Heroes

Meet the incredible 8-year-old who just got two brand-new REAL hands.

He lost both his hands and feet after a childhood infection almost took his life. Now an incredible surgery has 8-year-old Zion making history.

Meet the incredible 8-year-old who just got two brand-new REAL hands.

8-year-old Zion's hands were amputated after a childhood infection. But that hasn't stopped him from being a happy or healthy kid.


GIF via NBC News.

Playing guitar? Check. Video games? Check. Hide-and-seek with his little sister? You got it. And while that sounds pretty average, for Zion it's kind of extraordinary. That's because at 2 years old, Zion had his hands and feet amputated following a life-threatening infection. Then, he underwent a kidney transplant. That's a heck of a lot of surgery for a little kid. But today he lives a pretty normal life, and all with a big smile on his face.

GIF via NBC News.

Now Zion's making history as the world's first double hand transplant patient.

GIF via NBC News.

Wait. A double hand transplant?! Yup. 40 surgeons, including 10 hand specialists, worked over a painstaking 11 hours to give Zion two brand-new hands. And unlike expensive prosthetics that have to be upgraded and refitted every few years, Zion's hands will grow with him.

Even though the surgery was a success, there's still lots of work to be done. Hand transplants require a lifetime of special care, medicines, and physical therapy. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, success is not guaranteed.

GIF via NBC News.

Even though Zion's hands are still pretty new, he already has big plans. Like picking up his little sister.

image from NBC News.

Despite the challenges ahead, Zion has his eyes on the prize. When asked what he's most looking forward to once his recovery is over, he had this to say:

"Pick up my little sister from daycare, and wait for her to run in to my hands and I pick her up and spin her around."

Do you hear that? That's my lonely, only-child heart melting. Hey Zion, if you're ever in the market for a big sister, I'm right here.

GIF from "Kristen Bell's Sloth Meltdown"

The most exciting thing about Zion's story? It doesn't end with him. His historic double hand transplant is only the beginning.

Because he's the first, doctors and physical therapists will be closely monitoring his progress as he heals and learns how to use his new hands. Just think: A few years from now, multiple limb transplants will be old news, as more and more people benefit from this incredible technology.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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