It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: January 10, 2019

Catherine Garcia
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Stranger drives 2,300 miles so boy recovering from surgery can have his dog

Now that his beloved dog is by his side, Perryn Miller can heal. Miller, 8, lives in Wilmington, North Carolina. While in Utah for the holidays, Miller started to have bad headaches, and during a trip to the emergency room, doctors discovered he had a brain tumor. Miller underwent surgery, and remained in Utah — far away from his family dog, 8-month-old German shepherd Frank. A former truck driver named Bob Reynolds read about Miller's story on social media and volunteered to drive Frank the 2,300 miles to Utah. "I never questioned why I was doing it or anything like that," he told CBS News. "I just knew something had to be done and that I could do it." After a 52-hour journey, Frank made it to Utah. "I felt really excited to see Frank," Miller said. "He's a good dog." [CBS News]


Texas girl uses lemonade stand to raise thousands for animal rescues

A 10-year-old from Missouri City, Texas, is using her entrepreneurial skills to help animals in need. When Hurricane Harvey hit, Frannie Joseph saw on the news rescuers saving pets left behind, and decided to set up a lemonade stand with her friends to raise money for their efforts. They called themselves Harvey's Animal Helpers, and in three days, raised $3,500 for the Humane Society of the United States. To thank Joseph, the Humane Society invited her to visit the Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch, an animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas. Joseph brought out her lemonade stand again, raising $1,200 for the sanctuary and holding a supply drive at her school. Joseph said this is just the beginning of her fundraising, and she will always be a voice for animals. "I learned that no matter how large or small an animal is, their life has value," she told People. [People]


Minnesota couple that met volunteering incorporates charity into their wedding

Their wedding doubled as a service project, and Adam Claude and Chara Juneau wouldn't have had it any other way. Claude and Juneau met through the nonprofit organization Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The volunteers put together special meals made of rice, soy, dried vegetables, and vitamins, which are shipped to millions of families in 70 countries. Claude and Juneau have put together thousands of meals side by side, and when a Feed My Starving Children staff member joked that they should get married in the building, they thought that sounded like a great idea. "We wanted the day to mean something," Juneau told the Star Tribune. After they exchanged vows on New Year's Eve, Juneau, Claude, and their guests donned hairnets and got to work putting together meals to send to Sierra Leone. [Star Tribune]


Muslim youth group keeps national parks clean during government shutdown

Federal workers who usually take care of national parks have been furloughed amid the ongoing government shutdown. That means no one is getting paid to empty overflowing trash cans, manage sewage disposal, or maintain trails. That's where the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association comes in. The group has dispatched dozens of its members, all Muslim males age 7 to 40, to clean up parks around the country. AMYA regularly cleans up communities as part of its service branch, so when it became clear there was no end to the government shutdown in sight, about 30 members started emptying trash cans around the National Mall and fishing trash out of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. "If there's an opportunity to serve, that is what Muslims do," volunteer Sarmad Bhatti told The Washington Post. [CNN, The Washington Post]


U.S. cancer death rate drops 27 percent in 25 years

Cancer prognoses are looking up as the condition's death rate is going down. Over the last 25 years, America's cancer death rate has fallen by 27 percent, a study by the American Cancer Society published Tuesday reveals. That's about 2.6 million fewer deaths over that time span. Deaths from cancer in the U.S. reached their peak in 1991 and have fallen every year since, the study says. That's partly because of a delayed drop in lung cancer cases after many Americans stopped smoking in the 1960s. Lung cancer rates among men have dropped 50 percent since 1991, and improving early detection methods also benefited recovery chances. [CNN]