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Health

The Dodgers continue to renew the contract of retired baseball player to keep him insured

Andrew Toles has schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He hasn't played since 2018.

Andrew Toles; Los Angeles Dodgers; mental health; mental illness; health care

Dodgers renew Andrew Toles' contract to provide health insurance.

In America, some people are consumed with medical debt, and while many people argue for universal health care, we have to live within the system that currently exists until something changes. This means many Americans live without adequate medical insurance and are saddled with astronomical medical bills. Since healthcare is tied to employment, people who are unemployed are likely disproportionately affected.

People living with severe mental illnesses are most likely to be unable to hold down employment to maintain medical insurance—the same medical insurance that provides mental health services and medication management needed to treat their mental illness. It's a medical care quagmire, and one that retired Dodgers player Andrew Toles would've found himself in, had the Major League Baseball team ended his contract.

Toles signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 and just two years later, the team placed him on the restricted list indefinitely, essentially retiring the player while he worked on his mental health.


During his absence from the game, Toles has continued to struggle with his mental health. In 2018 he was hospitalized for two weeks and diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. After he was found living behind the Key West International Airport in 2020, the baseball player's father, Alvin Toles, former linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, gained guardianship and Toles has been with him since.

At this point, it's been multiple years since Toles has played baseball professionally, but that hasn't stopped the Dodgers from renewing his contract.

Every year, the baseball team renews Toles's contract for $0 and keeps him on the reserves list so he can keep his health insurance through the team. Mental health care can be expensive, especially when you have severe mental illnesses that may require multiple hospital stays and trials of multiple medications to find the right balance. The Dodgers continually renewing the player's contract is not only heartwarming but admirable.

According to an update in 2021 from Toles' father, the player is still in active psychosis.

"We are having challenges, but nothing that God and I can't handle. Schizophrenia, it's just so tough. I mean, he can't even watch TV. He hears voices and the TV at the same time, so it's kind of confusing. I've seen him looking at some baseball games on his laptop, but I don't think he really understands what's going on," Alvin told USA Today at the time.

The Dodgers keeping Toles on their roster proves to the family that they're not alone. Even if the embattled player doesn't remember his time as a star baseball player or understand the game anymore, his team still has his back.

“His name will pop up randomly in our clubhouse. He fit in with us so fondly and was so adored. It’s just sad to see what has transpired and knowing that a lot of it is out of his control," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told USA Today in 2021. “Man, I would love to see him. I’d love to put my arms around him. I miss him. I really miss him.’’

Toles has been living out his life in a home next door to his father in Georgia, where his dad works hauling chemicals and caring for his son. The Dodgers are hopeful that one day Toles will be well enough to attend a game when they're playing in Atlanta, according to USA Today.

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


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Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?



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