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13-year-old child prodigy accepted into medical school after graduating high school last year

This little girl is my actual hero right now!

Alena Analeigh; Alena Wicker; medical school; genius

13-year-old accepted into medical school.

Does anyone remember the show "Doogie Howser, M.D." or am I just aging myself? I used to watch that show religiously, but even as a kid, I realized that could never happen. Kids can't be doctors! Please don't tell 13-year-old Alena Analeigh Wicker that because she will prove you wrong. Alena has just made history as the youngest Black person in the U.S. to be accepted into medical school.


Most parents want their children to do good things in their life. They hope they will accomplish any dreams and goals they set out to do while cheering them on along the way. Which is what Alena's mother, Daphne McQuarter, does constantly. The pair travel around the world as part of Alena's mission for her organization Brown STEM Girls, which works to help girls of color explore futures in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women are still in the minority in STEM careers, representing just 27% of all STEM workers. When broken down further, only about 5% of women of color have careers in STEM.

How does one get accepted into medical school at just 13? "I was bored," Alena told the The Washington Post. "The high school work was so easy for me that I ended up graduating from high school at 12 years old."

After that, she was accepted into Arizona State University and Oakwood University and is currently a junior at both schools finishing up degrees in biological sciences. After a single engineering course, which she ended up dropping, the future doctor changed direction realizing that engineering was not something she was passionate about. As she told Ebony, it was a trip to Jordan with her organization that made her conclude that viral immunology is where she wanted to be, so she took the next step and applied for medical school.


The teen posted about her acceptance on her Instagram page, sharing a picture of the letter from the University of Alabama's Heersink School of Medicine for 2024. On average, only 7% of applicants get accepted to medical school in America, and just 7% of those accepted are Black. Clearly, she is amazing, this achievement topping her previous accolades of being nominated for Time's Top Kid of the Year and being NASA's youngest intern. Is there anything she can't do?

If you're worried she's missing out on her childhood, have no fear. Though she is scheduled to complete medical school by 18, Alena still makes time for her friends and does age-appropriate activities like going to the arcade and playing soccer. In her Instagram post, she reflected, "Statistics would have said I never would have made it. A little black girl adopted from Fontana California. I’ve worked so hard to reach my goals and live my dreams.”

Alena is determined to succeed and it's clear that she has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Here's wishing her all the best in medical school. Who knows, maybe one day we'll see her picture next to the cure for something big.

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3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Can he be the father?

The presumed father of a newborn baby was skeptical of his paternity after the baby girl was born with blonde hair and blue eyes. He and his wife of two years have brown hair and brown eyes, so he thought there was no chance it was his child.

The wife reassured her husband that they could have a blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby and that, quite often, a baby’s hair and eye color can change over time.

But the husband “freaked out at this and refused to listen,” the wife wrote in a viral post on Reddit’s AITA page. Instead, he “demanded a paternity test and threatened to divorce me if I didn’t comply, so I did.”

The man was so confident that after the baby was born, he moved into his mother’s house while he awaited the results of the DNA test. The wife stayed home with the baby and was helped through the first few weeks by her sister.


To make things worse, the wife’s mother-in-law began to make threats. “My MIL called and informed me that if the paternity test revealed that the child wasn’t his, she would do anything within her power to make sure that I was ‘taken to the cleaners’ during the divorce,” the mom shared on Reddit.

Finally, three weeks after the child was born, the DNA test results arrived and the husband came home to read them with his wife. “I was on the couch in the living room, so he sat next to me and we started to read the results,” she wrote. “They showed that he was the father and my husband had this shocked, kinda mortified look on his face with his eyes wide as he stared at it.”

dad dna test, paternity test, you are the father

A man is shocked to learn that he is the father.

via Mikhail Nilov/Pexels

The wife said, “I told you so,” and laughed in his face. In the post, the wife also notes she has “zero history” of cheating.

Although it is rare for two people with brown eyes and brown hair to have a blue-eyed, blonde-haired baby, it is entirely possible. According to Verywell Health, there is a 19% chance that a couple with brown eyes can have a blue-eyed baby. And, as the wife noted earlier, a baby’s eye color can change over its first year of life.

Further, two people with brown hair can have a blonde-haired child if both parents carry the recessive gene for blonde hair. The blonde hair may darken over time as well.

dna, dna strand, dna test

A strand of DNA

via Warren Umoh/Pexels

If the father had done a quick Google search on the topic, he would have quickly realized that there was a very strong case that he was the father and the drama could have stopped before any damage was done to the marriage.

The positive part of this story is that the wife’s post on Reddit earned her a ton of support from people who thought her husband’s antics were utterly inappropriate. The support probably also helped to put her husband's wild antics into perspective while she determined their future. The wife felt bad about laughing at her husband, but most people thought it was appropriate, given her husband's behavior.

“Not only doesn’t he have a basic grasp of genetics, he threw a tantrum and left you immediately after having the baby to struggle alone for almost a month,” CrystalQueen3000 commented. “He’s lucky all you did was laugh in his face.”

A lot of commenters thought that the woman should leave her husband for accusing her of cheating and leaving her alone with the child.

“Honestly, if my husband left me for weeks after giving birth due to a faint assumption like this, I would be done. I can't be together with someone who abandoned me when I needed them desperately,” Matakakiba wrote.


This article originally appeared on 1.5.24

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

A pediatric operating room nurse shares the 5 things she will never let her kids do.

First responders often have a much different view of safety than people who don't handle dangerous situations every day. Police officers, doctors, nurses, firefighters and military personnel see what happens when people put themselves in danger and are often a little more cautious than the average civilian.

Situations that seem safe to some can seem like the beginnings of a horror story to someone who works in the emergency room and regularly sees people being admitted for the same types of injuries.

That’s why a video by pediatric operating room nurse Josie Rose Mueller should be seen by parents everywhere. As a mother of 3 young boys, who has been working in the operating room since 2018, she shares the 5 things she’d never let her kids do because, as Mueller puts it bluntly: She’s “seen some sh*t.”


Although the activities she mentions seem relatively harmless, she’s seen what can happen when things go wrong.

Warning: Video contains strong language.

1. Sit atop a ride-on lawnmower

“Without a doubt, I see one person on my Facebook feed doing this every single summer and yes, the photo is adorable, but it is less adorable when I see kids getting their legs cut off from it.”

2. Play with fireworks

“I will never ever ever let my kids play with explosive fireworks during the 4th of July. I have seen kids lose fingers, entire hands, teeth, portions of their jaw. I've seen them blow up basically just about anything,”

3. Go to a swim party alone

“Number 3, I will never let my younger children, who are not very, very confident in water, go to a swim party without me. It is actually true that the more people in a pool, even the more people surrounding a pool, the higher chance there is for your child to drown. There's way too much room for error. There's way too much room for someone to get lost.”

dangers, kids swimming ER

Two kids swimming with floaties.

via Juan Salamanca/Pexels

4. Ride in a car without a harness or seatbelt

“I have seen situations where one kid is buckled in and walks away with very minor injuries and the other kid either passes or walks away with very severe injuries because they were not buckled in from the same exact car crash.”

5. Attend a sleepover

“I will never let my kids be babysat by or go to somebody's house or spend the night and do a sleepover at a house where I do not know every single person that's going to be there, every single person in the house. I've known them a long time and I can verify that they're good people. I can't even get into the abuse situations that I've seen, but it was enough to really ... and I still question whether I'll ever let my kids have sleepovers at all.”

Mueller’s video has nearly 2 million views and she disagrees with those who think she’s being too cautious.

sleep over, ER nurse, child dangers

Three girls having a sleepover.

via Monstera Productions/Pexels

“It’s my job as my child’s parent to keep them safe,” she told Upworthy. “I want my children to take calculated risks, and I want them to fall, scrape their knees and make mistakes. I believe that builds character and helps them recognize and deal with adversity. However, when it comes to their life or their limbs being in danger, it’s a parent's job to keep their child away from said dangers.”

She believes parents should be short and to the point when explaining potential dangers to their young children.

“Kids don’t process long, drawn-out explanations. For example, if my husband is mowing the lawn, the rule is the boys stay inside,” she told Upworthy. “If they request to go outside, I will say, ‘The rule is we stay inside until daddy is done mowing the lawn. This keeps your brothers and you safe. We can go play outside when the lawnmower stops.’ We can make a fun game out of it like counting how many times Daddy passes the window. And the reward would be if they stay inside like I’ve asked, we play outside with Dad when he’s all finished up.”

Image by sasint/Canva

Surgeons prepared to separate 3-year-old conjoined twins in Brazil using virtual reality.

The things human beings have figured out how to do boggles the mind sometimes, especially in the realm of medicine.

It wasn't terribly long ago that people with a severe injury had to liquor up, bite a stick, have a body part sewn up or sawed off and hope for the best. (Sorry for the visual, but it's true.) The discoveries of antibiotics and anesthesia alone have completely revolutionized human existence, but we've gone well beyond that with what our best surgeons can accomplish.

Surgeries can range from fairly simple to incredibly complex, but few surgeries are more complicated than separating conjoined twins with combined major organs. That's why the recent surgical separation of conjoined twin boys with fused brains in Brazil is so incredible.



The twins, Bernardo and Arthur Lima, are almost 4 years old and have never seen one another's face. They've spent their lives conjoined at the top of their heads, facing opposite directions. Born as craniopagus twins (joined at the cranium), their brains were also fused together, making their separation extremely complex. According to the BBC, they've been cared for at the Instituto Estadual do Cérebro Paulo Niemeyer (Paulo Niemeyer State Brain Institute) in Rio de Janeiro for the past two and a half years.

Surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani is the founder of medical charity Gemini Untwined, which funded the surgery. He helped lead the team of nearly 100 medical workers who worked for months to prepare for the boys' separation, which was one of the most complicated of its kind.

Jeelani told the BBC that it was the first time surgeons in separate countries practiced by operating in the same "virtual reality room" together, wearing VR headsets.

"It's just wonderful," he said. "It's really great to see the anatomy and do the surgery before you actually put the children at any risk. You can’t imagine how reassuring this is for the surgeons. To do it in virtual reality was just really man-on-Mars stuff."

Watch Jeelani explain how they prepared for the procedure:

Prior attempts to separate the twins had been unsuccessful, making the surgery even more challenging due to scar tissue. However, after multiple surgeries that took more than 33 hours collectively, the boys were successfully separated in June.

“It was without a doubt the most complex surgery of my career,” said neurosurgeon Gabriel Mufarrej of the Paulo Niemeyer State Brain Institute, according to EuroNews. “At the beginning, nobody thought they would survive. It is already historic that both of them could be saved."

Jeelani told the BBC that the boys' heart rates and blood pressure were "through the roof" for four days after the surgery—until they were reunited and touched hands.

According to Reuters, Bernardo and Arthur are the oldest twins with fused brains to be successfully separated. They will spend the next six months in rehabilitation.

Congratulations to the Lima family and to the global team that combined dedication, perseverance and the miracle of modern technology to create a brighter future for these young boys.


This article originally appeared on 08.04.22

Health

Does your period pain feel ‘as bad as a heart attack’? You’re not imagining it

Some women experience debilitating period cramps, but the medical community isn't helping.

You’re not alone.

Here's an article to send to every jerk in your life who denied you the right to complain about your period cramps: A medical expert says that some women experience menstruation pains that are "almost as bad as having a heart attack." John Guillebaud, who is a professor of reproductive health at University College London, spoke to Quartz on the subject, and said that the medical community has long ignored what can be a debilitating affliction, because it's a problem that mostly inconveniences women.

"I think it happens with both genders of doctor," Guillebaud told Quartz. "On the one hand, men don't suffer the pain and underestimate how much it is or can be in some women. But I think some women doctors can be a bit unsympathetic because either they don't get it themselves or if they do get it they think, 'Well I can live with it, so can my patient.'"



And it's a problem that can't just be treated with common painkillers. Some people who experience dysmenorrhea, the medical term for painful menstruation, also suffer from endometriosis, a condition that can cause infertility if it's not treated properly. But research on the subject is scant, so doctors often misdiagnose it, or dismiss the pain entirely. It's estimated, however, that one out of 10 women has the condition.

Earlier this month, Girls creator Lena Dunham was forced to take a rest from show promotion and other work duties because she suffers from endometriosis. In a recent edition of her newsletter, Lenny Letter, Dunham wrote a frank essay about her struggle with the condition, and particularly with a medical institution that didn't know how to diagnose her. She didn't know how to put a name to her pain until she turned 24 and underwent laparoscopic surgery, "which is the only way to definitively diagnose endometriosis," according to Dunham.

Quartz reporter Olivia Goldhill had the same problem. She suffered from frequent period pains that were as distressing as a slipped disk, she says. But doctors had no answer for her. "Before I had my MRI scans, I told my primary care doctor that the pain seemed to be triggered by my period," she said. "He didn't think this was relevant and ignored the comment."

For now, the medical community has been dragging its feet to do research on the subject. Goldhill says the only thing people can do right now is talk about it, to heighten awareness. "Tell your doctor, your friends, your colleagues," she wrote. "We need to talk about period pain long and loudly enough for doctors to finally do something about it."

This article originally appeared on 09.14.17

Identity

When a man asks people to translate a hate message he's received, their response is unforgettable

Reading the words would be one thing. Having to think about what they mean is almost too intense.


As part of an experiment, a man asks for help translating a Facebook message he has received.

There's a man in Lithuania who speaks only English. The message is in Lithuanian. He can't read it, so he asks some locals to translate it for him.


As he asks one person after another to translate the message for him, two things become obvious.

1. He's received a message full of hate speech.

2. Translating it for him is breaking people's hearts.

It's nearly more than these people can bear.

There's a sudden, powerful connection between the translators and the man they're translating for. They want to protect him, telling him not to bother with the message.

They apologize for the message.

They look like they want to cry.

Words hurt.

Most of us would never think of saying such horrible things. This video shows people realizing in their gut what it must feel like when those words are pointed at them — it's all right on their faces. And so is their compassion.

The Facebook message is horrible, but their empathy is beautiful. The video's emotional power is what makes it unique, and so worth watching and passing around.

Here it is.

The video's in English, subtitled in Lithuanian. Just watch the faces.

This article originally appeared on 04.10.15