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It wasn't all bad
12:40 a.m.

Explorers searched for the "Lost City of the Monkey God" for decades, and once a team of conservationists had the opportunity to traverse the elusive area, they were thrilled with what they discovered.

Deep inside Honduras' Mosquitia rainforest, the team found 246 species of butterflies and moths, 30 species of bats, and 57 species of amphibians and reptiles. They discovered 22 species never before recorded in Honduras — including a fish that has likely never been found anywhere else — and species thought to be extinct, including the tiger beetle. The ancient settlement is "one of the few areas remaining in Central America where ecological and evolutionary processes remain intact," Trond Larsen, director of Conservation International's Rapid Assessment Program (RAP), told The Independent.

The conservationists were dropped off in the area by helicopter, and spent three weeks exploring. The pristine setting is vulnerable to illegal deforestation, and RAP's John Polisar said he is hopeful Honduras' government will make sure it is safeguarded. "Because of its presently intact forests and fauna, the area is of exceptionally high conservation value," he told The Independent. "It merits energetic and vigilant protection so its beauty and wildlife persist into the future." Catherine Garcia

June 24, 2019

Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins, 103, is a force to be reckoned with on the track.

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, resident has always been active, but preferred riding her bicycle to other activities. After she fell off her bike and dislocated her elbow, Hawkins switched to running a few years ago, telling Today, "I always came running in to answer the phone, so I thought maybe I could run."

Last week, she became the oldest woman to compete — and win — in the National Senior Games, taking home the gold in the 50- and 100-meter races. Hawkins, a former elementary school teacher, doesn't train for her runs, and said she gets her exercise from gardening. Inspiring older people to stay active is "a good thing," she told Today, and she wants everyone to remember "you can still do things when you get older. Just keep moving and be interested in things." Catherine Garcia

June 20, 2019

Blaze Eppinger is an open book, sharing his story about living with sickle cell disease in order to inspire kids going through the same thing.

Eppinger is an advocate for people with sickle cell, and works as a counselor and administrator at a camp run by the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia. He gives advice to the campers, answering their questions about how to explain sickle cell to others, and motivating them to live life to the fullest. As a kid, Eppinger wanted to attend the camp, and being able to work there as an adult is a dream. "It was timed perfectly," he told The Week. "I'm at the camp like I wanted to be as a child, but in a different capacity. Maybe if I had gone as a child, I wouldn't have come back as an adult."

Wednesday was World Sickle Cell Day, which aims to raise awareness of sickle cell. About 100,000 people in the United States have sickle cell disease, and 90 percent are of African descent. When a person has a sickle cell disorder, their red blood cells become stiff and sickle shaped, which can block blood flow, leading to a painful sickle cell crisis. When people have a crisis, they go to the hospital for blood transfusions, and if their type is not available, they have to wait until it is delivered.

That's why Eppinger is also an advocate for blood donation, working with the Red Cross to bring attention to the fact that only three out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood. Through the Missing Types campaign, people with rare blood types are encouraged to donate, so they can help people like Eppinger and the kids he works with at camp. "It only takes 10 minutes to acquire the blood, and one bag can help three people," Eppinger said. "It doesn't take long to make a difference in someone's life." Catherine Garcia

June 19, 2019

Trash doesn't stand a chance near Florida's Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier.

For 15 years, scuba divers have been meeting at the beach for an annual cleanup event, donning their masks and picking up trash from the ocean floor. Organizers decided it was time to break the Guinness World Record for the largest underwater cleanup, and 633 divers came out on Saturday to participate.

Guinness' Michael Empric counted as each diver entered the water, and for their time to count, they had to stay submerged for at least 15 minutes. Divers of all ages took part in the cleanup, with some coming from other states. They picked up signs, bottles, fishing weights, and other pieces of trash, and cheered when Empric let them know they shattered the previous record, set in Egypt in 2015. "Obviously, trash was collected, but the beauty of it is with 633 divers, we were able to do a very thorough cleaning," diver and environmentalist R.J. Harper told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "I have 600 new friends just as a result of this." Catherine Garcia

June 18, 2019

With 50 seconds on the clock, Ryan Warren scrambled to grab as many non-perishable items as possible, knowing they would soon fill the shelves of the Calgary Food Bank.

Warren and his partner, Chantal Leroux, were "really excited" when they learned they won a shopping spree at Bragg Creek Foods, Leroux told CBC News. They were told they would have 50 seconds to grab what they wanted, up to $500. At first, Leroux pictured all of the items they could stock up on, but then it hit her: this was "a great opportunity to be able to give back."

On Saturday, Leroux and Warren arrived at the grocery store with a game plan: grab items that wouldn't spoil, so they could go to the food bank. During the allotted 50 seconds, Warren grabbed everything from canned vegetables to coffee to diapers, racking up a $598 bill (because they were helping the food bank, the extra $98 was covered). That wasn't all — before the shopping spree, Warren asked for donations from local businesses, and presented the food bank with a check for $1,500. This, Calgary Food Bank employee Avaleen Streeton said, was "absolutely phenomenal." Catherine Garcia

June 17, 2019

One trip to the library was all it took to get Omar and Octavio Viramontes hooked on learning.

The twin brothers immigrated to the United States from Mexico when they were 10 years old. Once the family settled in central California, they all worked together, picking grapes and selling produce door to door. Omar told CBS News that the first year was "tough," but "we started to realize that we were doing this for a specific reason, and it was to help our family, to help each other."

Their mother introduced them to the library, and they instantly became enamored. "Every single time I entered that library, I was entering a different world by reading a different book," Octavio said. "It gave me the imagination to be somewhere else." The brothers excelled in high school, and were co-valedictorians at graduation. Both received scholarships to attend college — Omar went to the University of California San Diego, Octavio to Harvard — and each decided, separately, that he wanted to attend medical school.

Octavio remained at Harvard, while Omar went to the University of California Los Angeles, and they recently graduated, just one day apart. Both are grateful to their parents for making sacrifices to improve their lives, and Omar said he plans on paying that forward. "Every day I wake up and I think, 'What can I do today to make myself better, my family better, and my community?'" he said. Catherine Garcia

June 14, 2019

Being in the hospital can be scary when you're a kid, and Ella Casano wants to alleviate some of the fear young patients face.

Casano, 12, of Connecticut was diagnosed five years ago with the autoimmune disease Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder. About every eight weeks, she has to have an IV infusion, and she remembers that the first time she saw an IV setup, with its needle and lots of tubing, she felt "surprised" and a "little bit intimidated."

Casano decided the IV could look friendlier, so she grabbed a stuffed animal, cut it up, and glued it over the bag of IV fluid. The nurses and her mom, Meg, all thought this was a great idea, and that's how the Medi Teddy was born. As part of a school project, Casano came up with a business plan for the Medi Teddy, and her mom is setting up a nonprofit so the Medi Teddy can be distributed to children in hospitals, free of charge.

"The response has been wonderful," Meg Casano told CNN. "Her nurses have tried the prototypes and given suggestions, and we think we are ready to produce a really awesome product that can help hundreds of kids." Catherine Garcia

June 14, 2019

What some people spend years trying to find, Eric Schubert can track down in a matter of days — and sometimes hours.

Schubert, 18, excels at genealogy, a hobby he picked up at 10 years old. The New Jersey resident started by investigating his own family's history, and has since branched out and is helping other people find their long-lost relatives. Schubert told CBS New York it's easier than ever to connect people, thanks to increased access to public records and DNA home kits. "It's a big puzzle," he said. "You just have to look at all the pieces and put it together in the correct places."

Schubert thinks he's helped more than 1,000 people across the U.S. with their genealogy. He recently connected his friend Sammy Lynam with her birth father and half-sister, and the siblings have since become close. For Kate DeSantis, he was able to find information on her biological mother. "I've gone through my life not looking like anyone," she said, "and to see a picture of my birth mother and then to find out I have siblings — and I look like I belong. It was overwhelming."

Schubert is graduating from high school next week, and said he plans on continuing his genealogical adventures next year at college. Catherine Garcia

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