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What would you do if you had five years to live? One year? A month?

That's the question Houston-based Isha Desselle asked herself in 1986 after returning from a trip to India, where she saw too many homeless people to count.

One of them spent her nights rolled up "in a little bag," and Desselle said she looked like her mother. The thought brought her to tears.

[rebelmouse-image 19476276 dam="1" original_size="750x396" caption="GIF via Muse Storytelling." expand=1]GIF via Muse Storytelling.


"My mother was tough, in a very soft way," Desselle recalls. "She built our house in Trinidad, mixing water, sand, and stone. She taught us everything, especially charity. She's the one who instilled that in our life. On the weekends, we would go to the market, and she would feed the beggars."

When she returned home, she decided to take a hard look at herself and ask "What do I want to do with my life? What do I want to do with me?"

It's a question many of us have asked: You may be thinking it right now as you sit and read this. What do you want to do with your life?

Desselle knew she wanted to help others. The choice she made was extraordinary. After grappling with how she could do the most good, she sold her house and all of her belongings, giving her enough money for a fresh start. But it wasn't for her.

"I sold my home and everything I had," Desselle says, "put a down payment on a rundown apartment complex. It was like this is it. It just felt right."

[rebelmouse-image 19476278 dam="1" original_size="706x373" caption="GIF via Muse Storytelling." expand=1]GIF via Muse Storytelling.

Her goal? To turn the complex into a safe place for elderly people without a home. But though her intentions were good, Desselle says she was stymied at every turn. "I went to United Way," she remembers, "and they told me I wouldn't make it because I didn't have the experience; I didn't have the education."

The rejection didn't make Desselle weaker. It fueled her resolve. No one was going to tell her what she could or couldn't do.

So she moved into the apartment complex herself and began to help those who were already living there. When they didn't have food, Desselle walked to butcher shops and asked for bones. She went to produce markets and asked for vegetables. "We had that every day," she says.

And then the people came. Soon the elderly homeless residents of Desselle's neighborhood started coming for assistance. Sometimes she'd have up to 40 people in her tiny kitchen. "And everyone helped out," she says. Desselle began feeding more than 200 homeless people a day.

She sold everything for those with nothing.

Imagine what the world would be like if we all had this woman's compassion. (via Muse Storytelling)

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, April 5, 2018

America has a homelessness crisis.

According to data collected in 2017, more than 500,000 people are homeless on any given day in the United States. That number includes 58,000 families with kids. As the cost of living gets higher and higher, more and more people can't afford a place to live. Many are spending nights on the street or in transitional housing.

In Houston, specifically, more than 4,000 people are either spending nights on the street or living in temporary shelters while they work to get back on their feet. The good news is that this number is only half of what it was in 2011. And the answer is often more affordable housing.

[rebelmouse-image 19476279 dam="1" original_size="750x400" caption="GIF via Muse Storytelling." expand=1]GIF via Muse Storytelling.

That's why Houston's commitment to help people get off the street is so important — and why people like Desselle are so instrumental in the fight to end homelessness. They persevere even in the face of adversity, inspiring all of us to work harder to make a difference.

Desselle's motto is where there's a will, there's a way.

That's what Desselle's mother used to say. She's taken it to heart. "I picked that up because I watched her in action."

Her goal? To change the lives of the elderly people forced to live on the street. Since Desselle first started the Turning Point Center, she's helped more than 37,000 of Houston's homeless population.

"They come in with a frown, the destitution in their face," Desselle says. "And you take them to the clothing room, let them have a shower, change into something new. Their whole outlook changes."

The biggest thing that the center can offer? Hope and respect for the human spirit. The residents who stay on for lengthy periods of time help out others who live there too.

"We see the person inside," she says. "They're not a number. There's someone in there. There's hopes; there's dreams. You give them a chance. You change the outlook of them, and the inside changes too."

[rebelmouse-image 19476280 dam="1" original_size="750x392" caption="GIF via Muse Storytelling." expand=1]GIF via Muse Storytelling.

Desselle's mission should inspire anyone thinking about what to do next. Because our goal should be to bring out the good in this world.

"I don't think money, power, or position could ever buy what I receive in helping people," Desselle says. "I made a home where elderly homeless people can go, and I have lived my dream. I'll probably die with a smile on my face."

You can help, too.

If there's one thing we can learn from this story, it's that all of us have the power to make a difference. No, we're not all going to sell our belongings and devote our lives to helping others (and that's OK!), but we must all make a commitment to help our fellow humans and make the world a kinder, warmer place.

Want to help? You can start by volunteering at a shelter, where help is always needed. You could create care kits — packages full of essentials like socks and toiletries — to hand out, especially during the cold season. You can write to your legislators and urge them to support measures that protect the homeless and push for affordable housing. Start small, and you too could be making a world of difference.

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

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.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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