It wasn't all bad
1:57 a.m.

Maverick is more than just Charlie's best friend — he's also his "seeing-eye" puppy.

Charlie and Maverick are golden retrievers, both owned by Adam and Chelsea Stipe of Mooresville, North Carolina. Charlie is almost 11 years old, and due to glaucoma, had his left eye removed in 2016 and his right in 2017. He still loves to play and go on walks but sometimes needs a little bit of help getting around. That's where Maverick comes in.

Maverick joined the Stipe family in January. Now four months old, Maverick walks next to Charlie, guiding him where he needs to go. Chelsea Stipe told NBC Philadelphia Maverick also noticed when Charlie would lose track of a toy, and would "pick it up and put it back in front of him to re-engage playtime." It took Charlie a bit of time to get used to Maverick, but now, they're inseparable. "They're both pretty crazy and special," Chelsea Stipe said. "They're definitely our entertainment." Catherine Garcia

March 21, 2019

In one year, Tanitoluwa Adewumi went from not knowing anything about chess to becoming New York's newest champion.

Adewumi, 8, started learning the game last year at his school, P.S. 116 in New York City. Adewumi and his family came to the U.S. from Nigeria two years ago, seeking religious asylum; they are Christians who fled to escape the terror group Boko Haram. Adewumi's coach, Shawn Martinez, said the third-grader loves to play and is always practicing. "He smiled every time he did anything on the board or learned something new," he told NBC New York. "I could just tell this game was for him."

Over the weekend, Adewumi kept his undefeated streak alive, winning his age group in the New York State Primary Chess Tournament. Adewumi will soon have a place to display his huge trophy: The family has been living in a homeless shelter, but a GoFundMe started for them this week has raised more than $160,000, and they will soon move into their own home.

Adewumi is gearing up for the national championship in May, and is inching closer to his goal. "I want to be the youngest grandmaster in the world," he said. Catherine Garcia

March 21, 2019

When DeLauren McKnight found out she was a perfect kidney donor match for her father, Billy Houze, it just made sense.

"My dad saved me 27 years ago when I was eight months old," the North Carolina resident told Inside Edition. "He saved my life so I could later save his." Houze and his wife adopted McKnight in 1992, and he has "always provided for me," McKnight said. "There is nothing I wouldn't do for my dad to see him live the life he is destined for."

Houze had gallbladder surgery in 2016, and soon after, his kidneys began to fail. A pastor, he is now on dialysis three times a week. His name was put on a kidney donation list, but doctors warned it could take up to eight years to find a donor. All of Houze's children were tested, and only McKnight was a match. "I was just amazed," she said. The pair are now undergoing follow-up tests, and surgery should be scheduled within the next few weeks. Catherine Garcia

March 21, 2019

Born 16 weeks early, Isabella Ciriello spent the first three months of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit, listening to Mozart sonatas inside her incubator.

Ciriello's doctor at New York-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital, Jeffrey Perlman, told her mother that premature babies find classical music soothing, and she began playing it for her daughter when she was about 49 days old. Now 12, Ciriello plays the guitar, piano, and drums, and believes that this early exposure sparked her interest in classical music.

Last summer, Ciriello asked to meet the doctor who took care of her in the NICU, and during lunch with Perlman, he told her that he would love to have an "orchestra of all my favorite patients" come back and play for the babies now in the NICU. Ciriello took him up on his offer, and held a performance in the NICU to mark World Prematurity Month, playing five songs on her guitar. It wasn't just the babies taking in the music — nurses and doctors, including some who took care of Ciriello 12 years ago, came in to listen. "I was in their position once," Ciriello said of the babies, and "it feels good to give back and help them." Catherine Garcia

March 19, 2019

With the support of Gus, Waffle, and Westley, Thomas Panek made history as he crossed the finish line at the New York City Half Marathon on Sunday.

Panek is blind, and instead of using human guides during the race, he relied on three guide dogs. This was the first time a visually-impaired runner completed the race supported by canines. "It never made sense to me to walk out the door and leave my guide dog behind when I love to run and they love to run," Panek, president and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, told CNN. "It was just a matter of bucking conventional wisdom and saying why not."

Gus is Panek's longtime guide dog, and Waffle and Westley are siblings undergoing guide dog training. They spent months preparing for the race, and on Sunday, the dogs were outfitted with special harnesses and booties to protect their paws. Each Labrador took a turn running 3.1 miles with Panek, who finished the race in two hours and 21 minutes. Gus' duties as a guide dog officially ended once he crossed the finish line, and he is now retired. It was "emotional," Panek said, as Gus has "been there with me the whole time." Catherine Garcia

March 18, 2019

As more and more wounded service members came home from Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006, Steve Peth knew he had to do something to help.

A Vietnam veteran, the newly retired Peth had the time to give back. Able to drive in from his home near Quantico, he became a Red Cross volunteer at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. — and when the hospital moved to Bethesda, Maryland, becoming the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he followed. In the years since, he's formed tight bonds with patients in the Department of Rehabilitation's amputee program. "Anything you can do for them is really appreciated, and that's really amazing," Peth, 72, told The Week. "That's what motivates me."

After joining the Army in 1967, Peth was a medical evacuation helicopter pilot, a dangerous — yet rewarding — job. When his helicopter was hit 39 times by fire, he ended up with serious injuries, later earning the Purple Heart, in addition to the Silver Star and two Distinguished Flying Crosses. He says he remembers what it was like to be in the hospital and go through physical therapy, and can empathize with patients as they learn how to adjust to their new way of life. "It's a lot easier for me as a volunteer to talk to patients because I've been a patient, talk to a service member because I am a veteran, but you don't have to be wounded to be a volunteer," Peth said. "There are civilians that have just decided they want to give back."

Volunteers make up 90 percent of the Red Cross' workforce, and Peth determines which volunteers are a good fit for the amputee program and oversees them. There are about 75 volunteers, all ages and from different backgrounds, which keeps Peth busy. "In retirement, I get to do something that is valued," he said. "I don't get a paycheck — I get back a lot more than what I give." Catherine Garcia

March 15, 2019

Dylan Chidick refused to let anything get between him and his dream of going to college.

The 17-year-old high school senior from Jersey City, New Jersey, has been accepted to 17 colleges, a difficult feat even under the easiest of circumstances. Chidick came to the United States from Trinidad when he was 7 years old, and after his mother lost her job, the family — including his younger twin brothers, who have serious heart conditions — had to live in a homeless shelter. A local nonprofit, Women Rising, recently helped the family get on their feet, and they now have housing.

Through it all, Chidick excelled at Henry Snyder High School, serving as senior class president and a member of the Honor Society. "My family went through a lot and there has been a lot of people saying, 'You can't do that,' or 'You're not going to achieve this,' and getting these acceptances kind of verifies what I have been saying — I can do it and I will do it," he told CBS New York. Chidick, who will be the first person in his family to go to college, wants to study political science, and is waiting for the acceptance letter from his top choice: The College of New Jersey. Catherine Garcia

March 13, 2019

For the first time ever, scientists on a research mission in the stormy waters off the coast of Cape Horn, Chile, found and studied the mysterious Type D killer whale in the wild.

Robert Pitman with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it is "highly likely" these animals are a new species of orca. The killer whales were spotted in January in a region that has the "world's worst weather," Pitman told National Geographic. The Type D killer whales have proven elusive; experts had never seen any live and had to rely on the few amateur photos taken of the orcas and descriptions from fishermen.

One fisherman told the team where he last saw a Type D orca, and they anchored their ship there. After a week, a pod of roughly 25 Type D killer whales came up to them, and they were filmed in and above the water. Using a safe method, researchers took a small piece of blubber and skin from one of the animals, and they will use this to study its DNA and determine if it is in fact a new species.

Pitman says there are noticeable differences between Type D killer whales and other known orcas: Their white eye patches are a lot smaller, their heads are more rounded, their dorsal fins are pointier and narrower, and they are much shorter in length. They've been hard to study because they live in subantarctic waters. "If you're a large animal trying to hide from science, that's exactly where you'd want to do it," Pitman told National Geographic. Catherine Garcia

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