As three little girls gathered to get their picture taken on Saturday, the mood was quite a bit lighter than the last time the children were photographed together just a few short months ago. Back then, Rheann Franklin, 6, Ainsley Peters, 4, and Rylie Hughey, 3, each battling cancer, came together for an emotional photo session in April with Oklahoma photographers Lora Scantling and Christy Goodger. The image taken that day, after the girls met for the first time in the studio, touched the hearts of people all over the world. When the girls reunited on Saturday, it was to share in happy news: In July they confirmed they are each in remission!! To celebrate, they got back together with Scantling and Goodger to put an even more positive spin on the beautiful scene that went viral earlier this year. Click here to see the touching photos of these sweet little girls!
When Maisy Yeager’s son, Zarek, was just 8 years old, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia. Luckily, Zarek is now cancer-free, making it through years of draining surgeries and steroid treatments. But countless other children — nearly 2,000 a year, according to the National Cancer Institute — are not so lucky. It’s why Yeager and 45 other mothers from around the U.S. and Canada convened in Boston on Sunday to have their heads shaved bald in a public ceremony for the fifth annual 46 Mommas event — so-named to symbolize that each weekday of the year, 46 mothers in the U.S. are told that their child has cancer. This year the moms raised more than $200,000 for the national St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which fundraises for pediatric cancer research. Click here for more on these awesome “Mommas” and their charity!
Mansoor Khalid’s Candy Cab may look like a regular New York taxi on the outside, but step inside and you’ll find a candy lover’s paradise. The cab is filled with all-you-can-eat free sweets: hard candies in the summer, chocolate in the winter. But no matter when you take a ride, you’re welcome to take as much as you want. Khalid started filling his cab with candies after his life took a sad turn. In 2010, his son was born with a congenital heart defect. Whenever he visited the hospital, Khalid would bring coffee to the doctors and nurses, becoming known as “coffee man.” He says he liked being able to lift people’s spirits with small offerings, so when his son passed away, Khalid decided he wanted to continue to make people happy. That’s how the candy cab idea was born. Click here to learn more about this cool cab in NYC!
New parents Seth Galena and Hindy Poupko Galena were over the moon when they welcomed their daughter Ayelet into the world in December 2009. But soon, Ayelet began having digestive problems that their pediatrician couldn’t fix, and eventually the little girl was diagnosed with dyskeratosis congenita, a rare genetic disorder that makes it hard for the body to produce healthy cells. Despite a bone marrow transplant, Ayelet lost her fight against the disease and died in January 2012, shortly after her second birthday. But Ayelet’s brief life had a greater purpose: A study that she participated in through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) resulted in a groundbreaking medical advancement and enabled her parents to have a child who didn’t have the disorder. Click here for more on Ayelet’s story!
After Rachelle Friedman was permanently paralyzed after being pushed into a swimming pool by a friend at her 2010 bachelorette party, she refused to let her physical changes get in the way of her dreams. But there was one dream that proved to be a challenge for the woman who had become known through international media coverage as “the paralyzed bride.” Although she was physically able to carry a child to term, doing so meant she would have to stop taking important medications or risk injuring her fetus. So Friedman, now 28, and her husband of three years, Chris Chapman, 31, made the decision to pursue surrogacy, and help came via a familiar face – a college friend who offered to be their gestational carrier. Click here for more on this couple’s journey through surrogacy!
A 35-year-old pregnant mom a month shy of her due date survived a grueling nine-hour, two-team surgery in which she delivered her baby-and underwent open-heart surgery. Edita Tracey was at her hair salon last month when her back started to hurt, and when the pain shifted to her chest she called. At the hospital a CT scan revealed a rare and serious problem: Tracey’s aorta was bulging so badly there was a one-foot tear along it. The condition can be lethal in seconds-but the full anesthesia she’d need to undergo to repair it could harm the baby. So two surgical groups teamed up in the hopes of saving both Tracey and her child. The first team delivered the healthy baby girl by C-section within 30 seconds of her going under, and then the cardiac team opened Tracey’s chest, drained the blood collecting around her heart and got to work rebuilding her aorta in a highly complicated surgery that took nine hours. Thanks to the surgeons’ fast work, mom and baby Arabella are now home and doing well. Click here to read more about this amazing story!
One of the poorest towns in the nation, Pembroke township in Kankakee County, takes a step in the right direction. Listen here!
If you would like to attend the Open House, here ya go!
Pembroke Township Library District
13795 E. Central St., Hopkins Park
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
If you would like more information, phone the library at 815-944-8609 or Faith in Action at 708-363-2568.