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Joanne Cacciatore's daughter, Cheyenne, was stillborn in July 1994. She says it was the worst day of her life.

Photo via Joanne Cacciatore, used with permission.

She briefly held her baby girl in her arms, but that was all the time she'd get with her.


It was then that Cacciatore decided to dedicate her life to helping parents like herself deal with grief.

But first, she had her own grief to contend with. She says in the months that followed, she couldn't stop crying and found parenting her other three children to be an impossible task.

That Christmas, which would've been Cheyenne's first, Cacciatore took the money she would have spent on presents and did something a little different with it. She bought a bunch of toys for underprivileged kids through a local charity.

"And in that moment [Cheyenne] was very much alive, because my love for her continued, and I was able to enact that love in the world," she told Yahoo! News.

That's when she first became aware of the immense healing power of giving. From there, she started The Kindness Project.

The Kindness Project asks grieving parents to do good deeds in their communities in memory of a lost child (or parent, friend, or spouse).

They then leave behind a small note card so the recipient can channel their gratitude toward the deceased and know that person's life and death continues to matter.

All photos provided by The Kindness Project.

Cacciatore says so far, over 2,000,000 acts of kindness have occurred because of the project around the world.

There's Kamaria McDonald, who donated toys, baby supplies, and more to a domestic violence shelter in honor of her late-son, Dane.

There's young Mackenzie's mother, who paid for and left two giant stuffed animals for some unsuspecting kids at a Kohl's in memory of her daughter.

A first-grade class in Richmond, California, wrote kind notes to their neighbors in honor of Teddy, a young boy who died of cancer.

Michael's mom donated basketballs to her local community center in honor of her son, who loved to shoot hoops.

And then there's Ann, whose story has stuck with Cacciatore for many years.

Ann tragically lost her baby, Joshua, to sudden infant death syndrome. One day, at one of her favorite restaurants, Ann stumbled across a young pregnant woman enjoying a baby shower. In her grief, it was almost too much to bear.

Ann headed for the door, feeling confused, overwhelmed, and inexplicably angry at this complete stranger. But "she paused, took a deep breath, took out a Kindness Project card, wrote Joshua's name on it, pre-paid the bill of the shower party in full, and called me weeping," Cacciatore wrote in the book Techniques of Grief Therapy.

It was a painful thing for Ann to do but an important step in her healing process.

The Kindness Project's Facebook page is flooded with incredible stories of giving — from cups of coffee to massive donations.

As beautiful as it is for a stranger to experience an unexpected act of kindness, the project is really about parents finding constructive ways to heal.

"While these good deeds do not eradicate grief, nor should they do so," Cacciatore wrote, "They do provide a means through which the mourner can redirect painful emotions into feelings of love and compassion and hope."

Losing a child is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Cacciatore just hopes that all of that pain and suffering won't be totally in vain, and we remember that every life deserves to be remembered, no matter how short it might be.

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.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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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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