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Strangers rally to cry for help for 22-year-old mother given just four months to live

In 24 hours, people flooded the family with donations to hopefully buy Rachael Burns some time with her 1-year-old daughter, Raeya.

Rachael Burns was given a dire prognosis as her daughter turned one.

Being given just a few months to live is a daunting prognosis for anyone, but when you're a 22-year-old mother with a 1-year-old daughter, it's particularly tragic. Your adult life has just begun. You are the world to your young child. Your partner is suddenly looking at losing you and becoming a single parent, all in one fell swoop.

Rachael Burns of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is facing that exact reality. Eight months ago, she began experiencing headaches, dizzy spells and irritation in her eyes, according to Belfast Live. At first, doctors chalked it up to dehydrated eyes and she considered them migraines, but after an emergency trip to the hospital in early June 2024, Burns was diagnosed with diffuse midline glioma brain tumour—brain cancer with a rare, aggressive mutation that is spreading down her spine.

Because of its size and where it's located, doctors said there is no way to even attempt an operation on it. Consultants told her that anyone who came in with her symptoms and that diagnosis generally had 9 to 12 months to live.

"I’ve shown symptoms for the last eight," Burns told Belfast Live. “I was told to assume that that was the case and try to make the most of the next four months.

“I left that appointment with no real hope and I didn’t know how to tell my mum and the rest of the family, I didn’t want them to get upset. It felt like everything had just been taken away from me at that point."

Facing such a dire prediction, Burns began writing years' worth of birthday cards for her daughter, Raeya, who just had her first birthday. The only option appeared to be six weeks of radiotherapy, which would do little to help.

But research into experimental therapies unveiled a ray of hope to buy more time with her family.

"We've identified a potentially life-extending treatment in Germany, under the name of ONC201," the family shared on GoFundMe, "but it comes at a significant cost. Should Rachael qualify, we need funds to pay for travel costs, accommodation and the drugs themselves.

"We refuse to let financial worries hinder Rachael's fight for her life or deprive her and her daughter of precious time together. Our goal is to ensure their comfort should the worst come to pass. No one should go from celebrating their child's first birthday to facing a terminal illness so swiftly."

Not only did the local community of West Belfast turn out for this young family but people around the world did as well. In less than 24 hours, they'd raised £30,000 (approximately $38,000 U.S.).

mom and dad holding baby in front of a birthday cake

Donate to Support a young mother battling terminal cancer, organized by Rachael Burns.


“I’m just totally overwhelmed by the response that we have got so far,” Rachael said. “Belfast is such a small place but you never think that people from all over would show as much kindness as they have done for me and my family. It is a scary time to be going through all of this but this has given me more hope that I can spend some more time with my family.”

Burns told The Irish News that the treatment she's seeking in Germany has extended the life of people with her diagnosis by as much as 22 months. That may not sound like much time, but in the life of a small child, it's hugely significant.

“My Raeya will always know just how much her mummy fought with everything in her power for even a quick glimpse of watching her grow into the beautiful, strong and kind girl I know she will be in this world," Burns said. “Situations are what you make of them and I refuse to just be another statistic.”

While the future is uncertain for the Burns family, the money that's been raised gives her the best chance for a miracle. Any funds that don't go to Rachael's treatment will go into a bank account for young Raeya "to support her in life for if the time comes when she loses her mother."

Find the GoFundMe here.


Man's over-the-top Crumbl Cookies review is one for the ages

"This mug tastes like a Girl Scout cookie on steroids that went to Planet Fitness with its gallon of water jug and set off the lunk alarm…"

Most people like cookies, but not on this level.

Have you ever eaten something that was so delectably delicious it gave you an out-of-body experience and changed your whole outlook on life?

Apparently, P.E. teacher and digital creator Travis Reed has, in the form of a Crumbl Cookie.

(If you’re not familiar, Crumbl Cookies is a dessert company that specializes in thick, rich cookies. They rotate their dozens of cookie recipes to offer six flavors each week, so the menu is constantly changing. They have flavors ranging from classic Semi-sweet Chocolate Chip to Toffee Cake, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, "Kitchen Sink" and more.)

Reed shared a detailed review of Crumbl Cookies in 2022, and it's gone viral multiple times since.

In a post to his Facebook page, Reed explained that he got talked into taking a trip to Crumble Cookies, and at first he thought he was in "the triple stacked line at Chick Fil A" because it was so busy.

"I got out the car and this darn line was longer than a Monday," he wrote. Then he began to describe the effect his first Crumbl experience had on him.

"Cookie crumbl done messed around and changed my life for the better…I’m waving at neighbors in the neighborhood for no reason, I used a bath bomb….I was washing my car and a neighbor asked that lame line 'are going to do mine next' I said yessireeee bring it on over pal😂😂, I watched a Disney movie talmbout 'We don’t talk about Bruuuno no no no!' …I hugged a enemy, and I had 'supper'….them cookies tasted like the Summer of 69, Love and Happiness, Dancin in the Moonlight, Cinderellas Castle, and any Bruno Mars song oh and a Pixie Stick….I took one bite and that mug had my stomach melting like the Wicked Witch of the West I sweatergawd and ion een like sweets and cookies like that 😩😩😩This mug tastes like a Girl Scout cookie on steroids that went to planet fitness with its gallon of water jug and set off the lunk alarm….I’m talking testosteroned UP😂😂Juicaaaay💉💉😂😂😂I peeped the calorie count of these cookies and ima be at a million before this week over but this sugar drive got me on 12 so ima go on and somersault this 6 mile trail right quick 😂😂😂talmbout type 12 diabetes…just take the whole foot 😩😩…aaaand they just be dropping new flavors every week like mixtapes 😂😂…helmelawd I ain’t gon make it😂😂I’m sweating dough and sprinkles jus thinking bout it ,🗣🔈🍪leeeeet’s get readyyy to CRUMBLLLL!! 😭😭😰😰 40/10💯"

The whole post could be used as a creative writing lesson with Reed’s liberal use of simile, metaphor and exaggeration for comedic effect. People loved his enthusiasm, though many lamented how he made them crave cookies.

"Honey, let me tell you!!! My husband is such a tightwad about money. I went and bought these cookies, and Lord knows they're not cheap. Even he said they were worth every penny!!! They're so damn addicting, too. Feel like I need a cookies anonymous therapy session."

"They’re opening one beside my work. I’m scared. Imma have type 23 diabeetus soon and I don’t even like sweets that much.🤣"

"Omg!! They just opened one across the street from me and I been hearing folks talk about they used to drive 50 minutes for these cookies…now more than ever I need them. I may just go there right now."

Crumble Cookies' CEO even sent Reed's review to the company's employees, writing, "Thank you for all your hard work in making Crumbl the happiest part of everyone's week!"

You can follow Travis Reed on Facebook.

Photo credit: Canva and X screenshot

Doctor shares hilarious 4 star review after saving patient's life

Sometimes there is just no pleasing people. It seems like no matter what you do short of become a literal unicorn that hands out bags of money, some people will find a way to fault you. This sort of disgruntled behavior is generally experienced by people in the service industry, particularly retail. But it turns out medical staff are not above reproach when it comes to the hard to please customer.

Dr. Mark Lewis, a gastrointestinal oncologist went viral recently for a review of his services he shared on X went viral. The review is glowing...sort of. It simply reads "Dr Lewis saved my life," complete with an exclamation point to drive home their excitement. But the amazing news was attached to a four star review.

One would think saving someone's life would generate a five star review moment, but perhaps Dr. Lewis missed something while caring for the patient.

Did the doctor remember to offer a complimentary deep tissue massage? Having your life saved is likely extremely stressful. Maybe it was the scratchy sheets and one ply toilet paper that knocked a star off of the doctor's review. Since HIPAA exists and the doctor cannot confirm, deny or acknowledge the identity of the patient that left the review, chances are we will never know. This didn't stop the doctor and others from hilariously speculating.

One commenter asked, "did you do jazz hands afterwards?" Somehow, jazz hands seems like a fitting celebratory move after saving someone's life.

"Dr Lewis saved my life! However, no good coffee in the hospital. 4/5 stars," one person jokes.

The doctor is taking the review in stride. He even suggested that since his hospital is across the street from a Costco, maybe the two can team up so the next time he saves someone's life he has a small bargaining chip.

Someone asks the important question, "saving a life is so overrated. Have you tried resurrection," to which Dr. Lewis claims to know a guy that performs such miracles. The tweet has made its way to the front page of Reddit where it is having another moment of virility leaving more people wondering what the doctor had to do in order to secure the fifth star. These commenters might be on to something that Dr. Lewis should take note of.

"Make me immortal and I'll toss another half-star your way. But all 5 stars? I'm gonna need you to create me my own universe where I'm an invincible god. I really don't think wanting to rule an entire universe is too much to ask from my surgeon," one person writes.

"For 5 star Review I would recommend a small amount of necromancy," another says.

Dr. Ari Elman commiserated with Dr. Lewis by seeing his four stars and raising the two star review he received after curing someone of cancer.

Yikes, what do these doctors have to do to get a five star review around here? All humor aside, chances are the reviews have nothing to do with the particular doctor and more to do with their experience at the hospital. That doesn't stop people from raising an eyebrow and wondering if a tap dancing routine should be included with the discharge news in order to bump the rating up a bit. The best news about this particular X thread is that you get to celebrate that two patients were saved, even if they might have withheld their stars for crappy hospital food.


Heroic dog ran 4 miles to campsite, alerting injured owner's loved ones after roll-over car crash

Brandon Garrett was driving to a campsite with his four dogs when he missed a curve and rolled his truck down a steep embankment.

Photos courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Blue managed to make his way to camp after his owner crashed the truck they were traveling in.

The phrase "dog is a man's best friend" takes on a whole new meaning in a hero dog story coming out of the Pacific Northwest.

On the afternoon of June 2, 2024, Brandon Garrett was driving on a forest service road in Baker County, Oregon, when he lost control of his truck on a curve and tumbled down the steep embankment into a ravine. The 62-year-old was traveling with his four dogs to a camp nearly four miles from the scene of the accident.

One of those dogs, Blue, ran away from the crash site and headed to the familiar campsite where Garrett was scheduled to meet a friend that afternoon. When Garrett was late and then Blue showed up alone, with glass in his snout, the friend Garrett was supposed to meet knew something wasn't right.

Garrett's friends and family searched for him through the night and finally spotted his truck in the ravine in the morning. The steep, unstable terrain, however, made it impossible for them to reach the truck without rappelling gear.

Garrett's brother, Tyree Garrett, told the New York Times that he could see Garrett's injured dogs near the truck. He called out his brother's name but got no response. “It stopped my heart,” he said. “I just, God darn, thought for sure my brother was gone.”

white pickup truck on its side in a creek

Brandon Garrett's truck landed in a creek in a deep ravine.

Photo courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Tyree drove to where he could get a cell signal and called for help. First responders from the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, Baker County Search and Rescue, Pine Valley Rural Fire District and Halfway Ambulance all responded to the scene. Sheriff Travis Ash located the truck and one of Garrett's dogs in the ravine, but as he searched for a way down the embankment to access the creek, he heard a man's voice yelling for help.

Garrett had crawled about 100 yards from the vehicle, where he spent the night in the cold and pouring rain. Sheriff Ash made his way down the steep, brushy slope to where Garrett lay and began to administer first aid. Meanwhile, Pine Valley Rural Fire volunteers and U.S. Forest Service employees used chainsaws to clear a path for the rescue team.

rescue team setting up highline rope system

A highline rope system was used to bring Garrett to safety.

Photo courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Getting Garrett to safety and the medical care he needed was no easy feat due to the treacherous landscape and where he was located. Using the cleared path, the team was able to get a rescue basket to Garrett, and the Baker County Search and Rescue Ropes Team set up a highline rope system to transport him across the ravine after he was secured in it.

man being pulled in a rescue basket on ropes across a ravine

The search and rescue team pulled Garrett across the ravine in a rescue basket.

Photo courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Once he was safely across, Garrett was transported by ambulance to a Life Flight helicopter and then airlifted to a regional hospital.

"This was an incredibly technical rescue performed by Baker County Search and Rescue utilizing a highline rope system. BCSO was also grateful for Pine Valley Rural Fire Protection District, Halfway Ambulance, Life Flight and the U.S. Forest Service employees that provided assistance during the rescue," Baker County Sheriff's Office tells Upworthy. "This was truly a team effort!"

The sheriff's office also reports that Garrett has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home. According to the New York Times, Garrett had injured his ankle and his body was badly battered and bruised. All of the dogs survived the crash, one with a broken hip and an injured femur and another with leg broken in two spots.

But thanks to good boy Blue's memory and his making sure someone knew they needed help, everyone appears to be on the mend.

man with arms around a gray and white whippet dog

Good boy, Blue helped save his human.

Photo courtesy of Baker County Sheriff's Office

Find more images of the rescue on the Baker County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.