Saturday, November 30, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Taylor and Danielle - He's the Hero and She is the Angel...

Meet Taylor and Danielle...a story told in pictures that are worth a thousand words...

love story

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4 year old Seb becomes breakout model in the U.K. after his mom Caroline White chronicles his "typical" life on Facebook...

(Caroline White in her own words...)
When my first baby was born and we were told he had Down's syndrome, I was shocked to my core. I knew nothing about the condition and was absolutely gripped with fear of our future and the unknown. What should have been the happiest day of my life was the worst.
I imagined a lifetime of "difference" and exclusion. I had never known anyone with Down's syndrome and I worried about our future and how we would cope.
To gain some control, I threw myself into research and read about all of the characteristics and possible health problems we might face. Every time I looked at my baby, I saw "Down's syndrome." It was a tough and confusing time. I was never in doubt that I loved my baby, but the information overload was both daunting and exhausting.
Bit by bit, the hurt began to lift as I fell in love with Seb. He smiled, he cried, he laughed, he rolled, he walked and he talked, just in his own time. Before long I realized that he was an individual, not a syndrome or a list of characteristics in a text book, and his likes and dislikes and his personality reflected us as a family, not other people with Down's syndrome.
It also became clear that Seb was my best tool to help change outdated attitudes and shift perceptions relating to the condition and for people to see beyond the label. I made it my heartfelt plight to show the world what a typical little boy he is and what a typical family life we lead together. He is full of magic and mischief, very bright and witty and he loves all the things 5-year-old boys love -- his scooter, football, ice cream, chips, sausages and Buzz Lightyear.
I started a Facebook Page to share little insights into our lives together. I wanted to get the message out there that "different" isn't any less wonderful, or even all that different.
In the early days, just after Seb was born, it really struck me how our family was never represented in advertising campaigns. Even adverts featuring hundreds of people, my family was never there. That added to my feeling of isolation and "difference."
I wrote to various retailers and production companies and had very little, if any, response -- apart from retailer Jojo Maman Bebe. Seb has since done two seasons of modeling for them. Coming from an aspirational brand that markets beautiful clothes, this sent out a really powerful message, but I wanted to take it to a bigger audience.
I knew that getting Seb's face into mass marketing would be two-fold. It would help banish outdated stereotypes about the condition, removing fear and ignorance, and would also represent diversity and inclusion.

Boston Marathon survivor Mery Daniel is getting stronger every day - “She’s got the attitude ‘never say die, never tell me I can’t.’ ”

WESTWOOD — The bicyclists in their matching jerseys cranked their way up Route 109, climbing past the smaller houses and low-slung businesses toward wooded properties with spacious lawns.
At the front of the pack, Mery Daniel pounded like a piston on her hand-powered bike.
“Come on, Mery!” someone shouted, and then someone else. “Come on, Mery, push! Let’s see what you got!”
Daniel is one of the most recognizable of the Boston Marathon bombing survivors, the only woman of color severely wounded, a 31-year-old Haitian immigrant and aspiring doctor who had been watching the race alone at the finish. In the terrible first months after the attack, which claimed one leg and seriously injured the other, she lay depressed and frustrated, marooned in a cinderblock hotel because she couldn’t climb the stairs of her Mattapan apartment. Now, on this early fall day, the cheers seemed to push her into a higher gear. She threw her whole upper body into each two-armed thrust of pedals, rocking in the angled seat of the recumbent bike.
Seven miles later, nearly 28 in all, Daniel climbed off to hugs and applause outside Gillette Stadium, having ridden as “a very special guest” for the first stage of a Waltham-to-Philadelphia bicycle challenge for 150 experienced riders, most of them wounded military veterans.
‘She just wants to move on, and she doesn’t want anything to get in the way.’
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She walked gingerly on a prosthetic leg to a USO lunch trailer. “In a sense, I feel a lot stronger now,” Daniel said, easing into a camp chair with her food.
She did not just mean stronger than she was in those agonizing first weeks, when she was so weak she couldn’t get out of bed on her own. She meant stronger than she was before the blast.
That Mery Daniel, who took for granted walking on two feet, would never have donned a Spandex jersey for a 28-mile group bike ride. Though she regularly attended spinning class at her local YMCA, she had not been on a bicycle outdoors since childhood; a private person, she was not much for group outings with strangers.
But the new Mery heard that a Spaulding Rehab group was joining the first stage of the Ride 2 Recovery’s Minuteman Challenge and jumped in, despite having only tried out a handcycle a couple of times before, never for more than a few miles. But she liked the symbolism — 26 miles and then some, roughly marathon-length — and figured there was no harm in trying.
“She just leaps,” said Mary Patstone, director of adaptive sports for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network of hospitals and outpatient centers. “She’s got the attitude ‘never say die, never tell me I can’t.’ ”
Still, it was just two weeks before the event that Daniel casually mentioned to her physical therapist that she had signed up for the September ride. “I said, ‘What?’ ” said Urvashi Chogle, who works with Daniel in the outpatient ambulatory clinic at the flagship Spaulding in Charlestown, and who ended up riding with her. “She just wants to move on, and she doesn’t want anything to get in the way.”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Mark Horvath is grateful that someone gave him a second chance when he was homeless...

Mark Horvath (In his own words)
What has four wheels and carries a turkey?
Unless you own a turkey farm, chances are that the bird in your oven took a spin in a shopping cart. Most of us don't think twice about using a shopping cart (except when it has a squeaky wheel).
On the streets, a shopping cart is called a "buggy." When I was homeless, I avoided "pushing a buggy" as long as I could. When that day finally came - when I had to get something from point A to Point B and had no other option but to use a shopping cart - I could no longer be in denial about my situation. I was homeless. As you can imagine, accepting that reality was devastating.
You would think that pushing a buggy on the street is as easy as it is in the grocery store parking lot. I assure you it's not. I had worked a week in a temp job and was able to pay for a SRO (single room occupancy hotel) in North Hollywood. When my money ran out they rolled me up and I had to take my stuff to my storage unit a few miles away. My first challenge was finding a cart. Then, I filled it up and started the long trek, but found going over the curbs extremely difficult. I manhandled the cart over each curb for about a half a mile and I was exhausted. It was very humiliating; people drove by laughing at me.
Right when I was about to give up I saw a mother across the street with her baby carriage and she turned the thing around to go over the curbs. Wow! Was it really that simple? Sure enough, on each street curb I turned my buggy around to backup over the curb. It worked and I was well on my way to becoming a seasoned homeless person.
That day was really a low point of my life. Maybe one of the lowest. I wish I could put into words how crushing it was to my sense of worth. Accepting that I was homeless meant that I had to also accept I may never get out of homelessness. But I was one of the lucky ones.
Thanksgiving is a time when we take a moment to be grateful. Today, I am grateful for people like you who care about the issue of homelessness. It was someone just like you that supported the organization that helped me get off the streets. It was someone just like you that clothed me and fed me until I was able to fend for myself. It was someone just like you that gave me a chance to dream again and a chance to become a normal, housed person again.
Today, there are hundreds of thousands of people on the streets, pushing a buggy, homeless, and hopeless. They need someone to give them a chance.
I don't know you, except for two things: you're sitting at a computer and you care about homelessness (there is no other possible explanation for you to be reading a blog about homeless issues than you have a heart for people). Even if you are not a religious person please take a moment today to pray in your own way for the invisible people out there who are sleeping in the streets, in their cars, or in a state of poverty that should not exist in this great country of ours.
I hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for keeping the conversation of homelessness and poverty going. Together we can affect change and make a difference in the world.

Kim Freshwater loses 243 lbs. and now feels like a "beautiful butterfly"...

Kim Freshwater was overweight as a child, but the problem escalated in her teens when her father died.
She tried diets and exercise, but any success she had was soon reversed.
Freshwater, who is married with three children, continued to be overweight for four decades. In addition to experiencing a variety of weight-related health problems, the British woman found herself avoiding social situations - such as weddings and parties - because she didn't want to embarrass herself and her family.
She was too big to sit in the seats in movie theaters or on amusement park rides, and she was forced to miss her son's school awards ceremony because she was afraid of breaking the chairs there.
"I once broke a chair at my friend's house, which was mortifying, and I even slept on the floor when we went away because I was so scared the bed wouldn't be able to take my weight," she said.
She once skipped a relative's funeral because she couldn't make the long walk from the church to the graveside. That forced her to change her life.
"I was so upset about it one night that I couldn't sleep and there was a program on TV about funerals, showing how severely overweight people need special coffins and how difficult it is to cremate their bodies. It was as if someone was trying to tell me something. I didn't ever want to put my family through that," she said.
Three years ago, Freshwater joined Slimming World, a British weight loss group that now operates in the U.S. She weighed 404 pounds then, and lost 44 pounds in the first 12 weeks.
Through regular exercise and a change in her diet, Freshwater dropped a total of 243 pounds, and now weighs 161 pounds. The feat earned her the title of Slimming World's Woman of the Year.
Rather than having one large meal a day - generally lasagna with a cheesy sauce, fries and garlic bread, followed by a snack of chips or chocolate - Freshwater now eats three healthy homemade meals, plus snacks.
"I actually eat more now than I did before, but I've learned to make good choices," she said, speaking of the grilled meats, vegetables, fresh fruit, yogurt and low-calorie snacks that now comprise her diet.
She also plays tennis, goes swimming, walks for miles, indulges her photography hobby and is cycling again after hanging up her helmet 20 years ago.
"I can do so much more since losing weight, but for me the biggest achievements are the small things, probably things that most people take for granted," Freshwater said in a Slimming World news release. "I love that I don't need seat belt extensions on planes anymore. I can sit in chairs with arms. I can shop on streets with hills. The list is endless."
She has also expanded her shoe collection from four to about 40 pairs. And instead of all black, her wardrobe now includes lots of colors.
"I don't think I realized how unhappy I was until I became as happy as I am now," she said. "My daughter recently told me that I used to be a chunky caterpillar, and now I'm a beautiful butterfly, and that's exactly how I feel!"

64 year old Grandpa Robert Durbin drops 70lbs., gets into shape and becomes internet star...

For most of us, Thanksgiving will be a time to chow down and experience deep calorie regret. Some of us may even do a guilt-fueled workout on Friday to work off the extra food.
Not Robert Durbin. The 64-year-old Louisville, Ky., married father of five doesn't need to talk himself into working out. He already does it seven days a week, for at least four hours a day. And he doesn't overeat. Not anymore.
Durbin wasn't always so disciplined. Seven years ago, he was so overweight that he felt his health was going downhill fast.
He was forced to wear braces, and needed a cane or a walker to get around.
With grandchildren on the way, Durbin decided to make a change. He joined a local gym and started working out on machines that didn't require him to stand. Within eight months, he had lost 60 pounds.
He's now dropped more than 70 pounds, lost 18 inches off his waist and weighs 145 pounds, but it's his increasingly ripped physique that's making him an Internet star.
About two years ago, Durbin discoveredBarStarzz, an international workout team that uses creative calisthenics to achieve lean, muscled physiques. He saw their videos on YouTube and started working out to them on his own, posting photos and video of his progress on his Instagram account using the handle rockhardpapaw.
BarStarzz noticed and interviewed him. The video of Durbin, who is flexing rock-hard, defined muscles while doing challenging one-armed push-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups and flagpole holds - in which one grasps a vertical object with both hands and pulls the body until it's horizontal and parallel to the ground - has been viewed more than 769,000 times since it was posted in October.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving: Executive Chef Jeff Ansorge gives it all up to become the full time cook at the Salvation Army soup kitchen....

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Jeff Ansorge once commanded a staff of 17 and made around $80,000 a year as executive chef at a posh downtown Minneapolis restaurant where a 24-ounce dry aged Porterhouse steak goes for $48. But he gave it all up to become the head cook of a Salvation Army soup kitchen, where the meals are free.
Now he brings his culinary skills to bear making salmon, ribs and stews for the poor and homeless who come to The Salvation Army Eastside Corps Community Center in St. Paul. For the Thanksgiving meal that's being served Wednesday, Ansorge planned a traditional feast of turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and rolls, served on tables covered with white tablecloths.
"It is not your old-fashioned soup kitchen where you get a bowl of soup and a piece of bread and (are) sent on your way. He makes phenomenal meals that you would pay quite a bit of money to go to a restaurant and have," Salvation Army Capt. John Joyner said of Ansorge, who left The Capital Grille to run the soup kitchen.
The clients agree.
"This is outstanding. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give him an 8-and-a-half, yep," Donnie Richardson, 55, a homeless man from St. Paul, said over a meal of chicken thighs, rice and mixed vegetables in the center's white-walled gymnasium.
Ansorge, 40, says a spiritual awakening led him to his new job at the soup kitchen in October 2012, making just one-third of his previous salary.

The Hill Family's Happy Thanksgiving Flash Mob...

The Hill family is doing Thanksgiving the right way.
Their Turkey Day festivities include a perfectly choreographed flash mob to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." The family first shared this awesome video (above) on YouTube in 2010, but we're going to watch it every Thanksgiving if that's alright.
(Huff Post)

Jimmy Fallon cheers up the kids at St. Jude's Hospital in New York...

In the knowledge that laughter is the best medicine, late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon spent a heartwarming day with some patients at the St. Jude Children's hospital in New York.
He donned a chicken costume, sang songs and played a game of Russian Roulette with a dozen eggs, two of them raw.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Katy Perry and Jodi DiPiazza, who has autism, bring down the house at the "Night of Too Many Stars"

Jodi DiPiazza was lucky enough to get into one of the few schools available to help children with autism to reach their potential.

Loud temper tantrums often flared up during those pre-kindergarten years, but during many hours of therapy, Jodi found a talent that truly grounded her -- music.

"We were afraid she would never speak. Never dreaming she would sing, or even be able to understand," said her father in the video below. "I've taken off the idea that there is some limit on her, as she continually proves that that's not true."

During the October fundraising gala for autism, Night Of Too Many Stars hosted by Jon Stewart, Jodi got the chance to play and sing with her favorite singer, Katy Perry.

Stewart introduced the pair saying, "People with Autism shouldn't be written off. They deserve, like everyone, the chance to reach their potential."

WATCH what happens when a child is given the chance to light up like a "Firework" in the video below.

The annual star-studded night of comedy and entertainment raises money for New York Collaborates for Autism(NYCA) to support and create autism programs, schools, and services all over the country. Programs covering everything from the intensive education kids with autism need at a young age to social training for adults who want to contribute in the workplace. They've even created a "Teach the Teachers" program that helps train more teachers to work in the public school systems, for the many kids with autism who can't get into the few quality schools that can help them.

Country star Darius Rucker surprises 16 year old Frankie Antonelli who has Down's Syndrome...

Frankie Antonelli was more than halfway through his rendition of Darius Rucker’s “While I Still Got the Time” during Wando High School’s talent show Wednesday night when he turned around and realized his dream had come true.
From backstage appeared Rucker himself wearing jeans and a ball cap. The country music star put his arm on Antonelli’s shoulder and together they finished the song, high-fiving and embracing throughout.
It was a magical moment for a 16-year-old who’s been belting out Rucker songs at school talent shows since the fifth grade.
“He was so excited,” said mom Debbie, who planned the whole thing. The Antonellis have actually known Rucker for a while through husband Frank’s job and Rucker once promised Frankie he’d sing with him.
“He kept his promise,” Debbie said.
Frankie has Down syndrome, but his mother, a women’s basketball TV analyst, said they refuse to put limits or labels on him.
“He’s happy, he’s healthy, he’s funny, he’s athletic ... he is sweet and he is handsome,” she said. “He just happens to have Down syndrome. It doesn’t define who he is. He is uninhibited and he loves to perform.”
Frankie hardly seemed fazed at Rucker’s appearance, at least from the perspective of a grainy YouTube video shot from the dark auditorium. He kept singing and dancing just as he had before Rucker stepped on the stage.
Debbie, who was posting on Twitter both before and after the performance, at one point tweeted that so many people told them he couldn’t succeed because he has Down Syndrome: “He can and he will.”

9 year old Malina Woodbury is raising funds and is determined to find a cure for her own disorder.

NEW LEBANON, N.Y.---Malina Woodbury was diagnosed at four months old with a hereditary, genetic disorder.
Now in fourth grade, Malina has taken it upon herself to take one of her talents and use it to raise money for research.
"I just wanted to find a cure so other kids don't have to suffer with it," she says. "Wwhen I get older, if they find a cure, hopefully my kids won't have to suffer with it either."
At just nine years old, Malina is looking way into the future and doing something right now.
She lives with Neurofibromatosis Type One. The disorder means different things for different people.
Malina was born with a bent leg and has to wear a brace every day.
"The hardest part is some of the sports I do," she says. "I do dance and I can't get some of the moves perfectly, but running is fine."
Trying to raise money and awareness for "NF" has been apart of Malina's life for years, but her latest venture began in July; making earrings.
In just a few months, she raised $1,500, donating the proceeds to the Children's Tumor Foundation.
Malina keeps only a small profit for herself to buy more supplies to make earrings.
"It amazes me that she could just be sitting down and crying about having NF, but it doesn't do that to her," says Alicia Woodbury, Malina's mother. "It makes her want to give and do even more to find a cure so that other kids someday don't have to suffer with the same disorder. We are just so proud of her and we want to continue to support her. We can't even envision what her future might bring if she's nine and already starting with these big and great ideas to help other people."
"I'm going to keep doing it until I want to end it, which will probably never happen," adds Malina.
In addition to donating money to the Children's Tumor Foundation, Malina has also donated some of her profits to the Down Syndrome Family Group and a close friend who is battling cancer.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Never giving up hope - George Raynes and Carol Harris wed 75 years after meeting in the first grade...

A man and woman from Saint John married on the weekend, 75 years after their first kiss.
George Raynes and Carol Harris, both 83, have known each other since they were in Grade 1, in 1936.
In Grade 3, they played the lead roles in their class production of Sleeping Beauty.
"I was sleeping beauty and he was my prince," Harris told CBC News.
Raynes says he wasn't supposed to actually kiss Harris during the play. "But the rascal that I was, I laid a big wet one on her. And she jumped up like a startled deer, you know," he said, chuckling at the memory.
"And actually, so she's the first girl I ever kissed."
Raynes moved to Ontario after he graduated from high school, and later married and raised a family.
But he kept in touch with Harris, who never married.
In June, months after his wife of 61 years died, Raynes drove to Saint John for what he called "a last look around."
"Thank goodness," said Harris, because the long-time friends soon fell in love and Raynes proposed on the deck of a romantic restaurant in Ontario.
'I can't help but think … that my prince from Grade 3 has finally come home to stay. And I think it's just marvellous.'- Carol Harris
"He will tell it differently than I. He will say he had sunstroke when he asked me," she said. "But he made an offer that he says I couldn't refuse, which was true actually.
"He suggested that we had had a great time and we had always been good friends and why don't we spend the rest of our lives together."
Harris didn't hesitate in saying, 'Yes.'
"I can't help but think … that my prince from Grade 3 has finally come home to stay. And I think it's just marvellous," she said.
Harris says Raynes came back into her life just as she had given up on the idea of ever tying the knot.
"There was a time when I thought I was going to be single forever," she said.
"When you get into your 80s and you're still alone, it begins to sink in that perhaps this is the way it's going to be until you pass away."
But the happy couple married on Saturday at the Lancaster Baptist Church in Saint John.

"Little Brother" campaign gives lonely seniors friendship...

Meals on Wheels can deliver a hot meal. A doctor can prescribe pills. A personal support worker can help with dressing, or a bath. They’re all important, but what many old people need most is a whole lot harder to come by.
A friend.
Researchers say the impact on health of being lonely is comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Lonely elders are more likely to die of a heart attack and are at a higher risk for dementia, depression and anxiety.
And it all happens far from public view, behind closed doors. In Quebec, an organization called "Les Petits Frères: La grande famille des personnes âgées seules" is trying to break through that isolation.  More than 1,000 Quebec seniors are matched with younger volunteers, with the idea of creating a real and ongoing friendship.
Everything Les Petits Frères does is rooted in the idea that human connection is essential to life. Their motto is “Lesfleurs avant le pain," which translates as Flowers Before Bread.
Les Petits Frères was founded in France by Armand Marquiset, a wealthy, debonair Catholic intellectual. In 1939, while praying at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Marquisetdecided to dedicate the rest of his days to helping out “les petits frères,” little brothers who were less fortunate than he was.
At the end the Second World War Marquiset signed up volunteers. They began feeding impoverished elderly people who had lost all their close family members in the war.
Marquiset believed that loneliness was as great a problem as hunger. He began inviting isolated seniors to vacation at his elegant family estate. He renamed it LeChâteau de Bonheur - The Chateau of Happiness - where he threw lavish parties, making sure there were lots of flowers and laughter.
Today, Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly as it is known in English - flourishes in eight countries, including the United States. It’s almost impossible to keep up with the growing demand for what it has to offer.
Les Petits Freres
Nathalie Brunet greets Henri Gauthier during one of his noon visits to Les Petits Freres in Montreal. (David Gutnick/CBC)
But while it has been in Canada now for 50 years, it hasn't spread beyond Quebec.
​At noon on a weekday afternoon, there is a traffic jam of walkers and wheelchairs in the front hallway of the downtown Montreal headquarters of LesPetits Frères. The air smells of perfume, roast beef and home-made apple pie.
Every few minutes the front door swings open. Another guest is gently led in, welcomed with smoked salmon horsd'oeuvres, and then led to the dining room where there are bouquets of fresh cut roses and lilies on every table.
Benny Valente is a volunteer driver. “I have nothing to do, they have nothing to do, so we get together and we have something to do.”
​For others, Les Petits Frères is about much more than that. In between forkfuls of mashed potatoes, 78-year-old Henri Gauthier tells a table-mate about life in his two room apartment in a rent-subsidized residence. “I feel lonely, you know, and I don’t want to talk about it. Sometimes I hate that, la vie c’est la vie, life is life. Sometimes I say, ‘I do not care,’ I hate myself, you know.”

4 year old Aiden Mitchell being credited as a "hero" after saving mom...

A 4-year-old boy is being hailed as a hero and credited with saving his mother's life. Family members say Aiden Mitchell of Detroit did all the right things when his mom slipped into a diabetic coma.
It all happened around 9:30am Saturday on Plainview near Evergreen in Detroit. The boy's great uncle knew something was wrong because the child picked up the phone every time he called. The boy told relatives his mother, Angela, was "asleep" which was unusual. They got worried and came to check on her. 4-year-old Aiden was able to unlock the front door and let them into the house.
Angela was rushed to Sinai Grace Hospital. Doctors say another half hour and this story would have had a much different ending. Aiden knows he did something good. He grabbed our microphone and said, "I'm a hero!"

Monday, November 25, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

Mother defies doctors that wanted to amputate her daughter Summer Wilson's arm...

Summer Wilson couldn't believe her eyes when her mother, Deanna, handed her a journal written more than 15 years ago -- a diary that she never even knew existed. As Summer leafed through its pages, reading line after heartfelt line, it quickly became apparent that the journal was all about her and how she almost died.
"I don't remember any of it, of course -- I was just a baby," says Summer, who was born with an illness so grave that she almost didn't make it. "But I could see how stressful it was for my mom. It's heavy on your heart when you read about what your parents were going through, and the stress it was putting on the family."
"But the more I read, the more I wanted to thank them for taking care of me, and tell them how grateful I was to be alive."

Summer's story began in February 1997. She had arrived five-and-a-half weeks premature, an exceptionally pretty baby, with large eyes and a sweetly shaped faced.
But something was terribly wrong.
"She had this thing growing out of her forearm that was as big as her head," her mom told me last week. Her hometown doctors identified it as a tumor, and within three weeks it had doubled to almost one-quarter of Summer's five-pound birth weight. It was also aggressive, having already broken through the skin.
Then came the shocking news. Although Summer's doctors were not able to diagnose the precise nature of the mass, they knew it was deadly -- and their recommendation to Summer's parents was terrifying.
"They said that, in the best-case scenario, they'd probably need to amputate her arm, and that we'd be lucky if she survived six months," Deanna remembers. "Everybody had pretty much given up on her. They told us that we should take her home and love her."
Though devastated, Deanna refused to give up on her baby girl and became a one-woman research team -- scouring the internet, poring through medical journals and calling children's hospitals across the country, desperate to find someone who could help.
Physicians finally identified Summer's mass as stage-three hemangiopericytoma, a malignant tumor so rare that only nine cases of it had been documented in the country. Even worse, all of the doctors and oncologists with whom Deanna consulted said the same thing -- that the disease was largely a mystery, with no known cure.
"Nobody was willing to take a premature newborn with this disease they knew nothing about," Deanna says. "Nobody even wanted to try."
But then someone recommended to Summer's parents that they contact St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which not only specializes in treating catastrophic childhood diseases, but whose scientists vigorously pursue those cases that continue to mystify doctors around the world. The St. Jude team told Deanna that Summer's tumor was very rare, but they would try to treat her.
"Those were the most hopeful words I had ever heard," Deanna says -- "that they would try."

"Kid President" ideas on twenty things people should say more often...

Kid President wants the world to be awesome.
So do we -- which is why we're sharing his latest video (above), where the mini executive lists 20 things that need to be said more often.
A few of our favorites? "Thank you," "I forgive you," and "Aw! You got me a corn dog? You shouldn't have!"
Okay, the last one's a bit out there, but bear with him. Because even when he's silly, Kid President is wiser than most adults.
(Huffington Post)

The city of Boston will always be a special place for Lisa Brunet and her now cancer free daughter Kayleigh...

It was, she said, “the darkest time of our lives,” and yet it would result in memories so precious that she and her daughter would return to Boston again and again.

On their last visit they brought two of their New York friends with them.

“I have such a spot in my heart for this place,” Lisa Brunet explained. “We were scared, cold people from New York, having to stay here for three months while my daughter received her daily radiation treatments. Boston just took us in, and I wanted our friends to see why I regard this as our second home.”

The story began when her daughter, Kayleigh, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 9. She would undergo two extensive surgeries at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, but when the tumor appeared a third time Mom was told no more could be done.

Kayleigh was only 11.

“I was told, ‘If we operate again, there’s a good chance she won’t make it, or if she does, she won’t be the same person you know right now.’ So we began searching for alternatives.”

Their search led to Massachusetts General Hospital, where a radiation oncologist named Dr. Nancy Tarbell determined Kayleigh was a viable candidate for one more trip to an operating room.

Kayleigh’s now 22 and cancer free.

“We spent those months at the Constitution Inn in Charlestown,” Lisa recalled. “And we met a man who lived on a boat. When he heard why we were there, he got us tickets to everything in town. When Kayleigh’s brothers came to be with us on Christmas they ended up with front-row seats at a Celtics game. Boston just wrapped us in its arms.”

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Today's Good Newsz Quote of the Day...

4 year old Max Rice draws monsters that attack cancer...

Max Rice draws monsters that attack cancer.
The 4-year-old Edmonton boy's works are being sold by his mother to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and a 3-year-old friend with leukemia.
"We don't always like to see SCARY art, do we?" Max's mom, Julie Rohr, wrote on a site that sells the works. "Some of these monsters look downright angry. But that's how we FEEL when we hear about this monster, cancer, attacking our friends and neighbours and family members. So maybe it's okay to see something ANGRY once in a while to remind us to stand behind these people in support as they fight their battles with cancer."
The sketches sell for a suggested $10 for "monster magnets," $20 for "monster prints" and $35 for "monster canvas" pieces.
Max's original 50 pieces sold out, the Edmonton Sun reported. Julie Rohr told The Huffington Post that Max's beastly works already surpassed $6,000 in sales as of Thursday.
"His original goal was $1,100, and I told him that was too ambitious for a 4-year-old," she said. "He adjusted his goal to $1,000 dollars, but we reached that in the first 20 hours of the campaign!"
Max learned about cancer when his grandfather died from melanoma, Rohr said. After family friend Kyla was diagnosed with leukemia right after Kyla's mother, Amber MacNeil, was treated for a brain tumor, Max and his mom moved into action.
"It's humbling to think that someone would want to do that for us," Amber MacNeil told the CBC in the segment above.
For Max's part, his mother said to the Sun: "He's happy that we're able to help."
Want to buy a Max monsterpiece? Visit here.

Mother and son reunited after being apart for 35 years...

San Diego, California (CNN) -- At last, a Wisconsin mother and her long-lost son met Saturday for the first time since her estranged husband spirited him away to Mexico more than 30 years ago.
It was an emotional reunion in the San Diego airport, heightened by the fact that the mother speaks only English and her 37-year-old son only Spanish.
David Amaya Barrick, whose father took him across the border at about age 2 from Chicago, was biting his nails just before his mother, Kathy Amaya, now 60, appeared before him in the airport.
They embraced, hugged and kissed -- the first time they've laid eyes on each other in about 35 years.
The son spoke in Spanish: "I love you and I missed you a lot. I welcome you into my life."
Kathy Amaya\'s husband took their son David to Mexico when he was 2.
Kathy Amaya's husband took their son David to Mexico when he was 2.
The mother declared to her son: "I love you and I'm very happy to see you and I'm not going to let you go."
Later, the son told reporters that he was at a loss of words.
The mother remarked: "He's all grown up."
The mother and son will spend a few days in San Diego getting to know each other again. They will do so during long strolls along the beach, they said.