Tyler McCarthy

@tyler-mccarthy | contributor
Tyler is a contributing editor with The Mighty. Previously he’s worked as a reporter for various publications on diverse topics such ​technology and entertainment. Most recently he was a member of the trending news team at The Huffington Post, where he tracked and wrote viral content. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2013 where he studied journalism and English. Tyler has a deep love for stand-up comedy, super heroes and cookies. Follow @TylerMcCarthy on Twitter or e-mail him at tyler@themighty.com
Tyler McCarthy

Cab Driver Turns Immense Grief Into the Sweetest Ride in the City

When this New York City cab driver lost his son, he channeled his grief into a way to make his passengers smile. Now he needs your help. Mansoor Khalid, 38, has been a cab driver since 1996. In 2010 his son was born with a congenital heart defect, according to The New York Times’ blog. Khalid would drive his cab during the day and visit his child at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx at night. Each time he visited, he would bring coffee and sweets to the nurses and doctors. He liked spreading positivity in an otherwise grim place, so he kept doing it until his son died in April 2012. When he finally returned to work, he wanted to chase the feeling he got from bringing sweets to the hospital. That’s when he had the idea to turn his cab into the “Candy Cab.”   Khalid has since become famous for filling the back dashboard of his car with candy. Passengers are encouraged to take as much as they want. “Everybody is depressed, stressed, New York City is not an easy life, so when New Yorkers see all the candies, chocolates, they cheer up,” Khalid told The Times. “Some people start screaming, they’re so happy.” That’s not all. Last year Khalid dropped $4,000 to install lights and speakers to the back of the cab so passengers can plug in music and sing karaoke. He’s since acquired a vast social media following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for people to share their rides and request pickups. However, on Sept. 3 the Candy Cab broke down, according to “Today.” Because of debt he and his wife accumulated while paying for their son’s treatment, he can’t afford a new cab. After making the announcement on social media, many followers suggested he start a GoFundMe page to raise money for a new cab – so he did. “I really want to continue as a Candy Cab driver and provide my dear fans, NYC visitors and riders with opportunities that are memorable and full of fun and most importantly continue the good cause (making people smile),” he writes on the donations page. He’s offering a free ride to anyone who donates at least $100. His end goal is $50,000. He plans to use any excess funds on more candy, which he says costs him between $400 and $600 each week, according to “Today.” You can donate to help get the Candy Cab back on the streets at Khalid’s GoFundMe page here. Watch the video below to see the cab in action. Smile more. Like us on Facebook.

Tyler McCarthy

How an Artist Made These Masterpieces Without a Pencil or Paintbrush

This artist’s work has been around for a while, but its meaning and beauty is timeless. Paul Smith was born with spastic cerebral palsy, a disorder that made it difficult for him to use a paintbrush or pencil. But he was a natural artist who wasn’t about to let the fantastic images in his head go to waste. Until his death in 2007, Smith regularly drew keystroke-by-keystroke with a typewriter. He used the ten symbol keys to his advantage, making pictures that are only recognizable as “typewriter art” to the keenest of eyes. In the video above, Smith, who passed away when he was 85, describes how his artwork was often inspired by memories from his life, such as family trips. His drawings were hung on the wall of Rose Haven Nursing Center in Oregon, where he lived from the 1960s until his death, according to Live Action News. Even after his passing, Smith’s patience and refusal to let his artistic skills go to waste can teach us all a lesson in perseverance. He’s proof that if there’s beauty in your heart, you’ll find a way to let it out. You can check out more of Smith’s work by visiting his website and by watching the video above. Want to end the stigma around disability? Like us on Facebook . And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night .

Tyler McCarthy

Will Ferrell Uses Video Games to Raise Money for Cancer

Everyone knows Will Ferrell is an expert gamer, right? More important, he’s also an advocate for families fighting cancer. And in the comedian’s newest charity venture, he’s offering to play two hours of video games with one lucky – and generous – fan. The event is called “Will Ferrell’s SuperMegaBlastMax Gamer Challenge.” If the campaign raises a total of $375,000 for children and families battling cancer, one donor will be chosen at random to join Ferrell in San Francisco for a video game session. The event will be broadcast live via Twitch, a live-streaming service for video games. Of course, Ferrell explains it best: Be Mighty. Like us on Facebook.

Tyler McCarthy

Heroes Finally Get the Recognition They Deserve

Veterans with disabilities are finally getting the recognition they deserve. On October 5, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial (AVDLM) will officially be dedicated and opened in Washington, D.C. The $80-million memorial will honor the country’s four million veterans who return from service with some kind of disability, according to AVDLM’s website. In addition, the memorial will honor those who take care of these wounded heroes. One such caregiver is Donna Joyner, who’s been helping her husband every day for the last 33 years. In a profile in The Washington Times, Joyner describes how she cares for Dennis Joyner, a triple amputee who lost both his legs and his left hand while serving in the Vietnam War. She eventually quit her job in 2008 to care for him full-time. She told the paper: I gave up my job, the income, any pension that I would have received. I will not get as much Social Security when I get to be that age because I had to leave and take care of my husband, because my husband was totally incapacitated, and we did not want him to go to a rehab facility, because he wouldn’t get the care at a rehab facility that he would with me. That’s where the compassion comes in. The new memorial is completely handicap accessible and features 12-foot granite walls with inscribed quotes from leaders like George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower, according to The New York Times. There’s a star-shaped fountain — one point for each branch of the United States military — with a flame at the center. It also features bronze statues, which blind visitors are encouraged to touch. The memorial is located on Capitol Hill. Donna Joyner told The Washington Times she hopes that lawmakers will see it and be reminded of the cost of war. Check out this time lapse video of the memorial being erected: h/t Nation Swell Meet more heroes. Like us on Facebook.

Tyler McCarthy

This Beautiful Father-Daughter Dance Will Bring You to Tears

A couple in Victorville, California, completely scrapped their wedding plans so the bride’s father could witness the important event. Lisa Wilson and her fiancé, Robert Pantoja, were married on Aug. 22, in a hospital room where Wilson’s father, David Wilson, was staying in the ICU. He was battling a rare form of cancer that would keep him from attending the formal event, according to CBS Los Angeles. But the only thing more important to the couple than getting married was making sure the bride’s father had the chance to give her away and share the traditional father-daughter dance. Cameras were rolling in the hospital room as the couple was pronounced man and wife. In an even more powerful display of love, the father-daughter dance was set to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Unfortunately, the family announced on Facebook that David Wilson died 11 days later on Sept. 2. While the family mourns his passing, we hope they can take solace in the fact that he lived to give his beautiful daughter away on her wedding day. Be Mighty. Like us on Facebook.

Tyler McCarthy

Watch the Beautiful Moment These Blind Sisters See for the First Time

Thanks to an amazing surgery and a fantastic nonprofit, two sisters from India were given the gift of sight. Sonia and Anita, 12 and 6 respectively, were born to a family that couldn’t afford a surgery that costs $300 to restore a person’s eyesight. As one doctor in the video below notes, most people in their situation end up as beggars. The girls were saved from that fate by 20/20/20, a nonprofit devoted to making sure this life-changing surgery is made available to those who need but cannot afford it. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes and recovery consists of just a bandage over the eyes for a few hours, according to 20/20/20’s site. The surgery involves a small incision in the eye where a surgeon removes the defective lens that causes blindness, according to 20/20/20. The surgeon then replaces the defective lens with an artificial one that costs only about $2. The total expense might not seem too steep, but it’s still out of the price range for the girls’ family. So 20/20/20 paid for their operations through donations. And a camera caught the breathtaking moment when the bandages were removed and the sisters saw the world for the first time. Take a look: To donate to the cause, you can visit the 20/20/20 website here. h/t National Geographic Feel inspired. Like us on Facebook.

Tyler McCarthy

Photos Show Peewee Football Player's Heroic Comeback

After his peewee football jersey was retired in 2012, Deven Jackson thought he was out of the game forever. Now, after two long years of surgery and rehabilitation, he’s back in. Deven, 10, had to quit the sport he loves when he contracted a severe case of meningitis, according to The Patriot-News. Doctors amputated his legs below the knees to save his life. Photo: MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com Still, the then 7-year-old boy kept his positive spirit. Only two days after his amputations, he said he was ready to get back to football, according to the video below. Soon after, he got his first set of prosthetic legs and completely relearned to walk. Running, however, was a different story. Photo: MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com It wasn’t long before he was introduced to carbon fiber running blades, according to Fox News. These are a lighter prosthetic, specially designed for running. He’s been on the field in blades since June after a generous donor gave him a set that he or she no longer needed. Each of the prosthetic runners costs between $5,000 and $10,000, Fox reported. Photo: MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com Deven’s willingness to get back on the gridiron is admirable, but his body is still playing catch-up. His mother told The Patriot-News that he’s exerting significantly more energy than the others on the field. In addition to his body having to get on board, the CFA Football League needed some convincing as well. Assistant Commissioner Dave Bickel spent nine months researching, talking with doctors, lawyers and referees to make sure Deven met all the necessary requirements to play, according to ABC 27. Photo: MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com Above all else, the league had to ensure Deven’s blades would not be a danger to him or anyone else. To meet this requirement, his father, Dave Jackson, fashioned some padding and cleats for the blades, which take up to two hours to put on. Deven’s former coach, Justin Henne, vouched for the boy’s work ethic on the field. “He’s not looking at it as a hindrance,” he told The Patriot-News. “He knows he has to work harder than others, but he wants to do it.” Photos courtesy of MARK PYNES | mpynes@pennlive.com Meet more Mighty kids. Like us on Facebook.

Tyler McCarthy

Boy Missing Fingers Tries On New 'Ironman' Hand

A 3-year-old boy, born without his fingers on his right hand, always knew he was a little different. One day he wished for what he called an “Ironman hand” to be like one of his favorite superheroes. Thanks to the kindness of strangers and some unique technology, his wish came true. Rayden Waikiki, of Wailuku, Hawaii, was born with amniotic band syndrome(ABS). Because of his condition, the fingers on his right hand never developed. His family describes him as a happy and loving boy who thrived with his disability, according to the WPTV video below. But when Rayden met his baby sister, he started to feel self-conscious for the first time about his differences. That’s when his family discovered an exciting solution. His grandmother, Rulan Waikiki, found a nonprofit called E-Nable, which specializes in pairing affordable 3D-printed prosthetics with children who need them. Typically, similar prosthetics can cost as much as $40,000, according to KHON. Rayden’s Ironman-themed hand cost only $50 to build. It was given to the family for free thanks to help from donations, according to E-Nable. Photo: WPTV/CNN Wire   A camera caught the heartwarming moment Rayden tried on his new hand (below). His grandmother says she hopes more people will consider a 3D-printed limb for their children with ABS. “Some of them right now are being teased in school because they don’t have a hand or they’re different,” she says in the video. “But once they get this hand, their self-confidence is going to go through the roof.” Watch the moment Rayden tries on his Ironman hand for the first time below. Meet more Mighty kids. Like us on Facebook.

Tyler McCarthy

Quadruple Amputee Karen Crespo Walks at New York Fashion Week

Photos courtesy of HioKit Lao. Last week, Karen Crespo, 31, received a standing ovation after becoming the first quadruple amputee to walk the runway at a New York Fashion Week show, according to ABC News. Three years ago, a severe form of bacterial meningitis forced doctors to amputate Crespo’s arms and legs. She survived two heart attacks, 15 days in a coma and a six-month stay in the intensive care unit before finally going home in a wheelchair, according to ABC. Crespo told Fox 5 that she spent the next two years in hiding, not quite understanding the potential her life still had. The former nurse said she didn’t feel like she could be a “girly-girl” anymore. That was until she saw the work of designer Carrie Hammer, who, in February, made national headlines when she had Danielle Sheypuk, who uses a wheelchair due to spinal muscular atrophy, model at her show. “I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I have to email Carrie Hammer and let her know how I feel,’” Crespo told Good Morning America. “I thought, ‘This is amazing how someone would break the boundaries and let someone in a wheelchair be in New York Fashion Week.’” Hammer was overwhelmed by the email’s emotional weight. “She sent me the most lovely, touching and down-to-earth email that made me sob,” Hammer told the network. “I wrote her back immediately and said, ‘Oh my God, I would love to chat with you and would love to have you walk in our next show.’” Photos courtesy of HioKit Lao. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as simple as that. In November 2013, Crespo faced another tragedy when nearly $100,000-worth of new prosthetics were stolen from her front doorstep, according to ABC News. So Hammer made a call to the company that made the prosthetics and explained the situation. Crespo got the replacements, and her insurance paid for them, according to the Fox 5 video below. “It was a surreal moment,” she told Good Morning America. “There was so much in this for me, especially for my confidence. It helped me with having a positive outlook on life.” Watch her runway walk in the video below. Feel inspired. Like us on Facebook.

Tyler McCarthy

3-Year-Old Golfer With One Arm Will Put Your Skills to Shame

Tommy Morrissey’s obsession with golf began at only 13 months. Now, two years later, he’s become an inspiration to all those watch him play. Tommy, who comes from Linwood, New Jersey, can drive the ball 100 yards — an impressive feat for someone his age. His form and consistency are nearly perfect, and he does it all with just one arm. Tommy was born with just his left arm due to a blood clot that caused his right limb to never develop, according to Fox 29 Philadelphia. That hasn’t stopped him from becoming a stellar talent. “Tommy excels at everything he does, he’s been able to achieve tremendous goals for a child that’s facing a two-handed world as a one-handed little boy,” his father, Joe Morrissey, says in the video below.   Tommy’s parents told Golfer’s Digest that he started emulating the professional golfers he watched on TV when he was just 18 months old. They bought him a plastic set of clubs, and he spent hours hitting balls around the yard. It wasn’t long before they let him play for real. “Most kids have stuffed animals in their cribs. Tommy slept with his golf clubs,” Marcia Lee, his mother, told Press of Atlantic City. “And it wasn’t just one club. He had eight in there.” Tommy nicknamed himself “Nemo” after the fish with an underdeveloped fin in Disney’s “Finding Nemo,” according to Fox 29. And much like his film counterpart, he’s become an inspiration to many. Live Mighty. Like us on Facebook.