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Kathryn Thompson may not know too many of the local college students who hang out at the coffee shop where she works, but many of them know her.

Photo by Elon Local News/YouTube.


And they knew that she had a dream: to take her family, and especially her grandson — who has autism and loves Mickey Mouse — to Disney World.

Photo by Chris Harrison/Flickr.

Two of those students, Lucy Smith-Williams and Taylor Zisholtz, really wanted to make Thompson's dream a reality — so they set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the trip, according to a report in Elon Local News:

“I really took to her warmth, and I've seen her here a lot and she's always in here," Zisholtz said. “Just from talking to her, she was very invested in where we were from, what we were doing and when she said 'it's my dream,' I thought well there's 6,000 people here with at least a dollar. We could probably make this happen."

Smith-Williams and Zisholtz raised the money in less than three weeks. On Monday, they surprised Thompson with the news.

And she couldn't hold back the tears...

GIF via Elon Local News/YouTube.

She was so happy that her grandson would finally get to meet his favorite character.

GIF via Elon Local News/YouTube.

Thompson has wanted to take her family to Disney World for a very long time.

She was disappointed that she couldn't make it happen herself financially. Now, thanks to dozens of students, she has $6,000 to make the trip. Even GoFundMe itself contributed, donating $1,000 to the cause. And now, her Disney-obsessed grandchild will get to have the time of his life.

GIF via Elon Local News/YouTube.

A commenter on the story, claiming to be Thompson's sister, says no one deserves it more:

"My sister, Kathryn, is the hardest working, sweetest, kindest, most loving person in this world. She works 2 jobs EVERY day! She only has 4 hours of sleep a night. She gets up every morning and it starts all over again. She gets home around 2 am from the Acorn and goes to work early in the cafeteria of a local school. She would give anyone her last breath, her last penny or the shirt off her back. She is kind, loving and giving. I am SO thankful for the recognition these dear college students are giving her for her dream of going to Disney! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!!"

Thompson had a message for the students and customers who helped make the trip happen.

GIF via Elon Local News/YouTube.

Congratulations, Kathryn Thompson.

Here's hoping you and your family have the world's best time.

You can (and should) watch the reveal and Thompson's reaction, which was caught by Elon Local News, below:

Pop Culture

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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