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It wasn't all bad
October 22, 2018

Without the generosity of a stranger, Halie Hipsher and Matt Jones would not have been able to move their wedding up to ensure that her grandfather could attend the joyous day.

The stranger, Kolbie Sanders of Tyler, Texas, was set to get married on Oct. 20 at the Belle Vue Wedding and Event Venue. The wedding was called off, but she wasn't going to be able to get the $3,500 rental fee back. The venue told her she could pick a new date and hold a different event, but Sanders had another idea: She went on Facebook and announced she was giving away the venue to a couple that wanted to get married on the 20th. Messages came flooding in, and after whittling down the couples, she put names in a bowl and picked one slip of paper.

Sanders chose Jones and Hipsher, who had told her they planned on getting married in fall 2019, but Hipsher was afraid her grandfather, who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, might not make it another year. Hipsher and Jones jumped into planning mode, and a photographer and other vendors donated their services. "Walking down the aisle was breathtaking and I wouldn't want to change one second of the day because it is all I dreamed of and more," Hipsher told Good Morning America. Sanders, who stopped by the wedding for photos with Hipsher and her grandfather, said she was thrilled when the bride won, and her "reaction definitely made all of this worth it." Catherine Garcia

October 22, 2018

At the end of their debate earlier this month, two candidates for a Vermont state House seat asked the moderator for a few extra minutes — not to make last-second appeals for votes, but rather to make a little music.

Lucy Rogers, the Democrat, grabbed her cello, while Zac Mayo, the Republican, picked up his guitar. They started performing "Society" by Eddie Vedder, much to the surprise of everyone in attendance at the debate inside the Varnum Memorial Library in Jefferson. "It strikes a chord," Mayo told CBS News. "To say to the world that this is a better way."

Rogers and Mayo agreed early on while campaigning in Lamoille County that they were going to be civil and treat each other with respect throughout the race. During a Fourth of July parade, the pair discussed their mutual love of music, and ahead of the debate, Rogers asked Mayo if he wanted to play a song with her. He thought it was a fantastic idea — and so did the voters who attended the debate. One told CBS News it "gave me a lot of hope," while another declared this was "what we needed all along." Catherine Garcia

October 19, 2018

Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths, and Rishab Jain, 13, has invented a treatment that could change that.

The Oregon resident won the Young Scientist Challenge with his invention, an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to locate and track the pancreas in real time, Inside Edition reports. It can be difficult to spot the pancreas during radiation treatment, as it can be hidden behind the stomach or other organs, and that often leads to healthy cells accidentally being hit by radiation.

Jain's algorithm not only improves the accuracy but also increases the impact of the radiation treatment, Young Scientist Challenger organizers said. He only started working on the project last year, when he discovered how lethal pancreatic cancer can be. "At the same time, I was also doing artificial intelligence programming, so I wondered if I could combine my knowledge in both areas," he told Inside Edition. In addition to being named the winner of the contest, Jain received a check for $25,000. Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2018

It will be called the Harmony Playground, where all children will be free to play in their own way.

The town of Clayton, North Carolina, is planning on breaking ground for this inclusive project in 2019. The inspiration came after planners heard about the difficulties some families face when it comes to finding places where their children feel welcome. "You know, it really broke my heart when I started talking to parents that when they have children with special needs, that they avoid playgrounds," Dean Penny of the Clayton Recreational Foundation told WRAL.

Harmony Playground's design takes into account all kinds of special needs and disabilities; for example, the sidewalks will be at different elevations, so a child in a wheelchair will be able to wheel down to the lower level. Several businesses in the area are supporting the effort and helping raise funds, and the town is about halfway to its goal of $800,000. Catherine Garcia

October 17, 2018

It all started with a blood drive at his church.

Richard Packman, 74, first donated blood in the early 1990s, and after being told by a phlebotomist he had "big veins," the Chicago resident made the switch to platelets. "It takes longer than a blood donation, but it's well worth it," he told the Chicago Tribune. "I really enjoy being a platelets donor because you really know you're saving lives." It takes about two hours to donate platelets, which are commonly used for cancer patients who lose platelets during chemotherapy treatment, but Packman said the time passes quickly, as he watches a movie or chats with staff.

Packman has spent an estimated 1,000 hours giving blood or platelets, and on Friday, made his 500th donation. A small celebration was held, with streamers and carrot cake, and Packman plans on continuing to donate beyond this milestone. "Just remember one thing: It's better to give than to receive," he said. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2018

After watching a movie about the Iron Cowboy — a man who completed 50 triathlons in 50 days — Niall McDermott thought, "I could do that."

The 10-year-old from San Francisco tweaked it a little, telling his parents he'd like to run 50 5K races in 50 days. After getting the okay from his pediatrician, McDermott ran his first 5K, with his parents letting him know he could stop whenever he wished. He kept at it, and on Sunday, he ran his 50th 5K alongside a friend. He told KPIX that while he was running, "I was thinking, 'I'm gonna finish this and I can do it, and when I finish it, I won't have to do it anymore.'"

McDermott's grandfather has lung cancer, and McDermott turned his running into a fundraiser, getting $4,000 in pledges that will be donated to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. His mother, Maggie McDermott, is proud of her son for not giving up. "He never complained a single day, said he didn't want to do it, or he's too tired or something hurt," she said. "He was just ready to go every day. I'm amazed." Catherine Garcia

October 14, 2018

This isn't a desert mirage — Benny the yellow lab from Las Vegas really does ice skate and fetch hockey sticks.

The 5-year-old dog was rescued from a Las Vegas shelter right before he was to be euthanized. His new family realized that he learned things quickly, and they had custom ice skates made for Benny's front paws so he could practice skating. He picked it up almost immediately, and now he goes around the rink with an American flag on his vest and a stick in his mouth.

Benny's dedication has paid off, and he's branched out from skating in front of his family during weekly practices — he's also entertained fans ahead of Las Vegas Knights and University of Nevada, Las Vegas hockey games. Catherine Garcia

October 12, 2018

Harper Yeats is only five months old, but she's already seen more of the United States than most seasoned travelers.

Harper's mom, Cindy Lim, and dad, Tristan Yeats, are originally from Australia, but they've lived in Canada for the last three years. In June, the family visited Maine, and came up with an idea: What if they spent their leave traveling to all 50 states? It was something they'd always wanted to do, and they thought it would be even better if their newborn daughter joined the ranks of the All Fifty States Club. "It was just our plan to do it together and have fun," Lim told CBS News.

The family has checked off more than 40 states, documenting their adventure on Instagram with photos of Harper smiling in front of giant trees in California and sleeping next to a "Welcome to Maine" sign. They will reach their final state, Vermont, on Oct. 18, and Lim said she hopes that when her daughter is older, "when she looks at the photos and I tell her all the stories, that she can have the confidence that she can do anything." Catherine Garcia

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