After he was diagnosed with brain cancer at age 24, Mike Grover charged ahead with work and with life.
He married his fiancee, Lea, before 200 people in a rooftop ceremony at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago’s Little Italy. He fit in a New Zealand honeymoon between rounds of chemotherapy.
He went back to work as a...Read more
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Paula Parrish struggles to breathe as she adjusts her oxygen tubes with a mask over her face.
It's been months since she was discharged from the hospital, but she's still in a fight with the long-haul effects of COVID-19. She turned 81 years old on Dec. 15.
She was still "boogieing" when she turned 80, driving family members...Read more
LOS ANGELES – Two weeks before Christmas, Lisa Agredano asked her 15-year-old son, Manny, to open some of the gifts she bought him.
"No, Mom, wait till Christmas," he told her gently. "I want it to be a surprise."
Lisa, a 50-year-old single mom, was insistent. She had bought her only son new clothing repping his favorite football team, the ...Read more
CHICAGO – On the first weekend after Chicago's Shedd Aquarium was forced to close by the new coronavirus that was endangering the country, the penguin handlers had an idea.
Taking advantage of the building’s quiet halls, the empty spaces where normally tourists would congregate in front of fish displays, they brought the rockhopper penguin ...Read more
MINNEAPOLIS – During their planetarium field trip, the third-graders from Castle Elementary School in Oakdale, Minnesota, had plenty on their minds.
Is there any water on the moon? Which is the coldest planet, and the hottest one? What is a black hole? Would you freeze to death on Mars?
Kaitlin Ehret, the Bell Museum planetarium educator ...Read more
After 49 years on the job, Marge Moore still mops and sweeps her bus every day, trying to set a good example for her students. She keeps the vehicle at her house so she can wash it on the weekends — and she makes sure to wax it every other month.
When it’s especially frigid and the gear shift freezes, she drags her blow dryer, with an ...Read more
SEATTLE — Online school is not easy for anybody.
Online school is a lot tougher when you live in a small house with five brothers and a mom who works two jobs.
"Do you hear that background noise in my house?" says Renee Hipp, as the rambunctious sounds of her five boys talking, bickering, playing and living in one space echoes off the walls....Read more
It was a warm day this summer when Mom and I sat on the veranda of the nursing home for a rare in-person visit. We were both masked-up and a good six or more feet apart.
The young aide was momentarily distracted by another resident there.
That's when Mom stood up, walked over and took my hand in hers. Dementia be damned, COVID-19 be damned. ...Read more
My father went missing sometime on the morning of Dec. 2.
Within hours, I was searching his empty house along with the Freehold, N.J., police. For some reason, my first thought was how my late mother would've hated seeing them traipse across her carpets with their shoes on.
The beige Honda Civic wasn't in the garage.
He prizes that car as he ...Read more
LOS ANGELES – In the predawn hours on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Alyssa Fetters awoke her fiancé in severe pain.
Fetters was six weeks pregnant and had learned about two weeks prior that her pregnancy was ectopic — when the egg grows outside of the uterus. Learning that there would be no way for the egg to survive and that her own ...Read more
They’re called “man’s best friend” for a reason. Dogs have been by our side for thousands of years and are a source of joy in times of stress. It’s no wonder that our four-legged friends are the most popular pet worldwide.
But dogs aren’t just loyal companions. They’re also serious troublemakers.
This is only too apparent in Hél...Read more
After enjoying the 2013 TV series "The Fosters" (ABC Family/Freeform), which follows the stories of several foster children in southern California, I was intrigued to read a memoir that tackled the realities of the American foster care system. A.M. Grotticelli’s "The Bond: How a Mixed Bag of Foster Kids Became a Family for Life" (Atmosphere ...Read more
Families everywhere are preparing for this year’s unprecedented holiday season. Parents are having trouble explaining to their children that they’ll be celebrating apart from extended family this year. But as Rebecca Dwight Bruff reminds us in her newest book, "Stars of Wonder" (Köehler Kids), “you have enough strength inside of you and ...Read more
CHICAGO – At the Jolly Old Elf’s satellite offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and Marlton, New Jersey, there’s a lot of love for an option that was low on Santa’s list last year: the Zoom visit.
With Zoom, parents can give the Jolly Old Elf previsit reminders about how to pronounce kids’ names, and alert him to whether the little ones ...Read more
LOS ANGELES – Her voice flittered from the screen, filling her father’s New York City hospital room.
From a couch in her home office in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood, Carolyn Freyer-Jones watched through her laptop as a ventilator forced air into his lungs. She knew he didn’t want to linger — he had made that clear during end-of...Read more
For the first time in nearly 800 years, a rare Christmas star will light up the sky at the start of this month’s winter solstice.
It’s a planetary alignment that that last happened in the year 1226, according to Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan.
As they make their orbit around the sun, Jupiter and Saturn will slowly grow ...Read more
For 7-year-old Vivian Lord, Christmas has come early.
As of last week, she can now play with her own set of plastic green Army women.
“I’m so excited to finally have the Army girl toys! My dream came true!” she said.
For Lord, a Little Rock, Arkansas, resident, it was a wish made when she was 6 after she won a set of plastic green Army ...Read more
Catina Smith thought she knew what to expect from her third pregnancy. The Baltimore native believed she had all the tools to guide her through the nine-month journey: training in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, a career as a chef, a supportive boyfriend, two responsible children and an app that showed her baby’s growth week by week.
But as her ...Read more
CHICAGO — Hours before the grandfather died on a COVID-19 hospital floor, his closest kin entered the room two at a time, all covered in protective gowns, gloves, masks and face shields .
Barely breathing, the family patriarch pointed to each of his loved ones, then to his heart, and raised a fist in the air.
This was not how relatives had ...Read more
Cavanaugh Bell stands just slightly taller than the tires on the 53-foot semitrailer he and his mother filled with thousands of pounds of supplies. Although Cavanaugh, 7, appeared tiny next to the towering truck, it was his big idea to load it with essentials for people in need — more than 1,500 miles away from his Maryland home. It has been ...Read more
- Mike Grover, whose 13-year battle with brain cancer was chronicled in his wife's popular blog, has died at 38: ‘He put so much love back into the world’
- 'Absolutely terrified.' COVID-19 not over for this Kentucky family long after virus hit
- Ode to a teacher felled by COVID and the boy she left behind
- In the pandemic, field trips go virtual
- 'Always there': COVID-19 won't break the bond between this teen and his Big Brother