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Teen born without a jaw finds his voice, achieves dream of creating music

A teen born without a jaw is beating the odds again, launching a music career and helping other along the way.

When Isaiah Acosta was born, the odds were stacked against him. He’s now 17 years old and thriving in Phoenix, Arizona.

>> Read more trending news

Though he’s considered mute and will never have the ability to speak, Isaiah is now launching his music career.

“We knew we had a great story but we didn’t know it was going to explode like it did,” Tarah Acosta, Isaiah’s mother, told KNXV.

Last week, Isaiah’s hip-hop song “Oxygen to Fly” debuted. He partnered with Arizona rapper Trap House and a short documentary featuring his story was shared online. In just a few days, his story racked up more than 4 million views.

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

“I don’t even think Isaiah thought this was possible. You know he is mute and we and a lot of people have told us they haven’t seen anything like this,” said Tarah.

You can listen to Isaiah’s song by clicking here. All proceeds from the song will go to the Children’s Miracle Network.

>> Watch a video about Isaiah here

'Hallelujah': School gets musical with snow day announcement

It's a snow day for much of Massachusetts, but one school in particular received the news in a special song from the superintendent.

>> CLICK HERE for the latest weather forecast

>> 5 hacks to keep your smartphone charged during a power outage

>> 7 tips to keep your pets safe during winter weather

Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School Superintendent Aaron Polansky rewrote the words to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" to let students know that they could sleep in on Tuesday morning. 

>> Watch the video here

>> Read more trending news

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Teen scrapes together $1,500 donation from part-time jobs for nonprofit that hits close to home

A teenager touched by a nonprofit’s cause scraped together $1,500 to donate.

The nonprofit Jack’s Basket was founded by mom Carissa Carroll of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She told ABC News that she was disheartened by people’s responses three years ago when they learned that her new baby Jack was born with Down syndrome.

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

“After meeting more and more families … finding out that most of them never received a congratulations after the birth their child, also a biased language — ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ kind of in a dismal way. It broke my heart. These babies deserve to be celebrated just like any other birth,” Carroll said.

So Carroll decided to provide support to families with new babies who have Down syndrome. She came up with the idea to provide care baskets to these families filled with resources to help with their new addition.

Years later, Jack’s Basket has distributed more than 250 baskets.

>> Read more trending news

The story touched a teen named Jordan Witt. Jordan’s younger brother, Logan, has Down syndrome.

“Logan is very funny. He’s very kind. He loves to make people's days,” Witt told WCCO. “These people, Logan, people with Down syndrome have a future. They can change the world, too.”

Logan pulled together $1,500 from his part-time jobs to donate in honor of his brother. The donation will cover 21 baskets.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Tonight at 10pm, CBS-WCCO TV shares an amazing story of a young man that is inspired by his brother with Down syndrome...Posted by Jack's Basket on Wednesday, March 8, 2017​

Anne Hathaway says new fathers should get maternity leave

Actress Anne Hathaway became a mother less than a year ago, but in that time, her perspective on parenting and importance of time spent with family has changed a lot.

 >> Read more trending stories  

As a U.N. goodwill ambassador, Hathaway gave an impassioned speech at the United Nations' New York headquarters on International Women's Day about the need for a better parental leave policy in the United States.

She shared her personal experience, saying that days after her son was born, she was struck by a realization about the maternity leave policy in the United States that grants 12-weeks of unpaid leave to new mothers.

"Like so many parents, I wondered how I was going to balance my work with my new role as a parent, and in that moment, I remember that the statistic for the U.S.'s policy on maternity leave flashed through my mind," Hathaway said. "American women are currently entitled to 12 weeks' unpaid leave. American men are entitled to nothing. That information landed differently for me when, one week after my son's birth I could barely walk, when I was getting to know a human who was completely dependent on my husband and I for everything, when I was dependent on my husband for most things, when we were relearning everything we thought we knew about our family and relationship. It landed differently."

Her speech didn't just focus on a mother's need for paid time off after the birth of a child. She also talked about the necessity for fathers to be there for their family, especially in the first days and weeks after the child is born.

"The assumption and common practice that women and girls look after the home and the family is a stubborn and very real stereotype that not only discriminates against women but limits men's participation and connection within the family and society," she said. "These limitations have broad-ranging and significant effects, for them and for children. We know this. So why do we continue to undervalue fathers and overburden mothers?"

She concluded her speech by calling for everyone to take a stand for parents.

"The whole world grows when people like you and me take a stand because we know that beyond the idea of how women and men are different, there is a deeper truth that love is love, and parents are parents," she said.

Hathaway, 34, married jewelry designer Adam Shulman in September 2012. The couple welcomed their son, Jonathan Rosebanks Shulman, in March 2016.

>> Related: Moms: It's OK to gain baby weight, Anne Hathaway says

Thank you so much to UN Women for having me speak about paid parental leave on International Women's Day at the United Nations. Watch the full video:Posted by Anne Hathaway on Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mom's heart breaks when she hears 3-year-old's comforting words for terminally ill baby brother

A mother captured a tender moment between her two sons, whose time together is limited.

Mom Sheryl Blanksby’s younger son, Thomas, was born with a skin lesion that looked like a birthmark, but doctors soon diagnosed the baby boy with a rare and aggressive type of cancer. Thomas’ condition is terminal.

“We as a family are trying to cope the best way we can, but it has been very hard,” Blanksby told the Daily Mail.

The family, who lives in Australia, explained to their preschool-aged son, William, that doctors are trying to heal Thomas.

>> Read more trending news

“William also said that maybe the doctors can’t help his baby brother, that’s why Mummy and Daddy are sad. So we think he knows in his own way,” Blanksby said.

Blanksby recently shared a touching moment she captured between William and baby Thomas.

“I was getting ready in the bathroom and (my) husband was in the kitchen,” Blanksby wrote in the Instagram caption. “The kids were quiet, especially Mr preschooler. You know the rules about when kids are quiet.”

When Blanksby found her sons, she saw William comforting Thomas, quietly whispering to him.

“My preschooler is telling his baby brother ‘Kuya (big brother) is here. Everything is OK,” Blanksby wrote.

>> See the photo here

#Throwback to when we were on our holiday. I was getting ready in the bathroom and husband was in the kitchen. The kids were quiet, especially Mr preschooler. You know the rules about when kids are quiet. I tiptoed to the lounge with my camera ready to catch anything they are doing. I was expecting my baby to be covered in Nutella or something but instead I saw this. My preschooler is telling his baby brother "Kuya (big brother) is here. Everything is ok". #myboys #bestbigbrother #documentinglittlemoments #mybabyloves #myheartandsoul #luckymummy A post shared by Ms Chikee (@mschikee) on Mar 6, 2017 at 1:08pm PST

The family isn’t sure how much time Thomas has left. Blanksby said they are trying to take as many trips as possible with their sons while they still have time.

“We want to travel with the boys, go on weekend trips to the beach, picnic at the park, drive down the Margaret River,” Blanksby told the Daily Mail.

Friends set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses so the family can focus on bonding with Thomas while they can.

If you would like to donate, click here.

Breastfeeding mom shares heartbreaking warning after baby's death

Five years after her newborn son's death, a Los Angeles area mom's heartbreaking warning to other mothers is going viral.

According to The Washington Post, Jillian Johnson gave birth to a 7-pound, 7-ounce boy, Landon, via emergency cesarean section on Feb. 25, 2012.   

"He cried unless he was on the breast, and I began to nurse him continuously," Johnson wrote in a blog post for the Fed Is Best Foundation, which, according to its website, believes that "mothers should be supported in choosing clinically safe feeding options for their babies," including breast milk, formula or both. Johnson's blog also included commentary from physician Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, one of the foundation's co-founders who claims to have seen Landon's records, the Post reported.

>> Read the blog post here

One lactation consultant at the "baby-friendly" hospital, which encouraged exclusive breastfeeding, told Johnson that she may have trouble producing milk because of her polycystic ovarian syndrome and recommended supplements, Johnson wrote. But the consultants generally assured her that Landon "had a great latch" and seemed to be doing well, Johnson added

Johnson would not name the hospital, the Post reported.

When Landon was discharged on Feb. 28, he had lost nearly 10 percent of his body weight, according to Castillo-Hegyi's comments on Johnson's blog.

"These are routine and unremarkable findings in newborn babies discharged home to exclusively breastfeed," Castillo-Hegyi wrote.

Less than 12 hours after the family returned home, Landon was unresponsive, Johnson said. He had "gone into cardiac arrest caused by dehydration," she wrote, a claim backed up by Los Angeles County medical examiner's records.

"It was really hard for me to comprehend at that point, because I had been breast-feeding him – 'What do you mean he was dehydrated'" Johnson told the Post. “I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I was frustrated with myself because there were these doctors and nurses who kept telling me, 'Just keep feeding him. Just keep him on the breast.'"

Landon died at 19 days old.

>> Read more trending news

Johnson told People magazine that she shared her story so other parents wouldn't have to go through what she went through.

"If you think something is wrong, push on those doctors and nurses as hard as you can to make sure, until you feel that you’re being taken care of, that baby’s being taken care of," Johnson told People. "Especially at that age, you’re the only advocate that baby has so you have to do everything in your power to make sure that baby’s taken care of."

She added, "There's nothing wrong with giving your child a bottle," People reported.

But pediatrician and American Academy of Pediatrics representative Andy Bernstein told the Post that cases like Landon's are rare and that most babies can survive on colostrum for days.

"I'm definitely going to encourage breastfeeding when possible," he told the Post, but added that formula is also a "very acceptable source" of nutrition.

Trish MacEnroe, executive director of Baby Friendly USA, also stressed that breastfeeding "is the optimal means for infant nutrition."

"I think it's really important for mothers to know that breastfeeding is safe," she told the Post.

Read more here or here.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> So we took him home….not knowing that after less than 12 hours home with us, he would have gone into cardiac arrest...Posted by Fed is Best Foundation on Friday, February 24, 2017

Watch the touching moment this 5-year-old learns he’s finally getting a new heart

A 5-year-old boy is recovering after doctors successfully performed a heart transplant, something he’s been waiting on for a long time.

When Erica Stritch Schultz was just 18 weeks pregnant, doctors diagnosed her baby with a heart defect called critical aortic stenosis and evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Little Ari underwent two successful heart surgeries before he was even born.

He is now 5 years old and spent more than 200 days waiting for a new heart. According to his website, Echo of Hope, Ari spent months living at Boston Children’s Hospital suffering from congestive heart failure.

>> Read more trending news  

On Friday, Ari finally got good news: a new heart was available for him. His parents recorded the moment they told Ari and shared it to his Facebook page.

“Are they going to find a good spot to put it?” Ari asked his parents in the video.

Ari, an avid sports fan, was thrilled that he might be able to attend a Red Sox game this season.

His parents are asking for prayers.

“If praying is what you do, now is the time, for Ari, and for Ari’s donor and family. We’ve been thinking about them, their sacrifice, their sorrow and their immense kindness nonstop. And will every day for the rest of our lives,” his family wrote on Facebook.

According to an update shared early Saturday morning, Ari’s surgery was a success and he is now recovering.

“His chest is still open and he will be paralyzed and sedated for days. He has a long road ahead of him but today begins the journey and now we take it one day at a time,” the family wrote.

211 days ago Ari was officially listed for a heart transplant. Today the counting stops. If praying is what you do, now is the time, for Ari, and for Ari's donor and family. We've been thinking about them, their sacrifice, their sorrow, and their immense kindness non stop. And will every day for the rest of our lives. Now, for Ari, it's go time.Posted by Ari "Danger" Schultz on Friday, March 3, 2017

WATCH: Trump surprises group of kids as White House tours resume

White House tours resumed Tuesday, and visitors were surprised by none other than President Donald Trump himself.

A video of a screaming crowd and an adoring boy meeting the president in person was shared by midmorning Tuesday.

>> Watch the video here

President Trump surprises visitors at White House as tours resumePresident Donald J. Trump surprises visitors at The White House as public tours resume for the first time since he took office. http://abcn.ws/2meZgrwPosted by ABC News on Tuesday, March 7, 2017

First lady Melania Trump said in a February press release:

“I am excited to reopen the White House to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each year. The White House is a remarkable and historic site and we are excited to share its beauty and history. I am committed to the restoration and preservation of our Nation’s most recognizable landmark.”

The initial delay in public tours was the result of positions in the White House Visitors Office not being immediately filled following Trump’s inauguration. The office oversees activities such as White House tours, the Easter Egg Roll and the National Christmas Tree festivities.

>> Read more trending news

Those wishing to learn about the White House tours can find more information here.

School lets sleepy students nap

It sounds like a dream, being able to nap during class without getting in trouble with the teacher. 

Students in several New Mexico high schools are seeing that dream come true, sort of. 

Instead of pushing back start times, a few schools in Las Cruces have brought in sleep pods, NBC News reported.

Students can now take a 20-minute doze between classes, which is helping them learn.

>> Read more trending news  

The pods, made by MetroNaps, include a chair that reclines and is covered by a sensory-reduction bubble that envelops the napper's head and body, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

One school has the pods installed in its health center. They are not just being used for students and staff who feel sleepy.

Linda Summers, who secured the grant to purchase the pods, said that someone with a headache or high blood pressure, is sent to the pod. It has also helped calm down students after fights.

Instead of leaving school when they don't feel well, students were able to return to class 99 out of 100 times when school officials tracked the results.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, teenagers need 9 to 10 hours a sleep a day. But the institute's research says that 40 percent of teens report being too sleepy. Teens not only have eight hours or so of school; many have homework, sports, part-time jobs and chores to accomplish every day that cut into their sleep schedules.

For more on how to get more sleep, click here.

Loving family adopts girl born with no arms, legs

A family is sharing their special adoption story with the world after they welcomed a girl born without arms or legs into their lives.

“Special-needs adoption has changed our family forever,” Adrienne Stewart wrote in a Facebook post that was shared by the Love What Matters Facebook page. “When we found our daughter, we did not think that we were qualified or prepared enough to parent a child like her, a child born without arms and legs, but we knew that we could love her and that loving her was what mattered most!” 

Their story is spreading around the world.

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

Stewart spotted Maria’s face on a list of children in need of adoption. Maria lived at an orphanage in the Philippines and was in need of a family willing to take on her special needs.

“We knew we had to adopt her,” said Stewart.

The process took about a year to complete, but by October 2015, they were able to bring the girl home .

“She’s very loving,” said Stewart.

Stewart already had three children, two girls and a 6-year-old boy who was also adopted from the Philippines.

Stewart said Maria fits right in.

“We were scared to begin with, not knowing what to expect, but everything has fallen into place,” Stewart said. “It seems like a big thing when you start out, but everything just works out.”

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