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Young, in love and running out of time: Indianapolis teenagers receive parents’ blessing to marry

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INDIANAPOLIS – Chase Smith asked his parents to step out of the hospital room. He wanted to be alone with his doctor. He wanted to talk about life, his future, how much of it was left. It was late April and he had just learned that the tumors were back and had spread throughout his body.

Outside the room, Brad Smith waited anxiously, the idea swirling in his mind. Should he say it to Chase? Should he tell his son what he wanted to tell him?

When the door opened, Brad saw Chase standing there, just 18 but a man wise beyond his years. Brad had his answer.

He walked up to his son and whispered in his ear. “I’ll help you get a ring.”

“And I kind of got that look like, ‘How did you know?'” Brad said. “And I didn’t necessarily know that a wedding would entail in four days at that moment. I just knew from the get-go Sadie was his person. He never really told me that, but being a dad I could see it in his eyes. I knew that he would want to make that promise to her.”

A promise to love her forever — no matter how long forever was.

Chase and Sadie Smith celebrate after being married April 29, 2020.

‘Better together’

Jeff Mills’ phone rang. His daughter Sadie was crying on the other end. The tumors that had spread in Chase’s body had a timeline. Doctors told Chase he likely had three to five months to live.

“Sadie is beside herself in tears,” Jeff said. “She’s telling me, ‘You know he’s my soulmate. We were going to get married.'”

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Yes. He knew. Jeff and Jessica Mills both knew almost immediately that Chase was the one for Sadie.

“I told Chase way before any of this happened, ‘If I were to pick one person out in the whole world for her it would’ve been him,'” said Jessica.

"Everyone knew but me," said Jeff Mills about his daughter Sadie's plan to marry Chase Smith. "He makes her so happy and so I hugged him and said, 'Of course you have my blessing.'" Mills, alongside wife Jessica, talk about events leading up to the wedding during an interview inside their Mooresville, Ind., home on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Chase had been in Sadie’s heart for a long time, though she didn’t yet know him. At 13, the family was joking about what kind of man she would one day marry. Sadie is a perfectionist and has high standards.

She started listing her requirements: gorgeous, really smart, really mature, treats me like a princess and a super athlete.

“And I said, ‘Sadie, you need to lower your standards a little bit because I’m not sure you’re ever going to find that person,'” Jeff said. “Then I met Chase and I said ‘Holy cow, she was holding out for the right guy.’ Chase fits every one of those categories.”

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The two are identical in many ways, said Jessica. Competitive, loving and sometimes anxious. Chase has talked many times about how Sadie helps calm him down when he is in pain or when his mind goes to dark places.

“He does that for Sadie, too,” said Jessica. “I’m not sure what Chase does to her but he usually just puts his hands on both sides of her face and puts his forehead on hers and she’s just ready to roll.”

At the state diving competition, Sadie was warming up for her last three dives and she hit the board. Her nerves exploded. Would it happen again during competition?

She walked over to Chase. She put her hands up toward him and he put his hands on her.

“And ‘Bam’ she nailed it. He has a very calming effect on her,” said Jessica. “They are better together. They are. Who could stand in the way of that?”

‘How beautiful is that?’

The night after the devastating diagnosis up in his bedroom standing by his closet, Chase revealed the secrets of his heart to his mom, Kelli Smith.

“I need to ask you a question,” he said to her. “What do you think about me marrying Sadie?”

“I was like, ‘Oh how beautiful is that?'” Kelli said.

Kelli thought about all those firsts she had dreamed Chase would get to have after his first diagnosis with Ewing’s sarcoma at 13 — first date, first prom, getting a driver’s license. 

“And who doesn’t want their child to find their soulmate?” Kelli said. “We were on board 110%. It’s definitely a God thing they were brought together when they were. Not a minute before, not a minute later.” 

After receiving radiation, Chase Smith has his vitals taken inside Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center as his mother Kelli connects to a video call with Chase's wife Sadie and his father Brad on Monday, June 1, 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only one guest is able to accompany Chase to his appointment.

Kelli walked downstairs, her heart full. She told Brad: “Chase wants to marry Sadie. Now.”

Practicality set in. The logistics, making sure a marriage wouldn’t affect insurance for Chase, making sure a marriage wouldn’t take away Sadie’s diving scholarships to IUPUI.

“Sadie is a special, special person and I wanted to make sure she was taken care of,” said Kelli. “He may live three to five months, but I wanted to make sure she was taken care of after that.”

They told Chase to give them 24 hours. The parents went to work researching, making calls, looking through policies, asking questions. The next morning, they were satisfied.

“We gave him the thumbs up,” Brad said.

Now all that was left to do was up to Chase, asking Jeff for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

‘Of course you have my blessing’

The Smiths invited the Mills over for dinner. They’d met once at Sadie’s state diving championship. But it was casual conversation then. This night would be about deeper things, life things — the future of their children.

“We’re all just hanging out and Chase kicks everyone out of the room including Brad and Kelli,” said Jeff. “And I’m like, ‘I know what’s coming now.'”

From the day he had met Chase, Jeff noticed his maturity. It was like Chase was 30 years old. It was like talking to any of his other buddies, Jeff said. Chase’s old soul shined through that night as he poured his heart out to Sadie’s parents.

“He was very sincere. He told us how much he cared for her,” Jeff said this week, tearing up. “We all broke down into tears because of the situation, knowing his prognosis but just knowing he makes her so happy.”

Jeff wrapped Chase in a hug, looked into his eyes and told him, “Of course you have my blessing.” 

The wedding came together in less than a week. The day was filled with rain, from morning until night. Except for the 30 minutes Chase and Sadie stood in the spot where they shared their first kiss on Sadie’s driveway to say their vows.

One of the photos of Chase and Sadie under a tree shows the sun streaming down. Jessica says it was “God’s light shining down on them.”

"They are better together," say Chase and Sadie Smith's parents.

“You would have no idea that four days prior we were given the news that our son had three to five months,” said Brad. “That’s how perfect that day was.” 

There have been naysayers, though few, who wondered why two high school seniors would marry. And people who say they only married because of Chase’s terminal illness. And those who ask how the parents could give their blessing.

“They got married because they wanted to and the love they have,” said Brad. “It wasn’t the cancer. Chase said, ‘Now is the time. Every day is a gift. I’m not going to waste another day without my bride.”

Hope they ‘rise together’

There were some mixed emotions for Jeff as he thought about the marriage. Sadie is his baby girl, after all. He worried about her heart, should something happen to Chase. He worried about how it might affect her future.

“I gave the blessing and I had a lot of time after to think about it,” he said. “And I never would take away the blessing because Chase is perfect for her but I had mixed emotions.” 

Sadie, who had always been a homebody, lives with Chase and his parents now. 

"I think God's plan for Chase was to get his message to the world, and I think his plan for Sadie was to be there to support Chase, I really do," said Jeff Mills, Sadie Smith's father.

“That was sad for me,” said Jeff. “I teared up a lot in the last few months and I’m not a crier normally but then, you know.”

Sadie is so passionate and her devotion and commitment to Chase is intense. If Chase dies, Jeff wondered if Sadie would crumble.

“But the more I thought about it, she cares so deeply for him that I can see Sadie just elevating her life and making her standards that much higher just to honor Chase,” Jeff said. “I don’t see her crumbling. I see her rising.”

“My hope,” said Jessica, “is they rise together.”

Follow Dana Benbow on Twitter: @DanaBenbow

Source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/627254206/0/usatoday-newstopstories~Young-in-love-and-running-out-of-time-Indianapolis-teenagers-receive-parents-blessing-to-marry/

Fintech

Accept.inc secures $90M in debt and equity to scale its digital mortgage lending platform

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A lot of startups were built to help people make all-cash offers on homes with the purpose of gaining an edge against other buyers, especially in ultra-competitive markets. 

Accepti.inc is a Denver-based company that is attempting to create a new category in real estate technology. To help scale its digital mortgage lending platform, the company announced today that it has secured $90 million in debt and equity – with $78 million in debt and $12 million in equity. Signal Fire led the equity portion of its financing, which also included participation from existing seed investors Y Combinator and DN Capital.

Accept.inc describes itself as an iLender, or a “technology-enabled lender” that gives people a way to submit all-cash offers on a home upon qualifying for a mortgage.

Using its platform, a buyer gets qualified first and then can start looking for homes that fall at or under the amount he or she is approved for. They can purchase a more expensive home, but any amount above what they are approved for would have to come out of pocket. Historically, most buyers don’t know that they will have to pay out of pocket until they’ve made an offer on a specific home and an appraisal comes under the amount of the price they are paying for a home. In those cases, the buyer has to cough up the difference out of pocket. With Accept.inc., its execs tout, buyers know upfront how much they are approved for and can spend on a new home “so there are no surprises later.”

SignalFire Founding Partner and CTO Ilya Kirnos describes Accept.inc as “the first and only iLender.”

He points out that since it is a lender, Accept.inc doesn’t make its money by charging buyers fees like some others in the all-cash offer space.

“Unlike ‘iBuyers’ or ‘alternative iBuyers,’ Accept.inc fronts the cash to buy a house and then makes money off mortgage origination and title, meaning sellers, homebuyers and their agents pay no additional cost for the service,” he told TechCrunch.

IBuyers instead buy homes from sellers who signed up online, make a profit by often fixing up and selling those homes and then helping people purchase a different home with all cash. They also make money by charging transaction fees. A slew of companies operate in the space including established players such as Opendoor and Zillow and newer players such as Homelight.

Image credit: Accept.inc. Left to right: Co-founders Adam Pollack, Nick Friedman and Ian Perrex.

Since its 2016 inception, Accept.inc says it has helped thousands of buyers, agents and sellers close on “hundreds of millions of dollars” in homes. The company saw ”14x” growth in 2020 and from June 2020 to June 2021, it achieved “10x” growth in terms of the size of its team and number of transactions and revenue, according to CEO and co-founder Adam Pollack. Accept.inc wants to use its new capital to build on that momentum and meet demand.

Pollack and Nick Friedman met while in college and started building Accept.inc with the goal of “turning every offer into a cash offer.” The pair essentially “failed for two years,” half-jokes Pollack.

“We basically became an encyclopedia of 1,000 ways the idea of helping people make all-cash offers wouldn’t work,” he said.

The team went through Y Combinator in the winter of 2019 and that’s when they created the iLender concept. In the iLender model, the company uses its cash to buy a house for buyers. Once the loan with Accept.inc is ready to close, the company sells back the house to the buyer “at no additional cost or fees.”

“Basically what we learned through those two years is that you have to vertically integrate all of your core competencies, and you can’t rely on third parties to own or manage your special sauce for you,” Pollack told TechCrunch. “We also realized that if you’re going to build a cash offer for anyone who could afford a mortgage, you’ve got to make it a full bona fide cash offer that closes in three days as opposed to a better version of what existed. And you have to own that, and take the risk that comes with it and be comfortable with that.”

The benefits of their model, the pair say, is that buyers get to be cash buyers, sellers can close in as little as 32 hours, and agents “get a guaranteed commission check.” 

“Our mission is that everyone should have an equal chance at homeownership,” Friedman said. “We not only want to level the playing field, we want to create a new standard.”

Buyers using Accept.inc win 6-7 times more frequently, the company claims. With its new capital, It also plans to double its team of 90 and enter new markets outside of its home base of Denver.

SignalFire Partner Chris Scoggins believes that Accept.inc is different from other lenders in that its focus is on “winning the home, not just servicing the loan, with a business model that’s 10x more capital-efficient than other players in the market.

The team is driven…to level the playing field for homebuyers who today lose out against all-cash offers from home-flippers and wealthy individuals,” he added. “We see an enormous opportunity for Accept.inc to become the backbone of the future of mortgage lending.”

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/24/accept-inc-secures-90m-in-debt-equity/

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Apple’s AirPods Max fall to a new all-time low of $489 at Amazon

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All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

With good looks, quality construction and great natural sound, Apple’s AirPods Max headphones tick all the right boxes, but they’re mighty expensive at $550. However, you can now pick up a pair from Amazon at $490, the lowest price we’ve seen yet. That’s still not inexpensive by any means, but it’s a substantial savings on high-end headphones that only came out seven months ago. 

Buy Apple AirPods Max (pink) at Amazon – $490 Buy Apple AirPods Max (sky blue) at Amazon – $489 Buy Apple AirPods Max (space gray) at Amazon – $489

With an Engadget review score of 84, the AirPods Max earned a spot in our list of the best headphones you can buy. They look and feel great thanks to the aluminum and metal design, breathable mesh fabric and large earcups. A rotating crown and dedicated button let you switch between ANC and and regular modes, and it’s easy to switch seamlessly between iPhones, Macs and iPads. They offer hands-free capability with Siri, and you can go for up to 20 hours between charges with both ANC and spatial sound enabled.  

AirPods Max offer a more natural sound experience than other headphones, with bass that’s not overcooked. Active noise cancellation quality is right up there, though not quite on par with Sony’s WH-1000XM4 ANC headphones. And they support Apple’s Dolby Atmos-powered spatial audio on iPhones, iPads and Macs right now, and will come to Apple TV this fall. The main drawback is that they won’t stream Apple’s new lossless audio. 

Still, they deliver in nearly every other area and are especially useful for folks with Apple devices. $60 is a substantial discount for an Apple product this new, so if you’re interested, it would be best to act soon. 

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-airpods-max-good-deal-amazon-124026253.html?src=rss_b2c

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SA agritech releases AI-enabled OmnioFarm to modernise African poultry farming

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The founders of South African cryptocurrency investment platform Africrypt have disappeared along with $3.6 billion (R51.4 billion) worth of Bitcoin, according to a report….

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Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/sa-agritech-releases-ai-enabled-omniofarm-to-modernise-african-poultry-farming/

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Fintech

Visa to acquire open banking platform Tink for more than $2 billion

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Visa has announced plans to acquire Tink for €1.8 billion, or $2.15 billion at today’s exchange rate. Tink has been a leading fintech startup in Europe focused on open banking application programming interface (API).

Today’s move comes a few months after Visa abandoned its acquisition of Plaid, another popular open banking startup. Originally, Visa planned to spend $5.3 billion to acquire the American startup. But the company had to call off the acquisition after running into a regulatory wall.

Tink offers a single API so that customers can connect to bank accounts from their own apps and services. For instance, you can leverage Tink’s API to access account statements, initiate payments, fetch banking information and refresh this data regularly.

While banks and financial institutions now all have to offer open banking interfaces due to EU’s Payment Services Directive PSD2, there’s no single standard. Tink integrates with 3,400 banks and financial institutions.

App developers can use the same API call to interact with bank accounts across various financial institutions. As you may have guessed, it greatly simplifies the adoption of open banking features.

300 banks and fintech startups use Tink’s API to access third-party bank information — clients include PayPal, BNP Paribas, American Express and Lydia. Overall, Tink covers 250 million bank customers across Europe.

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Tink operations should continue as usual after the acquisition. Visa plans to retain the brand and management team.

According to Crunchbase data, Tink has raised over $300 million from Dawn Capital, Eurazeo, HMI Capital, Insight Partners, PayPal Ventures, Creades, Heartcore Capital and others.

“For the past ten years we have worked relentlessly to build Tink into a leading open banking platform in Europe, and we are incredibly proud of what the whole team at Tink has created together,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement. “We have built something incredible and at the same time we have only scratched the surface.”

“Joining Visa, we will be able to move faster and reach further than ever before. Visa is the perfect partner for the next stage of Tink’s journey, and we are incredibly excited about what this will bring to our employees, customers and for the future of financial services.”

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/24/visa-to-acquire-open-banking-platform-tink-for-more-than-2-billion/

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