+
True
Petfinder

You might be surprised about what you can find in a rescue dog. There are remarkable dogs up for adoption in shelters nationwide who just need to find a home. Here's the story of one of them.

Meet Marshall.


All images and GIFs via Marshall The Miracle Dog/YouTube.

Marshall once had a lot stacked against him.

He was one of over 60 animals rescued in 2010 on an episode of Animal Planet's "Confessions: Animal Hoarding."

Out of all the animals, Marshall was in the worst shape. He'd suffered injuries so bad that his medical team didn't think he was going to make it.

But he did. Little by little, Marshall recovered, even learning to walk on three legs after his broken limb had to be amputated.

Marshall 's owner (center) and the vet who saved him (right).


Marshall earned a nickname "Marshall the Miracle Dog."

"(Veterinarians) started calling him a miracle dog because he just persevered and wouldn't quit," said Cyndi Willenbrock, who adopted Marshall from the Humane Society of Missouri.

Realizing children could relate to Marshall inspired his owner to share his story.

Cyndi knew Marshall's journey to overcome his troubled past could resonate with kids who struggled with problems in their own lives. She wrote a children's book about Marshall and used it as a way to talk to kids about courage and acceptance.

She turned this into a larger campaign, called "The Marshall Movement":

"The Marshall Movement serves to carry a universal message of acceptance, tolerance, and kindness. Our goal is to help children recognize, prevent, and speak up when experiencing or witnessing tough social issues such as bullying, peer pressure, abuse, or animal cruelty. The Marshall Movement, with the use of thought-provoking character building programs and activities, strives to provide children with the strength and path to find their own voice. We inspire them to be empowered."

Marshall was also trained as a therapy dog, making it easier to take him into schools to share his story. The training also helped Marshall cope with the anxiety left over from his trauma, and brought him into contact with lots of people looking to give him as much healing love and attention as he wanted to give them.

Marshall hard at work as a therapy dog.

Cyndi also encourages kids to volunteer with animals, or elsewhere, to help them cope with personal problems. In an interview with The Daily Republic, she put it like this:

"I always tell people if they're going through tough times to go volunteer. It's the same thing with animals," says Cyndi. "Having him trained as a therapy dog gave him confidence and exposed him to people in a really safe environment. It really showed him that he does have a purpose to serve. Everyone has a purpose and, more often than not, you find that while giving to others."

If that purpose is belly rubs, Marshall isn't complaining.

The pair now travels around the country to inspire children to be kind to one another and to "act with courage" to end bullying. They've visited more than 450 schools in 25 states and met more than 150,000 students.

Marshall's story is so compelling, it even inspired a Hollywood film about his life!

Hollywood caught wind of this amazing pup's journey and reached out to Cyndi and her husband about creating a film based on Marshall's journey.The movie released on November 16, 2014.

We need more Marshalls in the world.

Sadly, students live in a world that looks like this:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 students report being bullied during the school year
  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment
  • Students who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in adolescence and adulthood

But there are thousands of dogs that may be able to help.

Researchers have found that therapy dogs are great for providing emotional support, but also for teaching kids better ways to interact with one another.

Students can try out "pro-social" behaviors with them, learning to care for the dogs and receiving the dogs' love in return. Practicing commands that the dogs already know is also a great way to instill a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.

They can also help with pervasive issues like anxiety and social skills.

It would be awesome to see more rescued dogs like Marshall get the chance to give and receive the support they once never thought they'd have.

Could your very own Marshall be just a Petfinder search away? Considering adoption could not only save a precious pet's life, but could give untold benefits to you and your family... and maybe even the world — just like Marshall.

Indeed, who has saved whom?!


Watch this video to learn even more about Marshall and how his new life has helped him leave behind his past:

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

True

Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

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:

Keep ReadingShow less
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.

via YouTube

This article originally appeared on 02.15.22


These days, we could all use something to smile about, and few things do a better job at it than watching actor Christopher Walken dance.

A few years back, some genius at HuffPo Entertainment put together a clip featuring Walken dancing in 50 of his films, and it was taken down. But it re-emerged in 2014 and the world has been a better place for it.

Walken became famous as a serious actor after his breakout roles in "Annie Hall" (1977) and "The Deer Hunter" (1978) so people were pretty shocked in 1981 when he tap-danced in Steve Martin's "Pennies from Heaven."

Keep ReadingShow less
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.

Keep ReadingShow less