in the marathon, but because he was a great father to all of us you could talk to about anything." Read Full Story.

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COMMUNITY

How Two Neighbors Met Playing Piano Through The Wall

How Two Neighbors Met Playing Piano Through The Wall

Giorgio Lo Porto | TikTok

On Feb. 6, 2021, Giorgio Lo Porto in London shared a TikTok video of his neighbor playing the piano. Leaving a note of appreciation at his neighbor's door, he suggested they play music together from their own apartments. Soon, they began playing back-and-forth through their shared wall every weekend. On Valentine's Day, they played a duet and Lo Porto wrote, "We're in lockdown. This was our way of saying, 'I don't know who you are but I'm here. You're not alone.'" Finally, they met on February 21. His neighbor was 78-year-old Emil. "He lost his wife in December due to Covid, and all he has left is the piano. And the reason why he plays at 2 p.m. every weekend is because his wife loved it.... He thanked me for keeping him motivated and less lonely. And I promised that I'll play with him until he moves out." In early March, Emil moved out, and on March 14 Lo Porto got news that Emil passed away in his sleep. "Dear Emil," he wrote. "I knew very little about you, but you changed my life. You gave me back my passion, and we shared that with the world. You'll be in my heart. I'll keep playing, thinking of how powerful music can be. You said I was your light, but you've been mine too. Bye, Emil." Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

Foster Child Gets Fairytale Ending When Math Teacher Adopts Him

Foster Child Gets Fairytale Ending When Math Teacher Adopts Him

CBS News

Fairytales sometimes do come true. Middle schooler Damien had been in foster care for some years when his health condition, kidney disease, exceeded the care he could get in a foster home. He told his math teacher, Finn Lanning, that he wouldn’t be coming back to school; he was moving into a hospital because social services couldn’t find a foster family that was willing and able to meet his medical needs. Lanning, a confirmed bachelor who delighted in his childless status, agreed to take the boy in. Damien needed a kidney transplant, and having a secure home to go back to would facilitate his entry on the transplant list. They have now been together about two years, Damien is much healthier post-transplant, and the two have formalized their relationship through adoption. ‘It’s like a dream come true,” said Damien. Read Full Story.

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PLANET

How Creating Wildlife Crossings Can Help Reindeer, Bears -- Even Crabs

How Creating Wildlife Crossings Can Help Reindeer, Bears -- Even Crabs

Ross MacDonald | Banff National Park

Swedish authorities recently announced they would build up to a dozen “renoducts” (reindeer viaducts) to aid reindeer in crossing highways and allow herds to reach grazing more easily. The renoducts are part of a growing number of wildlife bridges and underpasses around the world that aim to connect fractured habitats. On the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, underpasses have been used to shield jaguars from traffic. Natural canopy bridges in the Peruvian Amazon have helped porcupines, monkeys and kinkajous pass over natural gas pipelines. On Christmas Island, bridges have been built over roads to allow millions of red crabs to pass from the forest to the beaches on their annual migration. The bridges and underpasses have been shown to help animal herds maintain genetic diversity and reduce traffic-related deaths, both of animals and humans. Read Full Story.

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FUN

A Dog Who Kept Sneaking Into A Dollar General For A Unicorn Toy Gets His Plush And A New Start

A Dog Who Kept Sneaking Into A Dollar General For A Unicorn Toy Gets His Plush And A New Start

Mary Shannon Johnstone

Animal control officers were called to a North Carolina Dollar General store after a stray dog kept coming into the store and beelining it for the toy aisle. “He went straight for the unicorn, the same one every time,” said Joe Newburn, a supervisor at Duplin County Animal Services. Workers at the Kenansville store (about 80 miles from Raleigh) told animal control officers that they caught the lab mix darting into Dollar General every time a customer exited. Each time the stray dog made it in, he went to grab the same plush purple unicorn toy. “Finally they had to lock the door and call us,” Newburn said. The officer who responded to the store’s call was so taken with the dog’s devotion to the unicorn that she bought the $10 toy for the dog, who was then taken to a local animal shelter, together with his unicorn. They are now about to be adopted. Read Full Story.

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