A horse sanctuary was reduced to ashes in a California fire, but all 20 horses miraculously survived
via GoFundMe

The wildfires that have ravaged the west coast over the past two months have burned millions of acres, claimed over 30 lives, and forced thousands to live in evacuation shelters.

The fires have also caused unimaginable damage to the area's wildlife.

Critical populations of endangered species and native habitats may take years to recover.

"Some of these places we set aside may be fundamentally impacted by climate change and may not be able to come back," Amy Windrope, deputy director of Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife," said according to The New York Times. "That's just a reality."


Out of all the death and destruction comes a wonderful story out of Jamul, California, outside of San Diego.

Over twenty years ago, Patty Hyslop started the Hyslop Horse Haven to care for abused and neglected horses. Hyslop sufferers from multiple sclerosis and, at one point, was paralyzed, but she believes her love for horses has helped her condition improve.

The sanctuary also provides horseback riding lessons for children.

On September 5, as the Valley Fire raged through the area, forcing Hyslop to evacuate her ranch, leaving the horses behind.

"It was one of the scariest things that we've ever been through," Hyslop told FOX 5.

"When I saw those hundred-foot flames coming at us … I (thought I) was going to come back the next day to dead horses or severely burnt horses. And if they had died, I think I would've died with them. My heart would have just broken," she continued.

via GoFundMe

After the fire made its way through the area, Hyslop returned to her horse haven fearing the worst. But she was shocked to find that all 20 of her horses survived.

Hyslop belives the animals were saved by "horse angels."

Unfortunately, the stable didn't have such luck. The entire sanctuary was reduced to ash and debris. Eight sheds with thousands of dollars worth of medications, tack, and supplies were brunt to the ground. As was Hyslop's golf cart and trailers for the sanctuary's volunteers.

via Fox 5 San Diego

"My shed alone, there was probably $10,000 worth of tack and medications feed everything inside and it's just all gone," said Hope Gilces, Hyslop's niece.

The horses have been transferred to temporary facilities while Hyslop and her team work to get the sanctuary back into order. Even though her sanctuary has suffered a massive setback, she still vows to rescue even more horses, including those impacted by the blaze.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help rebuild the sanctuary.

"The ranch is going to be in need of feed, medicine, care equipment, and all items needed for riding lessons (saddles, blankets, tack, etc)," the campaign reads. "They will need to rebuild storage units and replace machinery that didn't survive the fire."

Let's hope Hyslop's horse angels come through again and help her get the funding she needs to continue her important work.

In 2015, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price had a life-changing epiphany.

Price, who founded Gravity with his brother in 2004, was out hiking in the Cascade Mountains with his friend, Valerie. She told him her landlord had raised her rent by $200 and she was struggling to get by on her $40,000 a year income. Price, who was making $1.1 million a year as CEO of Gravity, was struck by her story. Not only did he feel for Valerie—a military veteran working two jobs and barely making ends meet—realized that some of his own employees might be facing similar struggles.

And they were. One employee frankly told him his entry-level salary was a rip-off. Another employee had secretly been working at McDonald's outside of work hours to make ends meet. So Price decided to make a drastic change by investing in his employees.

He researched how much money the average person would need in order to live comfortably and settled on $70,000 a year. In one fell swoop, he dropped his own salary to that amount, while also making it the minimum salary for anyone who worked at Gravity.

The move drew media coverage—and dire predictions from pundits. On Fox News and other conservative outlets he was called "foolish," a "socialist" and a "lunatic of lunatics." Rush Limbaugh called the company policy "pure unadulterated socialism" that was "going to fail" and should be a case study in MBA programs on how socialism doesn't work. Talking heads predicted that his employees would end up in the welfare line.

Six years later, Price has proved the haters wrong—by a lot.

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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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