English soccer teams pause their match to allow players to break their Ramadan fasts
via @if24hd

An otherwise forgettable pause during the Crystal Palace and Leicester City Premier League match Monday night in England turned out to be a beautiful display of sportsmanship from two teams that definitely had their priorities straight.

During the 35th minute of the match, Crystal Palace's goalkeeper Vicente Guaita held onto the ball instead of making a goal kick. This allowed Leicester's center-back Wesley Fofana and Palace's midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate to break their Ramadan fasts.

The brief, voluntary stoppage gave Fofana a moment to guzzle some water and for Kouyate to down an energy gel. The stoppage happened shortly after sundown because Muslims are supposed to avoid food or drink while the sun is out during the month-long holiday.

This year, Ramadan runs from April 12 to May 2012.



Ramadan is the Arabic name for the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It's the holiest of Islamic months and is part of the Five Pillars of Islam. The Five Pillars are principles that are ordered by God. Muslims believe that the first verses of their holy book, the Qu'ran, were given to Prophet Mohammed during the month.

Muslims fast during the daylight hours throughout Ramadan feel closer to God and strengthen their resolve.

Muslims observe the fast by having a meal before dawn, then going without any food or drink until sundown. One can imagine how hard it is for an athlete to play at a professional level for an entire month without having proper nutrition or hydration.

Soccer players can run up to nine miles in a typical 90-minute match and elite players can burn up to 3,400 calories.

Fofana thanked the opposing club for their support on Twitter. "That's what makes football wonderful," he said.

Last week, Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers took Fofana out of the game at the 60-minute mark in a 3-0 win over West Brom to allow him to break his fast.

It's believed that Monday's match was the first time in Premier League history that a game was stopped to allow players to break the Ramadan fast. The decision was made before the game in a meeting between team captains.

Although fasting has to make it a lot harder for players to perform on the field, Rodgers believes it gives them more strength. "I've worked with lots of players with devotion to their faiths and for a lot of the guys it gives them strength," he said in a press conference.

"He's finding an incredible strength to play continuously and train during Ramadan. He's a special talent and a big player for us," Rogers continued.

In the world of professional soccer, a single game, score, or play can have huge consequences for players and their organizations. So it's pretty incredible to see two teams put their competitive differences aside for a brief moment to focus on something that's bigger than the game. It's also a wonderful display of religious tolerance for the tens of thousands of people watching the game.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Fox 5 / YouTube

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But at about the 1:50 mark, he was interrupted by an unaccompanied puppy running down the street towards the news crew.

The dog had a collar but there was no owner in sight.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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