So…what a week last week was here in the United States.
Horrified, I watched scenes play out on television I would never have thought could happen in this country.
People on both sides of the political divide are angry, scared, and anxious.
I thought we could all use a little good news, so I collected three feel-good stories I would like to share with you today. We need reminders that there is light, love, and selflessness in the world.
Doctor Forgives Cancer Patients’ Debt
Most insurance plans cover big-ticket expenses for medical treatment. Many families, especially those living from paycheck to paycheck, however, cannot afford to pay high deductibles and co-pays.
Cancer treatments are often exceptionally costly.
Dr. Omar Atiq, a medical oncologist, ran a cancer clinic in Pine Bluff, Arkansas for nearly 30 years. When his clinic closed in March due to the pandemic, Dr. Atiq decided to close the clinic for good, rather than trying to reopen.
200 of his former patients got an early Christmas present this year when they received a note from Dr. Atiq telling them he was forgiving nearly $650,000 in debt. The good doctor forgave all of these patients’ entire debt.
Dr. Atiq and his wife Mahreen are the parents of four children, all of whom are either doctors or studying to be doctors. What an inspirational example they have set for their sons and daughter.
Ben Berman is a 27-year-old graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
When the pandemic hit in March, Ben got to work. He installed a pulley system in his second-floor apartment and began making pizzas.
From his window, he would lower slices of his culinary masterpieces to friends standing on the sidewalk below to help raise their spirits.
His pizzas soon became hugely popular, and requests for them grew. He began asking his friends to donate some money for ingredients, which he donated to charities that addressed food insecurity and homelessness.
He eventually formed a non-profit organization, Good Pizza PHL, which has raised and donated $30,000 so far.
Ben attributes his love of food and cooking to his mom, about whom he says this: “My mom, who’s an amazing cook, taught me about food as a love language and a driving force to connect people.“
Encouragement from an Olympian
I dare you to watch the YouTube video pictured above without crying. This one gets to me. Every. Single. Time.
Blake Leeper, a double-amputee, is a Paralympic athlete from the U.S. He has won numerous awards and is the holder of several American and World running records.
Blake, who hails from Tennessee, has worn prosthetics since he was nine months old. Growing up, he participated in many sports including baseball and basketball under the tutelage of his dad.
When Blake was at Scott Sabolich Prosthetics & Research Center recently getting fitted for his new prosthetic running blades, he encountered two-year-old KJ Dyer. KJ was attempting to walk on his prosthesis for the first time with the help of a walker.
The viral video shows Leeper encouraging Dyer.
Blake has temporarily interrupted his pre-med studies to devote his energies to his spectacular running career. I hope at some point he returns to realize his dream of becoming a doctor.
And there you have it – some good news.
I leave you with this quote from Philippians: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.“
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