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

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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According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

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"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

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Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

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