*Just when you think you might be able to define the term “beauty,” I invite you to take a look at model Chantelle Winnie’s stunning cover shot!
Winnie was born Chantelle Brown-Young in 1994 in Toronto, to parents of Jamaican heritage. At the age of four, she contracted vitiligo, a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes a loss of pigment on the skin in patches around the body, particularly the face and hands.
While the condition is not contagious, it affects two percent of the population and has no known cure. Vitiligo affects all ethnicities, but is more visible among people of African and Hispanic heritage.
By the time she entered school, Winnie has being teased — and even beat up — by her classmates. Some likened her to a cow and “mooed” at her, while others simply avoided her in the mistaken fear that they might “catch” the condition.
“I remember sitting by my window, wishing upon the stars that my skin condition would go away,” she remembered. “I wondered, ‘Why me?'” Continue reading →
*My faith in humanity was both challenged and restored in the space of a couple of days, with this story.
4-year-old Liam Brenes battles a genetic condition called Facto Syndrome. As a result of it, he had to have one of his legs amputated below the knee when he was just 1 year old.
One of my best friends growing up had a prosthetic leg, so this story really touched me.
Liam manages today with his second prosthetic leg, the first of which he outgrew. Last weekend, he and his family took his first-ever trip to the beach. Liam’s father, Frank, said Liam’s afraid of the water, and that it had been the first time they’d been to the ocean.
The family brought Liam’s older, shorter prosthetic leg with them, so he could use it in the water without fear of damaging the new one. After arriving at the beach, eager Liam waded into the ocean.
*I suppose one way to wrap your brain around the realization that you have produced three sets of twins in a little over two years and your future for the next 18 will be centered around taking care of ‘dem babies is being grateful that you can produce children at all.
After all, as Danesha Couch, a 20-year-old mother of five, knows so well, there are many women who cannot. She smiles as she talks to the media, and shares how people respond when she tells them about her large family.
“People just consider me a freak of nature when I tell them,” Couch said.
Unless you actually come from a family with a history of multiple births, its safe to assume that most women who plan for children never think of having more than one baby at a time. But when Couch had her first set of twins, and then had a repeat with the second, the question that probably comes to the mind of many is, why even take the risk a third time?
According to one report, the chances of having THREE sets of twins is something like 1 in 88,000.
*I recall one of my greatest fears during pregnancy was something happening to my baby. While I was a generally happy pregnant woman, all the talk about children dying in their sleep — Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) — or children born with low birth weight not making it to their first year scared the crap out of me. This was especially harsh since I was a low birth-weight child, born to an alcoholic mother.
I remember once I gave birth, for months thereafter, waking up every 30-minutes to turn my baby from her back to her stomach and vice-versa; or placing my finger under her little nose to make sure she was still breathing.
It was maddening, and not unlike many new mothers, I got very little sleep for the first 6-months of her life!
So when I read a report in the Sacramento Bee that claims children in impoverished areas of the county are dying — and Black children more than any other race or ethnicity even more so, it was very disconcerting. Especially in this day and age when so many medical strides have been made.
Why is this STILL happening?
First, a bit of background.
The Sacramento Bee reports that between 2010 and 2015, nearly one quarter of the 873 children 18 and under who died in Sacramento County were Black. And at that time Black children only made up 11 percent of the population represented in that age category.Continue reading →
*A Virginia native is dead today because 911 thought his call was a “butt dial.” Robert Paulus died hours later from heart disease, after he made the call and attempted to let the emergency service know that he was having what may have been a heart attack.
The 18-second call to Fredericksburg City Dispatch revealed that when the dispatcher heard nothing from the caller, after three attempts to make contact with him only presented an “unidentifiable sound,” the call was labeled a pocket call, which means no call back is required.
*As far as this writer is concerned, this news should be sung from the highest mountain tops. I can confidently say that we all have lost too many friends, known and unknown, to cancer. Now, “WE MAY BE ON THE VERGE OF A POSSIBLE CURE FOR CANCER!” And further, it gives me great pleasure to know that the breakthrough comes via a beautiful black female physicist named Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green.
Green is currently working to advance a cancer treatment involving lasers and nano-particles that will target cancer cells. Thanks to being awarded a grant valued at $1.1 million dollars through the Veterans Affairs Historically Black Colleges and Universities Research Scientist Training Program, she is now free to continue her work on this groundbreaking procedure.
Green, 35, is only one of less than 100 black women physicists in the United States. She is the first in her family to attend college and in 2012, she became the second African American woman to receive a PhD in physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Continue reading →
I always worry whenever I have a headache, especially if it lasts more than a day and seems to come out of nowhere. This wasn’t always the case. People get headaches all the time for a variety of reasons. Stress. Hangover. Sinus. Allergies. But I no longer make the assumptions I used to make about headaches. Especially since over the years I have learned about fatalities associated with them. So when I heard this story about a woman who had gone swimming in Oklahoma, and a day or so later was hit with a severe headache; and that headache was no ordinary headache because it got worse, and eventually took her life, I said, “Oh sh*t. My nightmare. A headache killed this woman.
The grieving family of 24-year-old Elizabeth Knight has now set out to warn others because they say it is what their daughter would want them to do.
Knight’s death came as a result of a bacteria ID’d as a “Brain-eating Amoeba” (learn about this in the video below). Continue reading →
*There is a really scary commercial running right now. I can’t even recall the product that the actual commercial is about (not surprising, as the viewing audience generally gets more involved in the backstory than the product its supposed to be selling). But this particular commercial shows a group of friends at a party. When all of a sudden, a panicked woman calls out, “There weren’t peanuts in the brownies right?” Then an apologetic party host responds, “No. Just Peanut Butter. Oh no, I’m sorry,” after she realizes her horrible error. Cut to a woman covered in red hives, before passing out. Now Panera Bread, the sandwich restaurant, is in the same situation. According to the family of a little girl with peanut allergies, the restaurant put a whop of peanut butter in her grilled cheese sandwich.
Allegedly, even after they were told not to.
The family of the 6-year-old Natick girl has now filed a lawsuit with Middlesex Superior Court against Panera and a group of their franchises in New England alleging negligence. The parents say they ordered the sandwich on January 28 via Panera’s online system, and specifically stated their daughter’s peanut allergy. Continue reading →