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It's pretty great to be unique, but sometimes having differences that other people can see makes life hard.

Image via iStock.


For kids who are already dealing with growing pains while also interacting with other kids who might not be so accepting of their differences, life can be a whole lot trickier.

Thankfully, there are a number of amazing parents who are making sure their kids don't have to walk through this judgmental world alone.

Josh Marshall is one of these parents.

His son, Gabe, has a rare malignant brain tumor called an anaplastic astrocytoma that was removed nine months ago, but a large scar remains on his head — a scar that Gabe felt self-conscious about.

Heartbroken that his son was so affected by his distinctive new mark, Josh did the only thing he could think of to help level the playing field — he got a matching head scar tattoo:


"I told him if people wanted to stare, they could stare at both of us," Josh told BuzzFeed.

As if that wasn't cool enough, Josh entered the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s #BestBaldDad competition, which honors kids who are bald from cancer treatments and the fathers/uncles/grandfathers who shave their heads in solidarity.

Josh and Gabe's awesome photo took first place.

The parents of 3-year-old Honey-Rae also turned to a tattoo artist to make their daughter feel less alone.

Honey-Rae was born with a strawberry-colored birth mark that covers almost half of the right side of her body. The birthmark didn't affect her physically, but her parents feared how it would affect her emotionally as she grew up.

They, like Josh, got matching birthmark tattoos so that Honey-Rae would always know that she fits in perfectly with her family.


"Most people might think it's very extreme, but to us it was the natural thing to do to ensure our daughter never felt different or alone in the world," Tanya, Honey-Rae's mother, told The Mirror.

"Adam and I decided straightaway that we wanted Honey-Rae to feel special, that her birthmark was something to feel proud of and not embarrassed by."

Alistair Campbell got not one, but two tattoos of cochlear implants — because he doesn't play favorites and always wants his kids to know they're not alone.

Two years after Charlotte Campbell got a very visible cochlear implant at age 4, her father, Alistair, decided he wanted to do something to show her the thing that makes her different is actually pretty cool.

You guessed it, he got a tattoo of the implant on his own head:

Photo courtesy of Alistair Campbell.

He didn't stop there, though. In March 2016, when his son, Lewis, also got a cochlear implant, Alistair told Upworthy, "I got the other side done."

Photo courtesy of Alistair Campbell.

Alistair didn't get his tattoos because his kids felt different — he got them because he wanted them to know that he loves them and will stand by them no matter what.

"I got the tattoo(s) to support my kids in their journey," Alistair told Upworthy. And because he's the coolest dad ever.

According to him, his wife wasn't pleased by his decision — not because he was supporting their children, but only because she's not a fan of tattoos.

Every day, kids look to their parents to learn how the world works.

If parents teach them from an early age that the things that make them — that make all of us — different are things worth celebrating and embracing, they'll believe it.

Doing this doesn't require getting a tattoo, but I think we can all agree getting a solidarity tattoo for your kid is the quintessential way to be the hippest parent at school drop-off.

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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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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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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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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