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51-year-old Julie Loving is about to give birth to her own grandchild after becoming surrogate for her daughter


Being a mother is a powerful thing. No one knows this more than Breanna Lockwood and her mother Julie Loving, who might just have the most appropriate last name around. For years, Breanna, 29, and her husband Aaron Lockwood, 28, have tried to become parents. But after 476 injections, eight IVF frozen embryo transfers, two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, they were left heartbroken. Until a hero offered to carry the baby for them. That hero was Julie Loving, Breanna's 51-year-old mother.

Breanna and Aaron became high school sweethearts and never looked back. In 2016, the two were married. Then it was time for the next plunge in life. Breanna had always known she wanted to be a mother from an early age. They had hoped to do some traveling during their first year of marriage before starting a family. Those plans were put on hold when Breanna's grandfather fell ill, as she wanted so badly for him to meet his great-grandchild before he passed.

At first, they tried to pregnant on their own. But after a year without success, they decided to make an appointment with Dr. Brian Kaplan at the Fertility Clinics of Illinois. It was there with Dr. Kaplan that they began vitro fertilization. After four years of hope, followed by pain and heartbreak, they gave up trying. The only option left was to find a surrogate, which can cost over $100,000. As Breanna told the Chicago Tribune, "Physically and mentally, I knew I would push through anything, but there's not a lot where you can push financially, and I think that's what scared me."

Just as they thought all hope was lost, enter the hero: Breanna's mother, Julie Loving. For years, Loving watched helplessly as Breanna and Aaron tirelessly tried to start building a family of their own. Throughout that time, Loving offered to carry the baby for them. "You get in that mode where you'd do anything to help your kids," Loving to the Tribune. "When you see your kids hurting, and you know that you could help them, I don't know how to explain it." And Julie Loving kept offering. "She texted me, and I said, 'You're crazy,'" Lockwood recalls. Finally, when the couple seemed to have exhausted all options, they made an appointment for Julie to see Dr. Kaplan.

Before they knew it, the family was at The Fertility Centers of Illinois: Loving inquiring about being a surrogate for her daughter. "This is a very unusual situation," said Dr. Kaplan to the Tribune. Beyond Julie's profoundly loving heart, she has also run 19 marathons, competing in countless triathlons and is in very healthy condition. Her primary care physician, her OBGYN, a high-risk obstetrician and even a psychologist signed off on her being her daughters surrogate, and she passed with flying colors.

After a successful transfer of the embryo, a whole lot of science and even more love, the result led to Julie Loving carrying her own grandchild. She is due November 12th, 2020. Breanna's gratitude toward her mother goes far beyond even the brave and selfless gesture of being her surrogate. As she puts it: "I feel like I've learned everything about being a mom, from my mom. Apparently, the baby is a kicker, but if we have learned anything about Julie, it is going to take quite a boot to ruffle even one of her feathers. You just fall in love more and more every day, the stronger she gets, really feeling her and learning her ways," she said to the Tribune. "I'm so happy that I can help my daughter and help her husband become a family. That's really all I want, is to help them."

One thing is for sure, if the world had more Julie Loving's, it sure would be a better place.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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