More

After she was diagnosed with cancer, her classmates came to the rescue.

She expected them to make fun of her. She was wrong.

After she was diagnosed with cancer, her classmates came to the rescue.

Marlee watched as her teachers and peers stepped up to show their support for her, one by one. The look on her face says it all.

Marlee, seen here in the red dress with denim jacket, has received some major support from friends and teachers. All images by Boulder Daily Camera/YouTube.


Last year, her mom noticed a bump on Marlee's left foot. After it didn't go away (Marlee played soccer, so it made sense that it might be a sports injury), Marlee's mom took her to the doctor, where they learned the scary truth: It was cancer.

Doctors amputated Marlee's foot, after which she began chemo, causing her to lose her hair. Even after all she'd been through, Marlee worried about how her teachers and classmates would react to seeing her without hair.

She was in for a pleasant surprise.

Not only did her teachers and classmates accept her, but several of them decided to shave their own heads in the name of solidarity — and charity.

After setting up an account with the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a group that helps raise money to fight childhood cancer through head-shaving events, Marlee's teachers and classmates hopped into action.

More than 80 of her classmates shaved their heads or donated hair, and in total, the school raised more than $25,000 in just two and a half weeks.


Marlee had the honor of shaving one of her teachers' heads.

"I thought people would make fun of me, but people just supported me instead," she told the Broomfield Enterprise.

The outpouring of support was unexpected, touching, and just about everything you'd hope for in humanity.

Above all else, Marlee hoped to be able to help other kids with cancer, and in that, she succeeded. Big time.

The whole school turned up in support.

When it comes to childhood cancer, there are some troubling statistics.

For example, did you know that the average age of diagnosis for childhood cancer is 6 years old? Or that about 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment each year? Or that the majority of childhood cancer survivors experience later effects like fertility, heart failure, and other forms of cancer? Or that just 4% of federal cancer research funds go toward studying pediatric cancer?

It's rough out there, and that's what makes the community outpouring of support for Marlee all the more heartwarming.


Marlee finished her last chemo treatment in February, but the love and support from her schoolmates will stick with her forever.

To learn more about Marlee's story, check out this article at the Broomfield Enterprise or watch the video below.

True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pixabay

As people get older, social isolation and loneliness become serious problems. Many find themselves living alone for the first time after the death of a spouse. It's also difficult for older people to maintain friendships when people they've known for years become ill or pass away.

Census Bureau figures say that almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women over the age of 75 live alone.

But loneliness doesn't just affect those who reside by themselves. People can feel lonely when there is a discrepancy between their desired and actual relationships. To put it simply, when it comes to having a healthy social life, quality is just as important as quantity.

Keep Reading Show less