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It all started with a dusty forgotten Christmas present.

Robyn Rosenberger was working in technical support for a Seattle-based software company in 2012. Trying to break up the monotony of her day-to-day routine, she decided to get crafty for her nephew's upcoming second birthday and fished out the dusty sewing machine her husband had gotten her for Christmas two years prior.

Rosenberger wanted something that would please a 2-year-old boy but also be easy enough for her to tackle, seeing as her only prior sewing experience was a single baby blanket she'd made a year before. She settled on a superhero's cape, kicking off a project that would be a welcome challenge from the daily grind at the software company.


Photo via Feng Images, used with permission.

A simple homemade birthday gift turned into inspiration for thousands.

Rosenberger was pleased with the outcome of her nephew's birthday cape, so she hunkered down again at her machine to make capes for her son and dog. She liked sewing, and it became a hobby when she had the time.

Photo via Feng Images, used with permission.

One day Rosenberger came across a blog about a 2-year-old girl named Brenna with Harlequin ichthyosis, a rare skin disorder in which too much skin is produced before the body has a chance to shed it. As she read on, something clicked: Brenna needed a cape!

Capes were a novelty for her nephew and son, but Brenna needed one.

Rosenberger reached out to Brenna's mom, and a few days later, Brenna had her cape, and something else that came with it: strength. Brenna's mom had always called her "Super Girl" since she was born, and now the cape seemed to complement that perfectly. Just like that, TinySuperheroes was born.

Photo via Courtney Westlake, used with permission.

Rosenberger quit her software job to focus on her new mission: empowering kids, one cape at a time. With the help of social media, Rosenberger was flooded with requests for capes, and the waiting list grew and grew. She launched her TinySuperheroes company on the "buy a cape, give a cape" model to help offset her costs. In essence, anyone who bought a cape from her also sponsored a child on the waiting list to have a cape made for themselves.

It's just a piece of fabric, but to thousands, it's hope.

Broken down, the cape is nothing more than fabric and thread — nothing special. However, to the kids who receive one, they are way more than that.

Photo via Robyn Rosenberger, used with permission.

Once Rosenberger started sending out capes to children, she was overwhelmed by the responses from parents. The capes became symbols of empowerment, strength, and hope. Parents told her capes were brought along for hospital visits to give strength, and they were worn during chemo treatments to help fight off cancer cells.

The children who receive these capes are battling diseases, illnesses, disabilities, and other "powers," as Rosenberger calls them. Rosenberger hopes the capes help these kids reveal their true identities, embracing the powers they've been given and their fortitude to carry on, ready to conquer whatever is put in front of them.

Photo via Sarah Savickas, used with permission.

Once empowered with a cape, the children become members of the TinySuperheroes squad.

This journey is only beginning.

Rosenberger recently collaborated with American Express to tell her story in this video:

With TinySuperheroes, Rosenberger has been able to help out thousands of children in all 50 states and 16 countries throughout the world, and she's not done yet.

Rosenberger wants TinySuperheroes to change the way the world thinks about childhood illness or disability. She wants these capes to allow people the opportunity to see kids' abilities, instead of their disabilities. However, she cannot do it alone.

The Rosenberger family. Photo from Robyn Rosenberger, used with permission.

Want to help the project? Just buy a cape for a kid in your life, and she'll donate one to another child in need. Take a moment to support their superhero mission!

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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