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Dad with terminal cancer pre-creates wedding dance memories with his two daughters

When Jason Halbert got the news that he had an incurable, inoperable brain tumor, his family's life took a dramatic shift. He was initially given a life expectancy of 12-15 months, but after the cancer leaked into his cerebral spinal fluid, that prognosis was shortened to 2-3 months. With two grown daughters, the Halberts had looked forward to a future that was suddenly and forever changed.

Jason's wife Nicole shared the story of telling their daughters about his diagnoses and prognosis on Facebook, along with the touching decision that came after.


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In the now viral post, she wrote:

"Jason has always been the most attentive father. He's never missed any of their events. We have raised two daddy's girls and I was about to break their hearts. Their future suddenly looked very different. The dreams they had of their daddy walking them down the aisle had come to a screeching halt. The certain songs they've played hundreds of times while imagining themselves swirling around a dance floor, in the perfect dress, in the arms of the first man they ever loved, suddenly took on new meaning. In a quiet voice, holding back tears, they asked if they could have "their" dance. Yes, YES! You will have your dance! We create memories, we recreate them, why not PRE-create a moment?"

Friends and acquaintances immediately rallied to make those memories happen. People offered wedding dresses, hair and makeup, a facility, videography, and photography, without hesitation. "These people didn't just make it happen," Halbert wrote, "They made it perfect."

She continued:

"The day of the dance, the sun was shining through gray rain clouds, sunlight mixing with rain showers. I realized, afterwards, how appropriate the weather was for this day. That is what we've been doing through this whole journey, trying to find the light among the darkness, the sunshine in the rain. There was laughter and tears but in the end, there was an everlasting memory. There's a quote I love 'Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's learning to dance in the rain.' Our girls and their daddy did just that."

The photos are gorgeous, and the love between this daddy and his daughters is palpable. Thousands of people have shared the post with comments about how much it touched them, what a good reminder it is to seize the moments we have with our loved ones while they're here with us, and how much these young women will cherish those photos the rest of their lives.

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Nicole shared the reason the family decided to share the photo shoot with the world, instead of keeping it as a special, private moment. She also requested that people research Glioblastoma Multiforme and Leptomeningeal Disease, the tumor and condition that Jason was diagnosed with.

"We wondered if sharing this private moment was appropriate and although we are keeping the video tucked away for safe keeping until the girls' wedding days, we felt it was necessary to share a few of the photos. We wanted to share for a couple of reasons. One, when you are faced with having to fit a lifetime of memories into a few months, you pray hard and you lean into the people who love you. So many of you have been there for us through this journey and we wanted to share this moment with you. Two, there may be other young girls and boys out there that are faced with losing a parent, maybe struggling with the loss of what's to come. Maybe this story can strike an idea for someone else to PRE-create their moments, so feel free to share it.

Please SHARE it! It was because someone shared a similar story that planted this seed, and we will forever be grateful for that, so we'd like to pay it forward. And the last and most important reason we decided to share is to ask that anyone reading this researches Glioblastoma Multiforme and Leptomeningeal Disease. They are both extremely rare and get very little attention. Those living with this beast need more research, more funding, and we need a CURE! Having more people fighting along side those of us in this war is what will create much needed change."

Finally, Nicole reminded us all that it's how we live our lives that matters more than how long.

"When our girls look back at this chapter, I want them to remember not a journey of death, but a journey of life. Take the trip, snap the pictures, eat dessert first, go see your friends, play games with your kids, make your days matter! When you live your life surrounded by kindness and love, you have lived your life well."

A heart-wrenchingly beautiful reminder for us all.

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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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 Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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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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