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Young cancer victim says 'each day is a gift, not a given right'

young cancer victim wrote a heartbreaking letter of advice to the world moments before she died. 

>> Read more trending news

Holly Butcher, 27, of Australia, asked her family to post the letter on her Facebook account once she was gone. 

Butcher died on Jan. 4 from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects mostly young people, according to

In the letter, she wrote about enjoying life to the fullest and explained that life is fragile, precious and unpredictable, saying that each day is a gift, not a given right. 

As a reminder to not sweat the small stuff, Butcher assured people that, when you’re on your death bed, you won’t be worrying about most of the things you complain about now: 

“You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling," Butcher wrote. "Let all that sh**t go. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more." 

Not only that, Butcher urges everyone to do a good deed for humanity, and for those like her, by starting to donate blood regularly.

"It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives," Butcher said.

She wrote that it's something that is so overlooked, especially when you consider that every donation can save three lives.

She explained that blood donation helped keep her alive for an extra year -- a year she said she will be forever grateful that she "got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog."

Since her letter was posted, it has been shared more than 111,100 times and has been liked by more than 150,000 people.

You can read Butcher's entire message below. 

Man raises more than $30,000 on GoFundMe to help Harlem kids see ‘Black Panther’

Marvel’s “Black Panther” is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and one New Yorker wants to make sure a group of Harlem kids gets to see it.

Frederick Joseph launched a GoFundMe campaign earlier this month to help young students “see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life,” he wrote on the campaign’s page

>> Read more trending news 

“This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally,” he continued. 

Joseph set a goal of $10,000 and has tripled that amount, raking in more than $30,000 in five days thanks to more than 800 contributors, some of which included director J.J. Abrams and Chelsea Clinton.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Joseph told The Root that while he initially planned to gift the money to 300 children from the Harlem Children’s Zone, the nonprofit, which expressed much gratitude, was unable to accept the money. The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem will now receive the donation.

“We want to thank the organizers of this great fundraiser. Your commitment will help our kids see how powerful they can be!” the organization said on its Facebook page.

The funds will go toward purchasing tickets and refreshments for the children and chaperones. Remaining funds will be given to the Boys & Girls Club to help continue their work.

After the success of the GoFundMe campaign, Joseph launched what he’s calling the Black Panther Challenge. The challenge encourages people to set up GoFundMe campaigns to buy tickets for local children to see the film.

“If you’re a teacher, buy tickets for your entire classroom. If you’re a coach, take your team,” Joseph said in an update under his original campaign. “If you’re a community leader, do some organizing and get the kids and parents in your community to the theater. 10 campaigns that answer the #BlackPantherChallenge will receive a $100 donation from GoFundMe.”

“Black Panther” hits theaters Feb. 16 nationwide. Tickets are on sale now.

Hundreds of students, parents welcome third-grader back after cancer fight

A little girl who was diagnosed with and has beaten cancer not only earned her first day back at school, she deserved it.

Bridget Kelley missed 15 months of school, but when she finally made it to class on Jan. 2, she was greeted by her classmates and their parents, bringing smiles to the Kelley family’s faces.

>> Read more trending news 

Bridget was met by hundreds of students, parents, teachers and police officers, all braving temperatures at  4-degrees to hold signs of welcome and encouragement for the third-grader, the “Today” show reported.

Her parents thought it would be too much for the girl who fought leukemia, but instead, she embraced the welcome and and raised her arms in victory, her mother, Megan, told “Today.”

Bridget was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia in Sept. 2016. She had been seeing a doctor to have a swollen tonsil removed, but an MRI found it was worse than initially thought. She then had to undergo chemotherapy and surgery, before having a stem cell transplant.

Bridget was tutored while she was out of class so she could stay on educational track with her classmates, but also remain isolated as she healed, “Today” reported

The welcome was organized by the parent of one of Bridget’s classmates. She originally invited 50 people, but that number grew to more than 150. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“We had anxiety about sending her back to school because we were so trained to avoid germs, but it was also such a relief,” Megan Kelley told “Today.” “It’s like we’re finally on the upswing now that she’s allowed to come back.”

WATCH: Toddler born deaf hears music for the first time in adorable viral video

A formerly deaf toddler is discovering a love of music after hearing for the first time.

>> Watch the viral video here

Owen Montoya is 15 months old, and until recently, he was unable to hear. The boy from Phoenix was born deaf and recently underwent surgery to place a cochlear implant in his left ear, according to the Daily Mail.

>> On HotTopics.TV: These kids decided to give up their recess so they could learn sign language for dead classmate

Footage shows Owen reacting to hearing his parents’ voices for the first time and even dancing to music.

“We were so excited to see him enjoying music this much, it was the craziest moment ever,” said his mother, Janae Montoya, 26. “When we found out Owen was deaf, it was very hard for us, because our family is very musical. I’ve always wanted him to experience it.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Montoya said Owen comes from a long line of musicians; both she and her brother used to sing, and Owen’s maternal grandparents used to sing as well.

Montoya said Owen has wide-ranging taste.

>> Read more trending news 

“He’s been plugged in the last two days listening to different stuff and absolutely loving it. He loves live music most. I think he feels like he’s actually there,” said Montoya.

She’s glad she can share his passion for music as he explores it.

“It can be heartbreaking knowing something is closed off to your child, and now he has every opportunity in the world,” said Montoya.

Couple in their 70s loses 400 lbs together, cite divine inspiration

A North Carolina couple in their 70s has lost almost 400 pounds together after they said they received divine inspiration to get healthy.

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Becky and Donnie Hensley live in Weaverville, North Carolina. Their home has a lot of their old pictures, which show how much they weighed seven years ago.

Becky Hensley said the inspiration to get healthy came to her while saying her prayers.

“I was praying, and the Lord spoke to me, and said, ‘Go find Donnie, and ask him to go to Weight Watchers with you,’” Becky Hensley said.

Through the buddy system, they dieted and went to the gym together.

The Hensleys said they’re happier now that they’re able to do simple things, like walking and tying their shoes.

Kindhearted cop drives family stranded in Boston after surgery home to Maine

A police officer went above and beyond the call of duty when he drove a family that was stranded at Boston’s North Station back to its home, in Portland, Maine.

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Kori Malenfant, 19, underwent brain surgery several days ago at New York City’s NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital. She and her family were traveling back home by train, but a late arrival to North Station on Saturday caused them to miss their connection to Maine.

Looking for a place to store their luggage, the Malenfants turned to officers at the Boston Police Department’s North Station office. Kori Malenfant’s mother, Wendi Malenfant, described her surprise as a police captain loaded the family’s belongings into his unmarked cruiser.

Capt. Kelly McCormick offered to take the family on a ride around Boston, but the trip turned out to be anything but quick.

“All of a sudden, I notice we are on the highway north and I said, ‘Um, where are you taking us?’” Wendy Malenfant said. “He said, ‘Well, I told you I was kidnapping you. I'm taking you to Portland. Isn’t that where your car is?’ And we were just floored.”

McCormick said he could tell the family had been through a lot.

“They burst into tears, and that was very emotional,” he said. “They were just very tired. I could see it, and I just felt like they (were) going to sit in North Station all night no matter what.” 

McCormick said his personal experiences compelled him to drive the family the more than 100 miles to its home. He once donated a kidney to his wife and has seen firsthand how physically and emotionally draining a major operation and the post-op experience can be.

“Being in that moment is so exhausting,” he said. “If you just make a small difference, it must have had a great effect on them, which is great, but we like to do that every day. Every officer wants to do that every day.”

The Malenfants said they still can’t believe the kindness McCormick showed.

"We just didn't have words,” Wendy Malenfant said. “We kept trying to thank him, and it just didn't seem enough.”

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Cleveland Zoo announces names for 3 otter pups

Cleveland’s newest otter pups finally have names.

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The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announced that the three Asian small-clawed otter brothers, born Sept. 24, were named Adhi, Bejo and Cipto, WJW reported.

According to zoo officials, Adhi means “first,” Bejo means “lucky” and Cipto means “create.”

The pups were born to parents Bitzy and Kibble, bringing the otter population at the zoo to seven.

Zoo visitors were given the chance to visit the otter family on the second floor of The RainForest – and, with a donation toward the Future for Wildlife Fund, cast a vote to name the brothers.

Asian small-clawed otters are one of the smallest species of otter, WJW reported. The International Union for Conservation in Nature considers them a vulnerable species and the Species Survival Plan Program manages their population in zoos , WJW reported.

Big brother comforts sick baby sister in heartwarming viral video

A video of a boy comforting his baby sister is warming hearts across the country.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

A video shared to Facebook by mom Danielle Davis of Haughton, Louisiana, shows her son quietly rocking his sleeping sister in his arms when she wasn’t feeling well. The video was viewed more than 2 million times on Instagram.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Baby girl cries tears of joy when she hears her mom’s voice for the first time

“The kids adore each other,” Davis told “Good Morning America.” “He can always make her laugh. They are siblings, so they have their moments of jealousy, but that’s to be had. Ninety percent of the time they really very loving toward each other.”

>> Read more trending news 

Check out the adorable clip below as 5-year-old John comforts 1-year-old Clara.

>> Click here to watch

Army veteran pulls over, stands for funeral procession for man who served in WWII

A photo of a truck driver who pulled over to stand for a funeral procession for a fellow veteran is going viral.

>> Watch the news report here

Facebook user Kristen Collins uploaded the stirring image over the weekend. She’s the granddaughter of Fred Ladage, who recently passed away at 91. He served in the Navy and Navy Reserve during World War II.

>> See the photo here

When the family went to transport Ladage to his final resting place in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery near St. Louis, they encountered Bradley Faulkner on Interstate 70. Faulkner — a truck driver and nine-year veteran who served in Iraq — had stopped his truck, stepped out and put his hand over his heart as their procession passed, according to KSDK. A member of a military family with a grandfather who also served, Faulkner considered it important to stop and stand.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Kristen Collins was moved. She took the picture and posted it to Facebook. She wasn’t ready for what happened next, though.

The photo made the rounds on the internet, and made its way to Faulkner’s wife. They arranged to meet, and Faulkner drove from his home in Missouri to meet Kristen Collins.

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s just such an honor to be able to meet the person that made such an impact on us for a moment in time,” Collins said of their meeting.

Faulkner, meanwhile, says the choice to stop that day was an easy one.

"It doesn’t change or alter your life at all to maybe lift up that one family and say, ‘Hey, in your time of need, I’m here for you whether I know you or not,'" he said.

Police officer rushes to aid of woman whose electric wheelchair stopped working

A police officer in Knoxville, Tennessee, jumped into action after he found a woman stuck on a hill near railroad tracks in a wheelchair that had stopped working.

Jim Quick lived up to his name when he hopped out of his cruiser and helped the unidentified woman when her electric wheelchair stopped working.

>> Read more trending news 

He pushed her up the hill near her home, across railroad tracks to get her to her house safely.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The rescue was captured on dash cam video and posted to the police department’s Facebook page, where it has been viewed more than 16,000 times.

Watch: Stunning encounter with orca in British Columbia

A stunning video from Victoria, British Columbia, shows a close orca encounter.

>> Read more trending news

The video was shared on Facebook by Paul Keene.

"So I’m having breaky at Jam Cafe this morning with my fishing buddy Bob Fraumeni...and he pulls out this vid that he took yesterday off Race Rocks. “Got a pretty good shot of some orcas yesterday bud” he says," Keene wrote. 

Keene said Fraumeni took the video just off the coast of Victoria.

Arkansas teen rescues baby deer on frozen pond

An Arkansas teenager helped rescue a baby deer trapped on a frozen pond, KTHV reported.

>> Read more trending news

Donna Fletcher was feeding animals Thursday when she heard the baby deer thrashing about on the ice, according to her son, Charlie Cram.

The pond, about an acre in size, was frozen over as Arkansas was experiencing freezing temperatures.

Cram said he contacted Garrett, his 19-year-old son, to help out his grandmother.

With the help of his younger brother Parker and other family members, Garrett Cram made his way across the ice to help the deer.

At first, the baby deer was skittish and stumbled along the ice trying to escape, KTHV reported. But it quickly gave up running and allowed the teen to pick it up.

“My boys are hunters, but their compassion is greater,” Charlie Cram said.

Savings bonds returned 30 years later to help homeless man get off the streets

A Kansas pawn shop owner helped a homeless Chicago man get off the streets, returning savings bonds now worth $3,000 that he pawned more than 30 years ago, WGN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Woodrow Wilson Jr., who was stationed at an Army base near Junction City, Kansas, sold a stack of $100 savings bonds for some quick cash three decades ago.

Now, Wilson is 58 and homeless, but thanks to the efforts of Chris Mathis, his immediate needs have been solved. 

Mathis took over the pawn shop from his father several years ago. He decided to return savings bonds to those people who had pawned them off and had found more than 50 of them, WGN reported.

Mathis had Wilson’s name and a photograph, knew he had been homeless and had been arrested for loitering.

When a reporter found Wilson, she asked about pawning the bonds.

"Yes! I remember the pawn shop!" Wilson said.

Wilson was surprised to learn that his handful of $100 savings bonds were now fully matured and worth more than $3,000.

"You could use $3,000, right?" the reporter asked Wilson.

"Yeah! Yeah!" he replied, but he remained skeptical until he got on the telephone with Mathis.

"She told me about it but I thought she was trying to trick me,” Wilson said to Mathis, who made plans to return the cash by Friday.

It was relief to Wilson, who had been turned away by crowded shelters and was desperate for a warm place to sleep for more than a week, WGN reported.

"They've been jam packed,” he said. “You just can't get in.”

With just two pairs of pants and a blanket in his backpack, Wilson said the money will be enough to get him off the street for good this winter.

"He could have kept it himself and cashed it in. I'm surprised he's going to give it back to me,” Wilson told WGN. “It means a lot because I don't have nothing. It really helps me.”

Man plans perfect one-night proposal, wedding for girlfriend

A woman in New York went from girlfriend to fiancée to bride all in one night.

Nicole Carfagna suffers from lupus. It’s an illness that can get worse with stress.

Danny Rios decided he could lessen that stress by taking care of everything -- and we mean everything -- for the couple to get married. 

“I know it’s a battle with her illness already and when anything comes up, she gets stressed out about it,” Rios told ABC News.

>> Read more trending news 

He spent more than five months planning the proposal and the wedding, which was all to take place in less than two hours. He also was able to keep it all a surprise for his now-wife, ABC News reported.

Carfagna actually planted the idea in his mind.

“Nicole kept on saying how she wanted to have people over for an engagement party and then surprise them with a wedding so I knew she was OK with a wedding in the backyard,” Rios said

Rios did have help. Carfagna’s mother helped picked out the dress. They bought two, so they knew one would fit. Rios got the rings -- both the engagement ring and wedding bands -- and kept everything in a safe. 

Then, the couple traveled right before the big day. His parents came to the house and got everything set up.

On Dec. 8, Carfagna thought she was walking in on a surprise birthday party when they returned home from their trip to Disney, but then Rios dropped to a knee and asked her to marry him in front of their friends and family, ABC News reported.

They then retreated inside for Rios to spring the final surprise on his bride-to-be.

“Danny said, ‘You know how much I love you and if you want we can do this tonight. All of our closest friends and family are here,’” Carfagna told ABC News. “He told me to turn around and a dress and tux were hanging there.”

Carfagna blogged about the big night. Click here to read about all of the ways Rios kept her guessing and how she was none-the-wiser thanks to all of his misdirection.

Buffalo Bills make good on thank-you gift, send wings to Bengals

The Buffalo Bills are making good on a promise they made Sunday, sending 1,440 chicken wings to the Cincinnati Bengals as a thank you for their last-minute win against Baltimore on Sunday, according to the Dayton Daily News. Cincinnati’s come-from-behind 31-27 win sent the Bills into the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

>> Read more trending news

The Bills announced the shipment Thursday evening in a tweet:

The Bills had thanked the Bengals on Twitter after Sunday’s games and promised to send some wings to Cincinnati.

>> Bills fans make more than $104K in donations to Dalton’s foundationThe gesture came after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton announced that more than $315,000 had been raised by his charitable foundation in the wake of the team’s win over Baltimore. Fans had taken to celebrating the victory, and Dalton’s game-winning touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd -- by donating to the foundation in increments of $17. The dollars represent each year of the Bills’ playoff drought.

Fans also donated thousands of dollars to Boyd’s cause, the Western Pennsylvania Youth Athletic Association, WPXI reported.

Florida group hangs coats on fences, poles to help residents stay warm

Hard freezes are a rarity in central Florida, but a group is trying to make sure nobody stays cold during this year’s chilly weather.

>> Read more trending news

Bright Hopes in Pasco County has been collecting coats and tying them around trees, light poles and fences, leaving a note saying the clothing is free to anyone who needs it, WTVT reported.

Group members are also stapling hats and gloves around town. The group already has given away 50 coats and will continue this month as part of its annual Warm Winter Drive, WTVT reported.

“It means so much to a lot of people out here who are literally sleeping on the ground tonight,” said Melissa Cohee of Bright Hopes.

The organization is a community involvement outreach program for the homeless and underprivileged of Pasco County, located north of Tampa.

Cohee said the coats are for anyone.

“I don't want anyone to feel obligated,” she said. “I don't want anyone to feel bad about taking it, so this is not just for homeless, this is for anybody that needs it, anybody that's cold, anybody who needs a jacket, they can take it.” 

Cohee says people will stop her, even from their cars, and hand her the coats off their backs to give away.

“That happens quite often, actually,” Cohee said. “A lot of people are touched, and if we can inspire somebody else to do something like that, that's our main goal.”

Woman gets tattoo that plays voicemail from her late grandmother

A Chicago woman found a unique way to keep her deceased grandmother close to her heart.

>> Read more trending news

Sakyrah Angelique got a tattoo under her left collarbone that an app can read, using her cellphone’s camera and play an audio file, WGN reported. 

Angelique tweeted a video Tuesday night of her listening to a voicemail of birthday wishes from her grandmother, who left the message a month before she died..

Angelique said she had held the voicemail for nearly three years, unsure of what to do with it, WGN reported

She discovered the technology from Skin Motion that enabled her to hear her grandmother’s voice. A Skin Motion user can upload an audio file, tattoo the resulting “soundwave” pattern and play the audio by scanning the ink with an app.

Trader Joe's store in Michigan donates 35,000 pounds of food to shelter

A Michigan store donated 35,000 pounds of food to a local shelter after its refrigeration system failed Wednesday morning, WXMI reported.

>> Read more trending news

The Trader Joe's store in Kalamazoo made the donation to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. 

“They called us and we were able to mobilize a team within an hour that consisted of staff and volunteers,” said Greg Weaver, the mission’s director of food service.

Trader Joe's store captain Daniel Sorscher told WXMI that the company donates food daily to local shelters.

"Everything that we deem is able to be consumed safely we donate to our neighbors and we're really happy to participate in helping the community in that way," Sorscher said.

The Kalamazoo Gospel Mission provides three free meals daily, serving about 600 meals every day. Weaver said 95 percent of the mission's food comes from donations.

The mission was able to store most of the food, but also donated 4,000 pounds to 12 Baskets, a local food pantry, WXMI reported.

Woman wins $5 million jackpot from winning ticket she didn’t want to buy

A New Jersey woman will soon be a whopping $5 million richer after checking the numbers on the scratch-off lottery ticket she accidentally purchased two weeks ago.

>> Read more trending news 

Oksana Zaharov, 46, meant to buy a $1 scratch-off ticket while she was shopping in New York City, but she was mistakenly issued a $10 ticket by the clerk instead. Even though she went ahead and bought it anyway, she waited a full two weeks to check it.

“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket I felt bad so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” she said on Tuesday. “I actually used the ticket as a bookmarker for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it.”

Much to her surprise, she eventually scratched off the ticket to reveal the winning numbers.

“I never win anything,” Zaharov said. “I was sure the ticket was fake. It wasn’t until I brought it into the office that I knew it was for real.”

>> Related: This grocery store sub named best sandwich in the country

The mother of two will receive 19 annual payments of $260,000 ($172,068 after taxes) and one additional payment of $60,000 ($39,708 after taxes). Then, she will continue to receive annual net payments of $172,068. With her newfound wealth, Zaharov plans to take her family on a vacation to the Bahamas and to set aside much of the remaining money for her children’s future college educations.

Mom serves lunch to more than 100 kids when snow storm closes schools

Most kids cheer when snow cancels school. But that one day off from classes could mean that some children won’t have anything to eat until they report to school once the snow passes.

That’s the realization that Amy Price had this week when her son’s school cancelled, so she jumped into action, The Chronicle-Telegram reported

>> Read more trending news 

Price posted on her Facebook page, “If you live in the Lorain County area, and your kids depend on school-provided breakfast and lunch to be able to eat today and they do not have school, please inbox me. Someone from my company will drop off some items for you.”

By 1 p.m., Price’s post had been shared 450 times and she had a list of more than 100 children who were in need of a meal. She also was sent messages by others who were willing to help get food or donate money, The Chronicle-Telegram reported.

Price, with the help of her family, then delivered cheeseburgers and fries from a local McDonald’s to those who needed them. 

Some schools in the area have a Backpack Program, which gives elementary school children a backpack full of nonperishable food for the weekend, adding extra food for longer planned breaks, The Chronicle-Telegram reported.

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