Man proves, once again, that kindness can be a calling

LOS ANGELES — By any logical standard, two years ago Eugene Yoon made the craziest decision of his life.

“I remember kind of just like looking up at the sky and being like, ‘God, are you sure about this? ‘Cause I’m pretty happy right now,’” Eugene said. “It felt like a calling.”

What Eugene felt called to do was one really big random act of kindness. He didn’t know who he was supposed to help or how, all he knew was that he had to help someone and it had to be life-altering.

And that’s when a video came across his Facebook page.

As we first reported in 2015, it was a video of a guy he never met named Arthur Renowitzky. After being mugged, shot and paralyzed 10 years ago, Arthur vowed that he would walk again someday. And when Eugene heard about that, he called Arthur immediately.

“He wasn’t going to give up until I was walking again,” Arthur said.

And Eugene did not have a medical degree. “I have a film degree,” he said.

Which makes you wonder then, how was Eugene going to make him walk again? “This is the part… I had no idea,” he said.

Eventually though, he learned about an exoskeleton device that can help some people walk again. Unfortunately, it costs about $80,000.

So, to pay for it, Eugene quit his job at a research company in Northern California, to hike from the California-Mexico border to Canada.

Along the way he posted videos of the adventure and asked people to donate on social media. Until, ‘round about mid-Washington state, Eugene learned that he had reached his fundraising goal.

A few weeks later, Arthur did walk — right into the arms of the total stranger who made it all possible.

“I call him my brother now. We are brothers. I’m just very thankful to have a friend like him.” Arthur said.

Since his story first aired, Eugene has been looking for another total stranger to help with another huge act of kindness.

And here he is: Alberto Velasquez lives in poverty with 24 family members under one roof.

Eugene met Alberto’s family on Skid Row in Los Angeles and then hired Alberto, a skilled seamster, to help start a clothing line called KIN LOV GRA. Proceeds will guarantee Alberto and his family a living wage and fund many other kindness projects to come.

Eugene may have started with a walk, but is now clearly up and running.

To contact On the Road, or to send us a story idea, email us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com.

Indian girl found in jungle was not living with monkeys, officials say

The discovery of a girl reportedly living with monkeys in the forests of northern India, has been compared to a modern-day Jungle Book, but officials and doctors close to the child say the true story is darker.

This week news reports from the state of Uttar Pradesh said the girl, aged around eight, found by forest rangers in January living with and acting like a monkey. She was reportedly naked, crawled on all fours and screeched at passersby.

According to more extraordinary accounts police had been forced to fight off monkeys to rescue the girl.

But far from being raised by animals in the Katarniya Ghat forest range, the girl, who doctors believe has mental and physical disabilities, was likely to have been recently abandoned in the wilderness by her carers, the district chief forestry officer said.

JP Singh said the girl was actually found on a roadside near the forest, not deep in the wilderness. And though there were monkeys in her vicinity, his rangers “never found this girl living with monkeys”, he said.

“I think the family members of this girl had been aware that she is not able to speak, and they may have abandoned her near the forest road,” he said. “If she was living with monkeys it would have been for a few days only, not for a long time.

“It is clear from first time view, if you see the girl, that she is only eight or nine years old, but her facial expressions show that she is disabled, not only mentally but also physically,” he said.

The forest is closely monitored by rangers and CCTV, and it was unlikely she could have survived in the wilderness for long without being spotted, he added.

The chief medical officer of the hospital in Bahraich, where the girl has been receiving treatment since she was found in January, said it was difficult to “say exactly when she was abandoned”.

“In India, people do not prefer a female child and she is mentally not sound,” DK Singh said. “So all the more [evidence] she was left there.”

Ankur Lal, the chief medical officer for Bahraich district, said the nature of the child’s disability was “still under investigation”, but it was unlikely she had been raised in the forest.

“When she was found, she was behaving violently. She had no toilet habits, no communication. So it was taken that she had been living in the jungle for long,” he said.

But the rapid improvement she had made since being hospitalised now led doctors to believe she had in fact been raised by people. “Initially she was crawling but now she is walking normally – so she hasn’t been in the jungle since birth,” Lal said.

“The truth of the matter is her family didn’t want to look after her,” said Ranjana Kumari a leading activist in the movement to promote the welfare of young girls in a society where female foeticide persists, and has severely distorted birth rates, especially in rural areas.

“Some families value girls less than boys,” she said. “They would rather get rid of the girl than spend money on her. It is a lot more responsibility because of the social environment we live in.”

She said the Indian state offered little help for poor families with disabled children – “and when it is a girl, it becomes double the issue”.

The girl will be moved on Saturday to a children’s home in Lucknow to continue her recovery.

Texas masturbation bill is now in the hands of the Texas State Affairs Committee

Photo: Harry Cabluck, STF

Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, is making a point about legislation that restricts women’s access to healthcare and abortions by proposing to fine men $100 when they masturbate. Alongside the penalty for wasting semen not resulting in a pregnancy, Farrar’s bill would require a “medically unnecessary digital rectal exam” before any man undergoes a vasectomy or can be prescribed Viagra.Scroll through the gallery to see the key players in the ongoing Texas legislative session and the state’s long history with the issue of abortion. less
Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, is making a point about legislation that restricts women’s access to healthcare and abortions by proposing to fine men $100 when they masturbate. Alongside the penalty for … more

Photo: Harry Cabluck, STF

Biggest issues and players of the 85th Texas LegislatureThe Texas Legislature convened January 10 and will tackle a number of issues facing the state. Keep going for a look at the biggest issues and the players who will shape the session.  less
Biggest issues and players of the 85th Texas Legislature

The Texas Legislature convened January 10 and will tackle a number of issues facing the state. 

Keep going for a look at the biggest issues and the … more

Photo: Houston Chronicle

Budget: With a revenue shortfall predicted to top $4 billion, the new state budget will have to go on a diet, even as Abbott and legislative leaders hope that President-elect Donald Trump’s promises to bolster federal border-security initiatives and curb skyrocketing health care costs could save the state billions. Less money will affect passage of proposals with big price tags, including franchise tax reductions and tuition reforms, they agree. less
Budget: With a revenue shortfall predicted to top $4 billion, the new state budget will have to go on a diet, even as Abbott and legislative leaders hope that President-elect Donald Trump’s promises to bolster … more

Photo: Eric Gay, STF

Sanctuary cities: Though no one seems to be able to clearly define exactly what a sanctuary city is, or how many there are in Texas, Senate leaders are intent on banning them, bolstered by Trump’s tough stance on illegal immigration. Despite lukewarm support in the House, Abbott has listed this issue as a priority. less
Sanctuary cities: Though no one seems to be able to clearly define exactly what a sanctuary city is, or how many there are in Texas, Senate leaders are intent on banning them, bolstered by Trump’s tough stance … more

Photo: Drew Anthony Smith, Getty Images

Voter ID: The issue of requiring photo IDs to vote in Texas has been in the courts almost since it first was OK’d by lawmakers in 2011, and an attempt to bolster the existing controversial law again will face heated opposition from advocates who say it intentionally suppresses Latino and African-American voting. With the GOP in control of both legislative chambers, the chances of passage look good. less
Voter ID: The issue of requiring photo IDs to vote in Texas has been in the courts almost since it first was OK’d by lawmakers in 2011, and an attempt to bolster the existing controversial law again will face … more

Photo: Eric Gay, STF

Bathroom bill: The “Texas Privacy Act” would bar Texans from going in public-building restrooms that don’t match the gender on their birth certificate. While conservative Republican supporters insist it’s not akin to North Carolina’s highly controversial law, opponents – including business groups that say it would cost the state $8.5 billion in lost business – are not buying it. Look for a fight in the Senate and a likely roadblock in the House. less
Bathroom bill: The “Texas Privacy Act” would bar Texans from going in public-building restrooms that don’t match the gender on their birth certificate. While conservative Republican supporters insist it’s not … more

Photo: Tom Reel, Staff

Abortion: As has been common in recent years, Republican lawmakers have offered several abortion-related bills, most aimed at limiting the procedure. Among this year’s bills are those to increase criminal penalties for buying and selling fetal tissue and to ban partial-birth abortions, as well as one to prohibit insurance coverage for abortions. less
Abortion: As has been common in recent years, Republican lawmakers have offered several abortion-related bills, most aimed at limiting the procedure. Among this year’s bills are those to increase criminal … more

Photo: ILANA PANICH-LINSMAN, STR

Child protection: After more than two decades of reforms designed to curb chronic, systemic problems, state officials have designated this issue a top priority, perhaps even an emergency that would allow expedited legislative action. Whatever the fix, it will be costly, a tab that will affect the strained budget. Some lawmakers have suggested the state use some of its Rainy Day Fund to pay for a permanent fix. less
Child protection: After more than two decades of reforms designed to curb chronic, systemic problems, state officials have designated this issue a top priority, perhaps even an emergency that would allow … more

Photo: Photographer: Hongqi Zhang (aka

Ethics reform: After a messy attempt at ethics reform two years ago, even though Abbott had made the issue a priority, the Legislature this year will get another shot at plugging loopholes in current campaign-finance and ethics laws that are big enough to drive a truck through. Asking the Legislature to impose new limits on its ethical behavior has historically proven akin to trying to thread an elephant through a needle. Expect a lot of talk, but most likely little significant reform short of some scandal. less
Ethics reform: After a messy attempt at ethics reform two years ago, even though Abbott had made the issue a priority, the Legislature this year will get another shot at plugging loopholes in current … more

School choice: This issue will be just as contentious between conservatives who say it will let parents get around failing schools and the public-school lobby, which insists it is just a ruse to kill public education. Call it school choice or vouchers, the pitch to pass this legislation will focus on giving parents the option to put their children in the school they believe is best for them. less
School choice: This issue will be just as contentious between conservatives who say it will let parents get around failing schools and the public-school lobby, which insists it is just a ruse to kill public … more

Photo: Eric Gay, STF

Property tax cuts: Texans pay the sixth-highest property taxes in the nation, so who could hate legislation that would cut those taxes? Start with counties and cities and school districts and local taxing entities that are forced to up their rates to keep up with growing populations and needs. The result, according to legislative leaders, is likely to be a cut in taxes that is unlikely to provide real relief to taxpayers in a year when the state budget will be tight. less
Property tax cuts: Texans pay the sixth-highest property taxes in the nation, so who could hate legislation that would cut those taxes? Start with counties and cities and school districts and local taxing … more

Transparency: Two Texas Supreme Court decisions in 2015 carved huge exceptions in Texas’ sunshine law that restrict the ability of taxpayers to find out how local and state governments are spending their money. And while open-government advocates say the solution should be an easy legislative fix, with support from city and county trade associations, economic-development associations across Texas say the exceptions should be preserved.Players to watch less
Transparency: Two Texas Supreme Court decisions in 2015 carved huge exceptions in Texas’ sunshine law that restrict the ability of taxpayers to find out how local and state governments are spending their money. … more

Gov. Greg Abbott: In his second legislative session as governor, the genial former Texas Supreme Court justice widely is expected to play much the same role as two years ago: lawyerly and low-key, quietly working behind the scenes to get what he wants and to block legislation he does not. less
Gov. Greg Abbott: In his second legislative session as governor, the genial former Texas Supreme Court justice widely is expected to play much the same role as two years ago: lawyerly and low-key, quietly … more

Photo: Jay Janner, MBO

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: As the most flamboyant and outspoken of Texas’ top leaders, the former Houston sportscaster and radio talk-show host clearly wants to lead passage of a conservative agenda featuring bills that promise to pass the Senate, after some arm-twisting, but likely hit a wall in the House. less
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: As the most flamboyant and outspoken of Texas’ top leaders, the former Houston sportscaster and radio talk-show host clearly wants to lead passage of a conservative agenda featuring bills … more

Photo: LM Otero, STF

House Speaker Joe Straus: Straus’ reasoned and low-key approach to leadership in the House has served him well. Watch for him to let House leaders take care of their business, with some gentle guidance, always remembering that he needs to protect his members’ interests. less
House Speaker Joe Straus: Straus’ reasoned and low-key approach to leadership in the House has served him well. Watch for him to let House leaders take care of their business, with some gentle guidance, always … more

Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, Staff

Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson: As the highest ranking Republican in the GOP-controlled Senate and the first woman to head the budget-writing committee, watch for the Flower Mound Republican to be a penurious nitpicker on spending issues, asking a lot of questions and demanding accountability from state agencies. less
Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson: As the highest ranking Republican in the GOP-controlled Senate and the first woman to head the budget-writing committee, watch for the Flower Mound Republican to be a … more

Photo: Harry Cabluck, STF

Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton: Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee that deals with tax issues. A tough negotiator with the Senate in the previous session, expect him to be involved in talks on a number of key bills.Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston: A political confidante of Patrick, the former Harris County tax assessor is expected to be at the forefront of the contentious Senate proposal to curb rising property taxes. less
Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton: Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee that deals with tax issues. A tough negotiator with the Senate in the previous session, expect him to be involved in talks on a … more

Photo: Harry Cabluck, STF

Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso: Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus and an outspoken critic of Patrick, this former prosecutor can be expected to not be silent in challenging many GOP policies and proposals. less
Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso: Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus and an outspoken critic of Patrick, this former prosecutor can be expected to not be silent in challenging many GOP policies and … more

Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham: Now in just her second session as a senator after more than a decade in the House, she is author of the controversial “bathroom bill” and will make headlines trying to get it passed. less
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham: Now in just her second session as a senator after more than a decade in the House, she is author of the controversial “bathroom bill” and will make headlines trying to get it … more

Photo: Johnny Hanson, Houston Chronicle

Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano: Author of a failed ethics-reform measure two years ago, this Plano businessman will give it another shot this spring as he hopes to fend off those who like the status quo.
Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano: Author of a failed ethics-reform measure two years ago, this Plano businessman will give it another shot this spring as he hopes to fend off those who like the status quo.

Photo: Tom Reel

Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana: The veteran chair of the House State Affairs, as well as a staunch Straus ally, he can be expected to help closely scrutinize controversial issues from the Senate that the House will face. less
Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana: The veteran chair of the House State Affairs, as well as a staunch Straus ally, he can be expected to help closely scrutinize controversial issues from the Senate that the House … more

Photo: HARRY CABLUCK, STF

Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth: A no-nonsense longtimer who is no fan of the ultra right, Geren is a confidant of Straus who will work to protect House members from Senate pressure to pass controversial measures. Keep clicking to see a cartoon recap of the Texas Legislature’s 84th session in 2015, by Houston Chronicle cartoonist Nick Anderson:
less
Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth: A no-nonsense longtimer who is no fan of the ultra right, Geren is a confidant of Straus who will work to protect House members from Senate pressure to pass controversial … more

Photo: Tom Reel, Staff

Texas masturbation bill is now in the hands of the Texas State Affairs Committee

In March, Texas State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, filed a bill that would penalize men for “unregulated masturbatory emissions” and the bill has now made its way into the hands of the Texas State Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

The committee is typically the panel that hears abortion-related legislation and it will now address Farrar’s House Bill 4620, which is named the “Men’s Right to Know Act.”

ALSO IN TEXAS: New policy for low-level pot use kicks in for Harris County

“A lot of people find the bill funny,” Farrar told Chron.com in March. “What’s not funny are the obstacles that Texas women face every day, that were placed there by legislatures making it very difficult for them to access healthcare.”

The bill contains provisions that would put restrictions on masturbation, vasectomies, Viagra prescriptions and colonoscopies, including:

* The state must create a booklet called “A Man’s Right to Know” that contains information on the benefits of and risks of vasectomies, Viagra prescriptions and colonoscopies. A man must review the booklet before getting the procedure.

* A doctor must get consent from the man before providing any of the treatments. The man may only get the treatment after waiting 24 hours and reviewing “A Man’s Right to Know.”

* A man will be fined $100 for “unregulated masturbatory emissions.” The fines will benefit children in the care of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

* A man must receive a rectal exam and an MRI of his rectum before receiving treatments.

* A man can’t sue a doctor for refusing to provide these treatments if the procedure violates the doctor’s “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs.”

* The state must establish a registry of nonprofit organizations and hospitals that provide abstinence counseling, a supervising physician for “masturbatory emissions,” and semen storage.

* “Masturbatory emissions” must be stored for the wife to use for conception at a later time.

OTHER TEXAS LAWS: Senate OKs bill to safeguard Texas’ sex offender program

The bill is a response to the current state law that requires doctor’s give women considering an abortion the “A Woman’s Right to Know” booklet, which Farrar refers to as a “guilt mechanism.”

Google sued for $10 BEEELION after refusal to advertise ‘divine cure for cancer’

Shajar Abid, a former senior engineer at IBM and presently the “chief visionary officer” at Nubius Technologies LLC, has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that the online ad giant has suppressed his freedom of speech and religion.

Abid, who goes by the first name “Shaq” on LinkedIn, claims to have developed “a divine cure for cancer” consisting of “only honey herb and spice.” Google, he insists, will not allow him to advertise the product through AdWords.

He is seeking $10 billion for what he believes is a violation of his First Amendment speech and religious rights, for loss of business, and for pain and suffering. Also, he wants the opportunity to advertise on Google when people search for cancer cures.

In addition, he has asked the court to nullify the $88 bill Google presented to him for ads run prior to the cancellation of his Google advertising account. And he would like Google to pay his court costs, which should be minimal given that Abid is acting as his own attorney.

Had Abid hired an attorney, he or she might have explained that the First Amendment restricts the government from making laws that limit freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, and of assembly. Private companies like Google have a lot more latitude.

In his complaint, filed on Thursday in US District Court in Greensboro, North Carolina, Abid claims that he left work at IBM to “work on and solve the problem of cancer…”

To bolster his bona fides, he notes that he is the son of a chemistry professor, in addition to being an independent researcher, inventor, and entrepreneur.

Abid acknowledges that he is making “an astonishing claim,” and says the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would not give him the opportunity to verify his claims “since their feeble-minded protocol” stipulates only one purified chemical. Disparaging NIH as “the bastion of state science stupidity,” he says honey contains more than 50 natural compounds.

Abid managed to run ads through Google for about a week, but the results were disappointing. For $50, he received 500 visitors to his website and 5 emails, but made no sales.

That’s not entirely surprising given that one pound jar of honey advertised on his website, mightyhoney.org, costs $47, seven times more than the average retail price of a pound of honey in April, according to the National Honey Board.

Then again, not all honey includes “the exotic spice, Secret of the Pharaohs” – probably black cumin seeds – or the “ultra-rare herb Soul of Kashmir” – whatever that is.

Also, honey isn’t typically marketed as a cure for cancer.

Google doesn’t allow such claims, and told Abid he could not use “divine cure for cancer” in his ad copy. Abid maintains he should be allowed to say as much because it’s his “sincerely held religious belief.”

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Register also reached out to IBM to confirm that Abid’s employment history is as he presents it, but we have not heard back.

Abid also objects to not being allowed to advertise in the New England Journal of Medicine. “They stated upfront, only big pharma, not you,” he says in his complaint, which does not actually name the NEJM as a defendant.

In closing, Abid suggests there’s a conspiracy at work. “It is for the wise judge to decide to investigate who is controlling these cancer keywords, and what connections are between the pharma and the knowledge sources … I am sure there are conspicuous collusions here,” he says in the complaint. “This should be looked into under antitrust laws.”

Google, as it happens, is presently fighting against antitrust claims from European regulators. The company settled US antitrust charges related to its ad business with consumer watchdog agency the FTC in 2013.

The FTC has taken legal action numerous times over the years against companies selling unproven cancer cures. No one from the agency was immediately available to discuss honey, spiced or otherwise. But on its website, the agency says this about products marketed as miracle cures: “Be skeptical: Lots of these are scams, and when you’re battling cancer, the last thing you need is a scam.” ®

88-year-old Indiana man makes blankets for police to give to children

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. – It started off as a hobby his wife enjoyed, and now Clayton Shelburne is making blankets on his own after her death.

The 88-year-old Indiana man has already made several dozen blankets, supplying enough for one to go with every patrol car with the Zionsville Police Department and the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“I just felt there was a need,” Shelburne told WXIN.  He said he remembered one story about a father leaving his sleeping son in a broken-down vehicle along a highway while the father went to get help.

Police said the blankets would go a long way.

“We could show up to a crash and the weather could be like it is now where it’s nice and cold and that blanket will come in real handy when you wrap it around somebody in need,” said Sgt. Adrian Martin of the Zionsville Police Department.

Shelburne said his wife first started making blankets with a camping club, which would donate the blankets to different organizations in the area. Clayton joined in and the couple made blankets together for about ten years.

“She was the seamstress,” he said. “I was never a seamstress. This is a new ballgame because I was always an outside person.”

“My time is nothing,” said Shelburne. “I’m 88 years old, I can do this when it’s raining outside and I enjoy doing it. I’m sure if my wife was here she would be happy I’m doing this too.”

Shelburne decided to help police in his county after talking with his son, who is an officer in Zionsville.

“For an individual, a civilian for that matter, to take it upon themselves to not only take their time and invest their money and their personal stake into a product or event that benefits any law enforcement agency, particularly Zionsville, we appreciate that,” Martin said.

Shelburne plans to make more when police run out and is already making new batches for the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. He already has a dozen ready to go.

“I may have bitten off more than I can chew,” said a laughing Shelburne. “I’m going to keep doing it as long as I got some money to make blankets, and I’m sure there’s a need for it over there.”

Shelburne said he spends very little of his own money making the blankets. Most of the funds come from friends, family and others who hear about his work and want to contribute.

Heroic 10-year-old saves mother, brothers from Middletown house fire

A brave 10-year-old saved her mother and younger brothers from a house fire in Middletown on Tuesday night.The mother, who was badly burned, and her daughter talked with WLWT at the hospital about what happened.The single mother of three says she is in intense pain from the burns.Erica Brown, who is in the critical care unit at Atrium Hospital, said her children are her strength as she fights to recover.”She (her daughter) dragged me down the stairs because I couldn’t walk,” Brown said.She sheds tears in her hospital bed.Brown is severely burned and has frightening memories of the fire at her home on Tuesday.”I tried to put it out. Me and mom tried several times and then it got bigger and I fell, and my face got burned and my arms are burned,” Brown said.Brown said her young son accidentally knocked over a candle in her bedroom.She said they light the candle each night in memory of the father of her children.Brown told WLWT he died in an accident last November.She said the flames in her house grew quickly and smoke filled the home.Her 10-year-old daughter, Makalea Gabbard, jumped into action.”I told everybody to get out of the house. The last thing I grabbed out of the house was my mom and I had to help her slowly because she was in bad pain,” Gabbard said.Gabbard said she took a breath, calmed down and called 911.She tended to her mother and her brothers, ages 4 and 9.”If it wasn’t for me, my mom wouldn’t be here or my brothers right now. Any of us wouldn’t be here right now,” Gabbard said.Her mother said they’ve lost everything but she thanks God they are still alive.”My babies are going to keep me strong. I’m living for my babies. That’s all that matters,” Brown said.Brown is surrounded by family as she recovers.They said she is what’s most important right now.Firefighters haven’t determined an official cause of the fire.An incident report shows fire crews estimate nearly $30,000 in damage.Family members said they are trying to gather donations for everything because the family is now without even the bare essentials, such as clothes.Brown’s mother, Dewonia Brown, is helping organize donations and said anyone who’d like to help can reach her at 513-393-1365.Raven Starr told WLWT her church is collecting donations to help the family.She said donations can be dropped off at Grace Community Church on Mondays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.The church is located at 1703 Pershing Ave., Middletown, Ohio 45044.Starr can be reached at 513-393-1817.

Dedicated McDonald€™’s employee surprised with bike from inspired customer

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Erie Perry loves his job at McDonald’s, so when his when his only means for transportation broke down, he walked 10 miles to the Route 10 restaurant every day.

Perry normally rides his bike to work, but that was no longer an option as it broke down after years of wear and tear.

“It was just broken down, just weathered, worn down from multiple rides to work, to and from,” said McDonald’s manager Denise Cantu.

Perry started working at McDonald’s more than a year ago. Early on his work ethic became apparent to his co-workers and managers.

“He is so dedicated, he’s going to be here,” said Cantu.

That type of dedication also caught the attention of a customer.

When Karen Craven learned Perry had to walk 20 miles a day to and from work, she knew she had to help.

Craven turned to social media to see if she could get Perry some help.

Within minutes the post caught the attention of her friend Amy Taylor.

“This is somebody that’s chosen to continue to move forward, when it would have been real easy for him to give up and not many people do that,” said Taylor.

Taylor was so inspired, she bought Perry a brand new bike.

“I have to admit, I was completely surprised, I never expected this in a million years,” said Perry.

He said he loves his new bicycle “It still amazes me,” he said.

A lot of people were surprised to learn Perry walked to work each day, because he’s so reliable.

“He’s either walking and sometimes that takes him about 2 hours and then other times he’s riding his bike,” said Cantu.

For Perry, not showing up for work was not an option.

“This was the first store that would hire me, so I figured I had to put in the effort,” he said. “I was raised if you get a job, you’ve made a commitment, you’ve got to honor it, so if it just means me having to get up early or travel a long way, it’s what I’ve got to do.”

Badly burned kitten renamed Hugh Jackman to honor Wolverine-like recovery

A kitten in New York appears to have a mutantlike healing ability, similar to that of Wolverine.

The severely burned male feline, estimated to be less than 6 months old, was found about three weeks ago with burns over half his body and four teeth missing, the New York Daily News reported.

Since that time, the kitten has healed far more quickly than expected, prompting the staff at Animal Care Centers of NYC to name the little fella Hugh Jackman, after the iconic Wolverine actor, who most recently starred in Logan.

“He’s incredibly resilient,” treating vet Dr. Tara Bellis told the Daily News. “You could call him a superhero cat.”

Vet staff are not sure how Hugh suffered such bad injuries. His burns continue to heal, and he appears to have no long-lasting hearing or vision problems, the Daily News reported.

Once Hugh has healed enough, he will be fostered by a vet staff member then go up for adoption. About $20,000 in donations has been used to save the kitten, according to the Daily News.

“This is a special case that we didn’t have the budget for,” Katy Hansen, a spokeswoman for Animal Care Centers of NYC, told the Daily News. “But when you meet this guy, you can’t help but fall in love.”

Meet the Rollettes: The wheelchair dance team that will wow you

Chelsie Hill always imagined a career as a professional dancer — she just didn’t know she would be in a wheelchair once she got there.

At 17 years old, Hill was part of her high school dance team and had been dancing competitively for more than a decade. She was three months away from graduation in Pacific Grove, California when she got into a car accident with a group of friends, leaving Hill paralyzed from the belly button down.

In an instant, everything changed. Suddenly Hill, now 25, couldn’t move — let alone dance — like she used to.

“In the beginning, I thought, well, when someone breaks a bone, they heal,” she told TODAY of the weeks after her accident. “It takes a little bit, but they get back to their life. I didn’t really understand the extent of what had happened (to me). I knew there was a car accident, and the doctor said, ‘You’re not going to be able to walk again,’ but I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t know what the future looked like.”

Hill spent 51 days in the hospital, but it took much longer for reality to sink in: The doctor was right. But while Hill was starting to realize she wouldn’t ever walk again, she refused to give up dance.

“When it first happened, I was like, ‘OK, how am I going to get dressed? How am I going to do this?'” she said. “But I always knew I would dance again.”

Two years after she was released from the hospital, she organized a dance showcase with some women she had met in the wheelchair community, and from there, the idea for a wheelchair dance team was born.

She launched the Rollettes (formerly known as Walk and Roll, and before that, Team Hot Wheels) in 2012. The group of six women performs across the country at various abilities festivals and expos, and will dance at the upcoming Wings for Life World Run in Santa Clarita, California, which raises funds for spinal cord research.

Hill, who also appeared on SundanceTV’s reality show “Push Girls,” considers the crew “family” and often leads practice each week, teaching new choreography or training for an upcoming performance.

“I have built my whole life these last seven years basically normalizing my situation,” Hill said. “Of course I’m still in touch with friends from before the accident, but my favorite part about this team is knowing that I have a group of girls who are my best friends, my sisters. Being able to travel with them and not feeling different.”

RELATED: When these parents couldn’t find a wheelchair for their baby, they built their own

On social media, the Rollettes show off moves to hits from Selena Gomez and Ed Sheeran — they even experiment with burlesque and ballroom dance. The women jerk, sway or rock their upper bodies, and use their hands to swerve their wheelchairs or, in one case, “shuffle” to the beat of LMFAO’s “Party Rock.”

Dancing is “second nature” to Hill, but learning how to move in a chair was entering a whole new world.

“Half of my body was taken away from me and I have to move it with my hands now,” Hill said. “It definitely took a lot of learning and patience.”

Five years later, Hill has accepted her new normal. In fact, she embraces it.

“Of course there are things I miss being able to feel — leaps and kicks and backflips,” Hill said. “But when I’m performing, I still feel the same rush that I used to. And when I go on stage, I don’t feel my chair. I don’t feel different. I’m just dancing, and that’s where my heart is.”