One mom asked for donations to fight childhood cancer. 20 years later? $100 million — and counting.
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Aflac

Kids who have a lot of health issues have a rough time. But when it's cancer … well, it's particularly brutal.

But Ansley Riedel fought childhood cancer and beat it.

She had a particularly difficult form of leukemia to treat beginning at age 1, and she had to fight it for just over two years. For any hope of a cure, she needed a bone marrow transplant — but it could not be done anywhere in her region. Her family had to travel across the country to save her life.


In 1995, her mother, Vicki, was raising funds for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and asked Aflac CEO Dan Amos for a small donation to make renovations on the floor where they cared for children with cancer, and that's where things began.

20 years later, Aflac has donated $100 million to the fight. That's no small potatoes.

Thanks to medical progress funded in part by donations like that, Ansley survived.

She's now a nurse at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where she wants to help other kids get through hard times.

Over 15,000 kids under the age of 20 will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

What does that look like when you glance around the neighborhood or schoolyard?


1 in every 4 elementary schools will have a child attending who has cancer. Wow.

There is good news, though. In the 1960s, childhood cancer had only a 10% survival rate. Now, it's up to 80%. Progress, right?

You're probably thinking, "But aren't there a bunch of dollars every year from the federal government that go to cancer research?" And you'd be right.

Except:

Less than 4% of federal funding for cancer research goes to pediatric cancer. It needs our help.

Childhood cancer research specifically is critically underfunded. Here's some more about these numbers:

So how to help more kids beat cancer like Ansley? Spread the word.

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

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Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

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