The week's good news: July 4, 2019

It wasn't all bad!

(Image credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Kimpton Hotel Eventi and Abercrombie & Fitch)

1. For every cupcake this teen baker sells, he donates a treat to the homeless

Michael Platt wants to live in a world where no one goes hungry, and he's striving to make his dream a reality. Two years ago, the 13-year-old from Bowie, Maryland, launched his own business, Michaels Desserts, which follows the 1-for-1 model: For every cupcake, cookie, or cake he sells, he donates one treat to a homeless person. He decided to combine his love of baking with his passion for social justice, specifically the movement to end childhood hunger and income inequality. "I knew that I wanted to make a business, but I knew I didn't just want to make money, I also wanted to help people at the same time," Platt told WJLA. Each month, he sells more than 100 sweet creations, and then passes out the same number of treats to people living in a local park and at a domestic violence shelter.


2. After fighting leukemia together as kids, Florida couple marries 20 years later

Mark Daughtery and Samantha Settle think it's important to "live life to the fullest," and plan on doing so together. Daughtery, 26, and Settle, 23, first met when they were young children, both diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. They had the same doctor, and often ran into each other at his office. They understood what it was like to fight leukemia and go through chemo at such a young age, and quickly became best friends. Both attended Florida State University, and that's when they began dating. After becoming engaged, they knew one person who had to get an invitation to their May wedding: Dr. Fouad Hajjar, their doctor at Orlando's AdventHealth for Children. Daughtery and Settle are leukemia-free, and "to see them now as adults, a married couple, is just so humbling and so awesome," Hajjar told ABC News. "It's not just saving lives, but also saving a lifetime of memories."

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ABC News

3. Strangers come together to paint a piano crosswalk in their neighborhood

In just three hours, 75 strangers transformed an average crosswalk into a thing of beauty. It all started when Richard Glaser of Rochester, New York, saw a Facebook post about a town in California that had a crosswalk painted to look like a piano keyboard. He got in touch with a local artist, Shawn Dunwoody, who told him they could definitely do something similar in Rochester. They spread the word about their community art project, and on June 23, volunteers of all ages gathered in the perfect spot for what is now known as Composers Crossing: outside the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music. Dunwoody put out cardboard templates he made of piano keys and gave quick instructions, and soon the volunteers got to work painting. "It was beyond amazing," Barbara Hoffman told The Washington Post. "It was very unique. It was very, very much about the people and the participation."

The Washington Post

4. Doctor who sang to newborns retires after 40 years

More than 8,000 babies were welcomed to the world by the sweet sound of Dr. Carey Andrew-Jaja's voice. Andrew-Jaja spent 40 years as an OB/GYN at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, and sang "Happy Birthday" or "What a Wonderful World" to the newborns he delivered. "Childbirth is very stressful for the patient and their family," Andrew-Jaja told Good Morning America. "Therefore, we as caregivers must strive to provide excellent care in an excellent setting with a smile on our face and a song in our heart." Known as "The Singing Doctor," Andrew-Jaja officially retired last month, and one of the last babies he sang to was Lindsay Grimes' daughter, Luella, born June 16. "He has the most beautiful voice and of course, he includes their name and ends the song with 'Welcome to our beautiful world, Luella,' which brought me to tears, because it is such a beautiful world," Grimes said.

Good Morning America

5. Scientists use gene-editing to eliminate HIV in mice

Scientists were able to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR to eliminate HIV from the bodies of infected mice, the researchers wrote in a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications. While it only worked about a third of the time in the experiment, the success represents "a big step forward," Chen Liang, a professor at McGill University who wasn't involved in the study, said. The CRISPR treatment was combined with antiretroviral drugs, which suppressed the spread of HIV within the infected mice's cells; the gene editing was used to target fragments of the virus' DNA, Stat News reports. This is much more successful as a long-term strategy than what is now the norm for HIV patients: taking the antiretrovirals on their own. This CRISPR technique isn't ready for humans, but it's possible that with further testing, this method may become a viable way to reduce the ongoing cost of HIV treatment.

Stat News Nature Communications

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.